When You Read A Book, Baby Jesus Cries
I just…don’t get it. Maybe it’s because I’m not a parent, maybe it’s because I’m not particularly religious, but I think it’s mostly because I have a clear understanding that works of fiction are…works of fiction. As in make-believe. As in NOT REAL.
It’s the same old shit as when the Harry Potter series became immensely popular – people swearing up and down that J.K. Rowling was really just the devil disguised as a nice British lady who was plotting every day and night to devour the tender little souls of young Christians through a story that contained magical booger-flavored jellybeans. Bitch, please.
Avert your eyes! Clearly this adorable little boy wearing a fabulous cape is the devil’s handmaiden!
I think part of the problem is that the adults who are constantly whining about these “anti-religious” stories are simply not giving the kids who read them enough credit. Kids – especially those old enough to read Harry Potter or The Golden Compass – understand that these books are fiction. They also understand that these books are captivating, well-written and tell fascinating stories. But no, let’s discourage the kids from reading because the ADULTS are interpreting the books in a way that the kids never would, because adults suck and have far too much time to get upset over shit that doesn’t mean anything.
Kind of like I’m doing here. Ahem.
Seriously, though, what is everyone so afraid of? That a kid will read a book? That a kid will become involved in an interesting and provacative story that makes him or her – gasp! – think? Look – I was a pretty naive child, but at age 11 when I secretly began reading my Dad’s copy of The Shining (which I’m pretty sure would be classified as just a smidge inappropriate for my age group), I did not start using profanity or attempting to kill my wife with an axe. I understood that it was a story – granted, a much scarier one than your run-of-the-mill Sweet Valley High adventure – and if I took away anything from the experience, it was probably a few new vocabulary words. And the inability to fall asleep for about 3 weeks in a row.
I don’t think there is an adult on this earth who didn’t read or watch something that wasn’t exactly “age-appropriate” during their formative years. C’mon, admit it – you know you watched movies that would have made your mother pass out when you were sleeping over with a friend who had HBO. And you still turned out OK, right? I mean, I’d be willing to bet that most necrophiliacs don’t blame their behavior on that one time they watched “Weekend at Bernie’s” in junior high, and none of my friends who passed around a well-worn copy of Flowers in the Attic ended up crushing on their brothers. I probably watched “Pretty Woman” about 15 times during 7th grade alone, and wouldn’t you know it – I still haven’t become a hooker with a heart of gold.
Although I do wear those boots to work from time to time.
I’m not saying people should let their 12-year-old girls watch “Sex & The City,” or celebrate their son’s bar mitzvah by letting him spend one [amazing] hour with a prostitute, but I do think the adults of this world need to CHILL THE FUCK OUT when it comes to stories like Harry Potter and The Golden Compass. I mean, shit, I’d rather my kid be exposed to a few little imaginary magic spells than bring that “High School Musical” horseshit into my house.
I fear that we, as a society, will not survive this.
Entry filed under: Taste my Backhand.