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branewurms: (Tokyo Dogs - FFFFFFFFFF)
This time in our regularly scheduled idiocy re: YA fiction, we get bonus erasure of... well, PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE LIVING OVER HERE IN REALITY LAND.

"Contemporary fiction for teens is rife with explicit abuse, violence and depravity. Why is this considered a good idea?"

Oh my GOD, shut your FUCKING MOUTH. Sorry if that's too "coarse" for you, but that's really all the response this article deserves, and I am way too enraged to clearly enumerate all the ways in which you are dangerously and harmfully wrong. (A choice quote that pretty much sums up this whole article: "If books show us the world, teen fiction can be like a hall of fun-house mirrors, constantly reflecting back hideously distorted portrayals of what life is." Because as we all know, nobody in real life ever experiences anything truly awful. To suggest otherwise is distorting the truth, y'all.)

I was actually thinking of this exact attitude recently wrt the skirt clutching and fluttering over the ~inappropriate~ material in Holly Black's Modern Faerie Tale series, and in the reviews for a load of different YA books I was browsing. Basically what the argument comes down to is this: if you're a teen in a bad situation, if you're being abused, molested, or neglected; if you're poor and living in slums or trailer parks or on the streets with bums and addicts; if you're depressed, self-harming, if you have an eating disorder or any other serious mental illness; if you've made bad choices, if you're dealing with addictions and consequences and pain and misery; even if you're just an average kid who curses a lot and smokes pot and drinks and parties and has sex and sometimes acts like an obnoxious asshole - if you are any of these things, you aren't real. You don't get to have your own narrative. You don't get to be a hero, you don't get to have adventures. Heroes are good clean Christian folk, whitebread, middle class, and would never have the audacity to come face to face with the "ugly" parts of life, either by choice or otherwise. We don't want to hear about you of all people, we don't want to have to see you, read about you, think about you. You're just trash.

In our fiction, our proper fiction, you do not exist.

...Welp, I guess I did have something to say about that article, after all.

eta: Maureen Johnson apparently started a twitter hashtag in response: #YASaves

eta #2: THE SIDEBAR. I had not even fucking NOTICED the sidebar. A recommended reading list... divided into books that are "for young men" and "for young women." I CAN'T. I SERIOUSLY JUST CANNOT DEAL. MY FACE IS ON FIREEEEEE.



eisen: Maya (so shake the shame from it). (Default)
[personal profile] eisen wrote:
Jun. 5th, 2011 05:57 am (UTC)
branewurms: (Default)
[personal profile] branewurms wrote:
Jun. 5th, 2011 06:12 am (UTC)


Maureen Johnson apparently started a twitter hashtag in response.
schattenstern: Lillet Blan from GrimGrimoire, holding one of the titular books (Grimoire - Bookish)
[personal profile] schattenstern wrote:
Jun. 5th, 2011 07:35 am (UTC)
At least some good came out of this - the #YAsaves hashtag makes me so happy. So happy. ♥
branewurms: (Skip Beat - eternal fangirl)
[personal profile] branewurms wrote:
Jun. 5th, 2011 07:50 am (UTC)
Many of those tweets are quite heartwarming, yes. ♥
anenko: (Default)
[personal profile] anenko wrote:
Jun. 5th, 2011 08:19 am (UTC)
Isn't Old School YA fiction even more fucked up? There was a post on LJ a while back about YA fiction that left horrible mental scars on young readers; there was a lot of "and then the disfigured boy next door died," "and then the old man next door died," "and then the beloved dog died."
branewurms: (Default)
[personal profile] branewurms wrote:
Jun. 5th, 2011 10:46 pm (UTC)
I REMEMBER THAT. That was a post by Rachel Manija Brown, wasn't it? I think the difference is that most of those don't acknowledge things like intense abuse or rape, and they don't usually describe any violence in graphic detail, and they don't bring up any other ~icky~ impolite subjects - it's mostly just RANDOM TRAUMATIC DEATH. It's okay to traumatize your kids, it's just not okay to traumatize them with subjects you're not supposed to talk about in polite company. Also mind your language, young man/lady. Because we all know that the word "fuck" will warp a young mind FOREVER AND EVER.

Of course, even back in the "good old days" we had Lord of the Flies and the Brothers Grimm, so wtf?

Edited 2011-06-05 10:47 pm (UTC)
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[personal profile] firecat wrote:
Jun. 5th, 2011 08:25 am (UTC)
I wonder if those people have heard of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.
branewurms: (Default)
[personal profile] branewurms wrote:
Jun. 5th, 2011 10:48 pm (UTC)
inarticulate: Kohak from Tales of Hearts looking annoyed/dubious. (don't smoke the spirunes)
[personal profile] inarticulate wrote:
Jun. 5th, 2011 02:28 pm (UTC)
UGHHHH. I do like the response post that points out that the article is really more about a failure to properly train employees to help find books that the parent is looking for, but just… ugh. No. Just no, WSJ. None of the thoughtful and good to read is coming from them; it is all coming from external blogs.
[personal profile] foxfinial wrote:
Jun. 5th, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC)
THE SIDEBAR. I had not even fucking NOTICED the sidebar. A recommended reading list... divided into books that are "for young men" and "for young women." I CAN'T. I SERIOUSLY JUST CANNOT DEAL. MY FACE IS ON FIREEEEEE.

I am not clicking based on the rage-inducing fail of this alone.
branewurms: (Room of King - SPLAT)
[personal profile] branewurms wrote:
Jun. 5th, 2011 10:50 pm (UTC)
Paolo Bacigalupi, btw, is on the "for boys" list. HEAD ASPLODE
boundbooks: Zhang Ziyi (avatar: piandao thinks this is a disaste)
[personal profile] boundbooks wrote:
Jun. 5th, 2011 04:33 pm (UTC)
Ah, the WSJ. Your daily source for hide-bound conservatism.

Endless LOLZ over the True Grit description:

Here is a book about a tough young woman and her harsh girlhood. Boys should read it, because it is a heroic Western about toughness and it will teach them about being MEN and SUFFERING. Girls will like it too.

Edited 2011-06-05 04:34 pm (UTC)
glass_icarus: (saiyuki: makai tenjou)
[personal profile] glass_icarus wrote:
Jun. 5th, 2011 05:23 pm (UTC)
*hates everything*

silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
[personal profile] silveradept wrote:
Jun. 5th, 2011 09:58 pm (UTC)
Woof. And then the "no, we're not trying to ban books, we just think there should be good judgment exercised" that will make every librarian blow their top and shout expletives far worse than the ones mentioned in that article as the cherry on top.

Teenagers like books that reflect their lives. Perhaps instead of bemoaning dark books in YA, you should be taking a hard look at why all those dark books are so popular. I'll bet it's not because we like reveling in agonies.


branewurms: (Default)
[personal profile] branewurms

lim⋅i⋅nal ho⋅ri⋅zon

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