George R. R. Martin Tells Us Why We're Addicted to Historical Fantasy

April 12, 2015

What's behind the popularity of historical fantasy?  George R. R. Martin has a theory.

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The trouble with preferring fantasy worlds to reality is that it turns out that reality, however gray and lacking in spices, is where we actually live. We have to make a go of it here, in the real world. Americans enthusiastically know every detail of the world of "Game of Thrones", etc, etc, but they are ignorant and completely uninterested about this real world, despite all the fascinating events, intrigues, and wars that are taking place in it. Americans know absolutely nothing at all about Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Russia, China, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Kenya - absolutely nothing. Nor have they the least bit of interest in learning anything about these exotic places. And it is this perverse obsession with the details of the comparatively trivial worlds of fantasy fiction and the simultaneous total disinterest in the much more complex, fascinating, and crucially important real world, that has reduced America to such a complete and total mess. Americans accept with complete docility the endless insane, catastrophic and economically draining military adventures of our incompetent, reckless, and corrupt presidents and congressmen, because they are so completely engrossed in their obsession with fantasy and non-reality. Once, there were creatures in America called 'men’, and 'women' - but they are now extinct. Now all that are left are boys and girls of various ages. This is the great tragedy of America.

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