I wonder sometimes if I write this blog a little too formally. If it comes across as lofty. I do have reasons to write the way I do, the main one is it’s how I write naturally and I feel comfortable using that style.
The reason my style is the way it is is because I spent my childhood (like it was so long ago, I know,) reading Classics. As a homeschooler, with a small social life, and no television, books were the best form of entertainment. Though I spent plenty of time doing other things mind you. Since I was immersed in the language of these books I picked up phrases, some slangy. I’ve got to be one of the only people who ever used bad grammar because of a book. That’s where I learned the word “Ain’t.” My parents never use it.
So, that said. I developed a love for books at a young age. And I particularly like fantasy.
Classical Fantasy, a. k. a. fairytales.
Surprisingly, I’ve never been a huge fan of traditional fairytales since I was nine or ten, to my memory. But I like retellings, and books written in the style of fairytales. I also prefer other types of fiction, nine times out of ten, to any nonfiction. My reasons are simple, I can retain more from a story, and it is much more fun.
I have been sharing my problems with the amount of darkness contained in a lot of modern fiction, in my recent posts. (A little disclaimer: I did not come up with the terms bent, and broken, for books. They are from “A Thomas Jefferson Education.” DeMille and Woodward.)
Since I’ve listed the problems I have with these types of books, I thought I had better give some positives in favor of others.
You may wonder why I’m bothering to write this much about reading when I usually tackle larger subjects. But in my book (haha) this is large. Which is actually part of my point.
Let’s start with the criticism levelled at reading only Whole or Healing books. (More terms from the book I named above.) Usually, these books have happy endings. Often if they are children’s books, they are not very suspenseful, and they have no in depth look at evil. This is perfectly fine for children, but teens often despise such ooey-gooey, sappy stuff.
A common complaint it that these stories (movies included) are not realistic.
But I would throw back this reasoning in its own face because these same people will defend watching horror movies or reading those works with the words “I know it’s not real.” Or “It doesn’t affect me.” We find then, that their logic is faulty. If they really intended to watch realistic stuff, they would watch no fiction at all; and they would not read it.
But if you are like me and believe that real or not, what you see affects you, then it is easy to defend my watching habits. (It may very well be true of the Romance genre that it is unrealistic, and I personally despise most of the modern romance novels and chick flicks.) Unfortunately, any movie more focused on heart than action can now be labeled a chick-flick. Therefore, it is unreal.
To bring all this to head, that itself is my concern. The Heart is being more and more ignored in entertainment.
Young authors and young readers have grown up not understanding this concept. They are used to everything being mental. They are used to deranged villains, and heroes with some mental issues of their own. They are used to meeting people who are bipolar and not big on reason. Perhaps it is no wonder that they don’t set too much stock on reasoning.
This is where Classics come in. They rely on reason. It used to be a precedent. If your book made no sense, it wasn’t hailed as worthy of serious reading. Writing a story without reason would be unthinkable. Not that it didn’t happen, but those books are long forgotten, whilst the Classics still remain. And if you’ll pardon my saying so, in a less stupid culture, the Classics would still remain a priority.
See, I meet kids all the time who don’t know how to judge a book by anything but its cover. Literally. They don’t know how to tell whether something is good or not. Their parents imagine them to be better off, because they are more easily contented.
Like in the Disney Atlantis, when Kida argues with her father about the people and their lack of knowledge. “A thousand years ago,” she says passionately “Our people did not have to scavenge for food in the streets.” “They are content” he replies. “They do not know any better.” She retorts. Later Kida informs Milo Thatch that the people do not thrive, though they exist in peace, their culture is dying.
And if not for Milo teaching them how to operate their technology again, they would have indeed died. In the end, their ignorance was more dangerous to them than their knowledge had been.
See, a really good parent wants their children to have the best life they can have. A good human being wants their fellow human beings to have the best life they can have. We still honor people who try to bring that about. We are not so far gone that we do not even give a nod to such efforts.
But we are delusional if we think our children can grow up content with Cartoon Network and Mind Craft and still have the best lives possible. Frankly, we are mildly insane if we think our teens can watch horror and read trash and still have a positive outlook on life.
I stand by the Classics. They taught me what I could expect out of life. The good and the bad. They taught me that both things must be handled the right way if you wish to stay on the right track.
It is more realistic to admit our entertainment has taken a downward dive than to pretend it is harmless or even helpful.
As always, my charge to you is to think it over and then act. Until next time–Natasha.