George R.R. Martin Calls the Internet 'Toxic' Following Game of Thrones Backlash

Amanda Edwards, Getty Images
Amanda Edwards, Getty Images

Game of Thrones's final season was memorable for a variety of reasons, including hitting all-time viewership records for HBO—first with its season premiere, which was watched by approximately 17.4 million viewers, and again with its finale, which saw 19.3 million people tune in. But not even the show's most diehard fans were happy with the turns the show's main characters and their storylines took. In fact, they were so enraged by the storytelling decisions made by showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss that a petition was started demanding that season 8 be remade with "competent writers." To date, it has garnered more than 1.5 million signatures.

Fans were so vocal about their complaints over the final season that several of the show's stars, including Sophie Turner, spoke out against the backlash. "It’s disrespectful to the crew, and the writers, and the filmmakers who have worked tirelessly over 10 years, and for 11 months shooting the last season. Like 50-something night shoots," Turner said of the petition during a May interview with The New York Times.

Even A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin had something to say about the volatile reaction to the epic series's ending. In a recent appearance on Leonard Maltin’s podcast Maltin on Movies, Martin said:

"The Internet is toxic in a way that old fanzine culture and fandoms—comics fans, science fiction fans—in those days, was not. There were disagreements. There were feuds, but nothing like the madness that you see on the internet."

Martin also spoke about Game of Thrones as a phenomenon, admitting he doesn’t think he’ll ever be involved in such a large project ever again. “The scale of Game of Thrones’s success has—reaching all over the world and invading the culture to [such an extent]—it's not something anyone could ever anticipate, not something I expect to ever experience again," he said.

[h/t IndieWire]

Why Air Supply Changed the Lyrics to “All Out of Love” for American Fans

Air Supply.
Air Supply.
Peter Carrette Archive/Getty Images

Sometimes one minor detail can make all the difference. A case study for this principle comes in the form of the pop music act Air Supply, which enjoyed success in the 1980s thanks to mellow hits like “Lost in Love,” “Every Woman in the World,” and "Making Love Out of Nothing at All." Their 1980 single “All Out of Love” is among that laundry list, though it needed one major tweak before becoming palatable for American audiences.

The Air Supply duo of Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock hailed from Australia, and it was one particular bit of phrasing in “All Out of Love” that may have proven difficult for Americans to grasp. According to an interview with Russell on Songfacts, the lyrics to the song when it became a hit in their home country in 1978 were:

I’m all out of love

I want to arrest you

By “arrest,” Russell explained, he meant capturing someone’s attention. Naturally, most listeners would have found this puzzling. Before the song was released in the United States, Air Supply’s producer, Clive Davis, suggested it be changed to:

I’m all out of love

I’m so lost without you

I know you were right

Davis’s argument was that the “arrest” line was “too weird” and would sink the song’s chances. He also recommended adding “I know you were right.”

Davis proved to be correct when “All Out of Love” reached the number two spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1980.

While it would be reasonable to assume “I want to arrest you” is a common phrase of affection in Australia, it isn’t. “I think that was just me using a weird word,” Russell said. “But, you know, now [that] I think of it, it’s definitely very weird.”

Russell added that arrest joins a list of words that are probably best left out of a love song, and that cabbage and cauliflower would be two others.

[h/t Songfacts]

In 1995, You Could Smell Like Kermit the Frog

Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images
Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

The mid-'90s were a great time for Kermit the Frog. In 1996 alone, he led the Tournament of Roses Parade, was the face of the 40-year-old Muppet brand, and had both a movie (Muppet Treasure Island) and a television show (Muppets Live!) to promote. His career could not have been hotter, so Kermit did what any multifaceted, single-person empire does while sitting atop his or her celebrity throne: he released a fragrance. Amphibia, produced by Jim Henson Productions, was dripping with froggy sex appeal. The unisex perfume—its slogan was "pour homme, femme, et frog"—had a clean, citrusy smell with a hint of moss to conjure up memories of the swamp. Offered exclusively at Bloomingdale's in Manhattan, it sold for $18.50 (or $32.50 for those who wanted a gift box and T-shirt).

There’s no trace of a commercial for the perfume—which is a shame, since Amphibia is a word that begs to be whispered—but a print ad and photos of the packaging still live online. The six-pack and strategically-placed towel are an apt parody ... and also deeply unsettling.

Amphibia was the most-sold fragrance at the Manhattan Bloomingdale's in the 1995 Christmas season. "Kids are buying it, grown-ups are buying it, and frogs are really hot," pitchman Max Almenas told The New York Times.

It was a hit past the Christmas season, too: The eau de Muppet was cheekily reviewed by Mary Roach—who would go on to write Stiff and Packing for Mars—in a 1996 issue of TV Guide. "I wore Amphibia on my third date ... he said he found me riveting which I heard as ribbitting, as in 'ribbit, ribbit,' and I got all defensive," she wrote. "He assured me I didn't smell like a swamp ... I stuck my tongue out at him, to which he responded that it was the wrong time of year for flies, and besides, the food would be arriving shortly."

Not to be outdone, Miss Piggy also released a fragrance a few years later. It was, naturally, called Moi.

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