I already posted this as a comment on another thread elsewhere, but I’ll repost it here. With, er, grammar corrected. Sigh.
Everyone is human. Authors no less. If they were wanky all the time, that’d be a different thing, but this is just one issue on which they wanked, and truth to tell, most of us have our own issues on which we would wank; we just haven’t been featured on fandom_wank yet.
(For an example, look at bookshop; Aja has been featured on fandom_wank numerous times, but she definitely isn’t a wanker here.)
So yeah; on this issue, GRRM ((And others, it has to be said.)) hasn’t been thoughtful. Everywhere else, though, he’s a nice guy. That doesn’t excuse his mouthing off on something he’s not done research on, or his particularly weak response to being called on it, or his condescension.
I’m not calling for people to be absolutely forgiving; sometimes an author will wank on something we care very deeply about, and people have every right to stop wanting to read said author.
At the same time, it’s important to remember: authors are human. They are no better and no worse than the rest of humanity, even though they’re published. This wank (and previous ones) are especially illustrative of that.
One more thing I’d like to add:
Over the years, I’ve learned that people are people everywhere you go. People are good or bad or human on their own merits, not because they’ve gotten published, not because they went to college—and not because they haven’t gotten published or haven’t gone to college, either. This bites people on both sides of the coin; on the one hand, it becomes easy to put someone on a pedestal and be horribly disappointed later, and on the other hand, it is this very attitude of “I am better than the rabble” that enables so much author wank.
In the end, it’s just best to assume in general that they are no better than you.