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filling the void

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Childrens' books are for kids

When I was a kid, the stories we were told were things composed by people like H.C. Andersen or the Brothers Grimm. In our story, there was always a vile and wicked antagonist and a heroic, albeit not always smart, protagonist. There was always some form of monster under the bridge that would devour you for one reason or another.
The tales that kids are exposed to today feature nothing of the harshness and cruelty that we were brought up with. Sure, there might be a dragon or two, but there's always a comic punchline. Fairy tales don't scare kids anymore, and I foresee that becoming a problem when they grow up.
I think that if kids are not taught, in one way or another, that there are bad things out there in the world that can hurt them, then they might go out in life wearing nothing but the emperors clothes worth of mental protection, and when they actually encounter the harsh reality that is this foul year of our lord 2007, they will be in for a rude awakening.
Note that this is not the same thing as teaching kids that bad acts do not have any consequences (that me and my roommate have several discussions about, and can never agree on), but rather that bad things can happen to (supposedly) good people.

Their only saving grace is that people today can't refrain for beating the fuck out of each other and killing each other in the name of something or other (most often religion). I realize that the generation before mine raised their kids with the TV as the babysitter, but watching howdy doody and the CNN coverage from Iraq are two very different things. Maybe the horrors of the real world can teach the kids that there are things to be afraid of when they finally leave the nest, but you have to get them to watch the news first, and last time I checked, MTV did not broadcast the uncut video of the hanging of Saddam Husein.

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