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Please close the door and switch on the fun without fail.

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Days since YA controversy: 0
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cleolinda
Internets, I may or may not go see X-Men today, so in the limited amount of time I have, I will simply give you a (a, not the) Twitter-reaction round-up to the Wall Street Journal article about how YA is bad and it should feel bad ("It was all vampires and suicide and self-mutilation, this dark, dark stuff"). I don't feel like I really have to take it apart sentence by sentence, because it is so incredibly, self-evidently wrong in its wrongness to anyone who has actually read YA books.

@maureenjohnson: The Wall Street Journal has done it again. I am going to have some kind of an episode. *quivers* http://on.wsj.com/lwuPNd

@maureenjohnson: Just curious, @wsj, do you have some kind of WRITTEN POLICY that you will only let idiots write about YA? Is it, like, a THING?


[As an aside, I just now had this conversation:

@annejumps: Meghan Cox Gurdon wrote that WSJ article about YA lit I've been seeing discussion about.

@cleolinda: I don't know anything about her?

@annejumps: She's a right-wing nut who once was dubbed America's Worst Mother in the halcyon days of 2004. I saw the byline and was like, Oh

@Salome: Meghan Cox Gurdon has made a career boasting of being a terrible mother. So it's no surprise that she wouldn't allow her children to read.

@cleolinda: BOASTING?

@Salome: How do you get a baby to sleep during the night? "...break the poppet's spirit."

@cleolinda: Is... is that an actual quote?

Yeah... it is.]


@maureenjohnson: I guess the @wsj thought what we needed was another fear-mongering non-reader to let us know what teens and readers REALLY need. Thanks!

@lilithsaintcrow: I find it interesting that the @wsj piece on YA fiction doesn't't have a quote from a single young reader.

@DreamingReviews: @maureenjohnson Do you perchance know of a way we can email @wsj or the writer about those problems? As a teen, I find it degrading.



@particle_person: Also that argument that it's up to adults to determine their children's tastes is just repellant.

@cleolinda: @particle_person Do people just really not remember at all what it was like to be a kid? Because kids are surprisingly knowledgeable.

@cleolinda: @particle_person They don't take off their baby bonnets on graduation day, for God's sake.

@cleolinda: Pretty much exactly. RT @sesmithwrites: @cleolinda Oh gosh, is the WSJ concerntrolling for page views again?

@particle_person: @cleolinda Hah, now I want a New Yorker cartoon: "Our page views are down this month, Bob. Time to write about YA again."

@cleolinda: @particle_person "We got anyone around here who flunked J-school?"

@keristars: @cleolinda Also, the gender-segregation of the titles. I knew lots of boys who *loved* A Tree Grows in Brooklyn in 9th grade.

@admiral_ryn: @cleolinda Things like that article make me wonder what peeps think about my daughter getting Bram Stoker for her b-day.

@cleolinda: Makes me wonder what they'd think of my 6th class reading a Dracula excerpt for our reading speed test. ~THINK OF THE CHILDREN~

@cleolinda: 6th GRADE class, rather. That's right: tender 11-year-olds were subjected to Lucy getting bitten FOR CLASS.

@cleolinda: Clearly this is why the world is going to hell as we speak. Eleven-year-olds are allowed to READ THINGS.

@fullofstars: @cleolinda Or reading The Lottery in 8th grade, it was in one of those reading skills textbooks.

@cleolinda: @fullofstars Absolutely, we did too. And "A Rose for Emily."

And I'm pretty sure both those stories are still taught in schools to this day. And the teachers do point out what the end of the latter means, because otherwise, it doesn't make any sense. Enjoy your necrophilia, kids!



@maureenjohnson: This has happened before, @wsj. You don't seek out knowledgable writers for these articles. These articles do damage.

@maureenjohnson: What non-readers don't get: READING SAVES LIVES, EVERY DAY. I mean that quite literally. @wsj

@maureenjohnson: Did YA help you? Let the world know how! Tell your story with a #YAsaves tag. And copy the @wsj for good measure.

(Many replies involve commenters saying that YA books were their only lifeline when they were alone, abused, depressed, harming themselves, afraid to come out, and/or considering suicide. The last thing I heard was that there was something like 10,000 responses with that tag.)

@neilhimself: I get letters from readers - 2 or 3 every month - telling me how my books got them through hell. & the Teens have the worst hells. #YAsaves

@libbabray: ...from @elockhart - "I have a responsibility to my readers to tell the truth. I'm writing for your kids, not for you." 

(Libba Bray then goes on to talk at length about the wrongheadedness of the WSJ piece.

@ColleenLindsay: Comments on that @WSJ YA piece is hilarious. WItness this guy who thinks Ayn Rand will save our kids from trashy YA http://on.wsj.com/kctOKS  

@JackieKessler My response to the WSJ article that mentions [my book] RAGE: http://bit.ly/mUc6wr/ #YAsaves

@ZMarriott: The Zoë-Trope: RESPONDING TO THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ARTICLE (in which I get my RANT on) thezoe-trope.blogspot.com/2011/06/respon… 

@maureenjohnson: Basically, @wsj...and I am not being snide, I'm being literal...this article is so poor, kids from around the country are laughing at it.

@SaundraMitchell: Dear @wsj, #yasaves http://twitpic.com/57dl97  


Dear @wsj, #yasaves on Twitpic


[Regarding the picture:] @neilhimself: What books do to young minds (& old, if we are lucky).

@eruanna317: What I love about that pic is that if the kid can show enough others what he's seen, eventually they'll pull down that wall


And finally:

@wsj: What young-adult fiction means to you: a selection of touching #YAsaves tweets http://bit.ly/myZFgt (Scroll with arrow keys.)

Yeah, that was the least you could do.  



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From the Ayn Rand fan's comment: If you inculcate in young children the belief that human beings are creatures of depravity and bestiality, then, when they become young adults, you will have little trouble convincing them of the necessity of an “overseer” society wherein an elite class is given absolute authority to control and curb the base instincts of our “wretched” species.

Funny, that's what I took away from reading The Fountainhead: Rand thought that people are mostly dumb and only the super-special elites should be running things.

I keep telling myself that I really need to sit down and actually read The Fountainhead, if only because I don't like poking fun at things I haven't read or experienced if I can help it, and I'm on ontd_political all the time so I feel like I should. Then I remember this is probably not going to be like when I forced myself to read the Twilight books and kept having to put them aside and giggle hysterically every time I read something ridiculous that any decent editor should have said something about.

There are two good reasons to choke down at least one Rand novel: first, you're then in a much better position to recognize and/or argue against Objectivist positions; second, playing Bioshock becomes infinitely more entertaining.

(Deleted comment)
If it benefits you personally--and if all you care about is your own personal benefit--it's dandy. That in turn is frequently a red flag. I forgot one other useful reason to be familiar with at least one of Rand's novels: it's a super-useful screening mechanism on dating sites. Someone (usually a guy) says s/he likes Ayn Rand? RUN.

(Deleted comment)
If anything the point of Bioshock is that it not only doesn't work, but will hurt everyone who's involved and even people who aren't involved.

Yep. Also, single-minded self-improvement is not always what it's cracked up to be.

Rules exist for a reason.

Also too many fetch quests make the player snap.

I've always found it to be poetic justice that Ayn Rand died alone, while receiving Social Security and Medicare benefits.

This. Also ask Objectivist anyone how they expect to get their children educated/brought up at all. Who takes care of the little buggers? It's how I cut them all off at the knees.

*warm fuzzies*

Aha! That is where I recognize you from!

And even if you do not want children to read 'dark' fiction - how hard is it to find lighter stuff? I could find it as a child, and so could my friends - and that meant extra language issues!

Sounds like laziness to me.

Yeah, pretty much, though I'm hardly shocked that a Rand diehard would twist her stories to something that is pretty much the exact opposite of what she said to justify whatever they want.

...Although I happened to think her "heroes" came across as a bit more depraved than her villains.

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