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You know it's the first week back at school when you feel like yelling at books. That...that made more sense in my head? Well, maybe you're just generally not the happiest and yelling at everything? Or since you're at school, you're sick of being around so many books?

I don't know. Anyway...

As far as I can tell every written story about a person who's quieter than most and happens to be more comfortable expressing their feelings online than to someone's face follows this formula:

"Their parents were right. There was something wrong with them. But now they've been fixed, they made "real" friends and have a social life and everyone likes them, because there was clear evidence that everyone actually hated them the clearly dysfunctional way they were! And they even have a nice significant other now and GASP! THEY LOST THEIR VIRGINITY! ALL 16-YEAR-OLDS HAVE TO DO THAT!"
I feel bad refusing to read the last part of my new book, but I won't be able to do it without cringing every 10 minutes.

Here's a summary of the first chapter: Younger, un-favorite sibling. Perfectly nice. Seems fairly smart. Not athletic and keeps to himself. Actually writes in a witty blog online when his parents think he's just using Facebook. Called "spineless" by his father, used to be beat up by his athlete brother regularly, (who also tells him online friends aren't real friends), his family in general treats him like he never leaves the house and interacts with human beings, and his mom ends up sending him to a camp that helps kids who spend too much time online "really live." And apparently his job at the library doesn't count as getting out of the house to her, because that's just not what normal teenagers do.

Well, gosh! He sure isn't pleased to be at this camp, and doesn't seem to realize that his way of life is a sickness of the mind! Will the counselors get through to him and teach him how to live his life in the proper, mandatorily-extroverted way? If it works for "straight camps", it sure as heck ought to work here, that's what they say!

Skimmed it and skipped to the end. He gets a girlfriend. That's nice, nothing wrong with that. He is amazed by the interactions he has with her. I'm sure he makes some non-imaginary friends too. At the end, he talks about how he might not leave his bag on the seat next to him on the bus, so someone might sit next to him, or listen to his iPod less so he can talk to people. That sounds perfectly good, too, but it's clear the ultimate turnout is "Look, he's fixed! He works like a normal human being now!" Is it seriously impossible to just write a normal story about someone whose life is slightly different than the majority's without trying to "change" them? We're not sociopathic hermits, for crying out loud. We're people. Normal young people who spend our lives and make friends in different ways, and contrary to popular belief, generally don't spend our time sadly wishing we were extremely popular, loved by everyone around us, and better than we supposedly are.

Oh, also, his parents were apparently popular and loved by the entire school. As is his brother. And they JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND why he isn't having people cheer his name at sports games. But he's fixed now. No worries!

I'd vouch for this to be considered a form of discrimination. Just saying. Now back to my imaginary friends.

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
hermione_vader
Jan. 7th, 2011 04:57 am (UTC)
Hi, imaginary friend! *waves* Hey, what if we're both imaginary? ...*brain explodes*


it's clear the ultimate turnout is "Look, he's fixed! He works like a normal human being now!"

Wow. Introverts are eeeevil. Basically: ick. I think this book may have been written by a member of an older generation (like the Baby Boomers), who don't understand that maybe the Internet has opened up a new way of being social. I know that at one point, my Baby Boomer mother told me that my online interactions were hideously antisocial, but I think she has accepted them now. Also, someone should tell this author that these eeeevil introverts form networks with people all over the world.

Oh, and according to the issue of Mental Floss in front of me, the following people qualify as introverts (according to the Myers-Briggs classifications): William Shakespeare, Emily Bronte, Mother Teresa, Thomas Jefferson, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Michael Jordan, Queen Elizabeth II, Carl Jung, and Condoleezza Rice. And of course, these people contributed nothing of importance to Western society, history, or pop culture. No, siree.

Normal young people who spend our lives and make friends in different ways, and contrary to popular belief, generally don't spend our time sadly wishing we were extremely popular, loved by everyone around us, and better than we supposedly are.

THIS. FOREVER. You know how some "grown-ups" believe that all young people want lives like those in 90210 or Gossip Girl? I think that's what they want us to want, and if we don't, we're just bizarre.

I'd vouch for this to be considered a form of discrimination. Just saying.

It probably is, but it doesn't involve skin color, physical ability, or sexuality; therefore it can't be "legitimate." Or so some might say.

Sorry, this sort of thinking just really irks me.
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