Millennials are the “ME ME ME GENERATION,” writes Joel Stein for Time magazine’s new cover story out today — which makes him only the latest culture writer in the last century or so to declare the youth self-obsessed little monsters.
We’ve all seen the theories, repeated and twisted ad nauseum to fit nearly every children’s show. Angelica dreamed up the other Rugrats. Even the humans at Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends were imaginary. The events that took place in Codename: Kids Next Door were just kids playing make believe. Phineas and Ferb exist only in Candace’s head. Ash Ketchum was just in a coma. Harry Potter dreamed Hogwarts because he couldn’t handle his abuse by the Dursleys. And on and on and on.
There seems to be a compulsion among young teens and adults to reclaim these shows for themselves, and for them, that means placing these stories within a tragic context that better fits their worldview, a paradigm in which optimistic stories centered around children could not possibly, believably exist in the real world. When these theories crop up, they go viral, usually with accompanying comments uttered in reverent tones along the lines of “I can never look at this show the same way again,” as if the theory has pulled back the curtain and revealed The Truth about an innocent show that many internet users enjoyed as children. In other words, the theory becomes more valid than the text or the show itself. We substitute the humor, the hope, and the ideology of children’s fiction with run-of-the-mill “it was all a dream” psychological horror, and by doing so, we throw a giant middle finger to the critically important messages these shows convey.
The whimsical tone of Rugrats centered around kids who never quite understood the adult world; they misconstrued words and events and spun their own ideas out of them, and it was a better world, simply because we as the audience were allowed to look at mundane adult things like taxes and car washes in fresh, ultrapositive ways. Phineas and Ferb is a joyously optimistic show about the power of invention and creativity, a world in which children are never asked to hold themselves back and are never cruel to one another. So many fantasy series allow us to find an essential truth of human experience, that hope and friendship and good will can overcome darkness, by showing us a world we can’t always see but is always there, just as Hogwarts is hidden from our Muggle eyes. These stories are equally as valid, if not more so, than our “adult” stories that show the world as a more brutal place. They can both be true, but stories only have the power that we assign to them. If we continue to insist that positive, hopeful stories are unbelievable, then we create a world in which those stories lose their power, and our world reflects that change.
The stories we tell children shape our future. There’s a reason we need those happy endings, and it’s not because children are too weak to handle the “truth” about the world. It’s because we as a society need to be reminded that kindness and hope have power. Children need stories that allow them to be heroes, that value their insight, their ideas, and their narratives. We need stories that empower, not stories that dwindle away into hopeless cynicism. We do not need to insist that fictional stories cannot exist on their own terms, that even fantasy worlds must be fantasies within their own story. It’s backwards, it’s hopeless, it’s wrong-headed. These stories aren’t yours to claim. They aren’t yours to “correct.” These stories belong to children, and thankfully, they’re stories full of more hope and power than anything the internet could ever come up with. Why would you ever try to tear them down?
Here’s the thing about shipping (particularly in the One Direction fandom)
Disclaimer: even though I don’t ship everything, I am totally cool with people shipping whatever they want as long as they’re not pieces of shit about it
You are insisting that the University of Texas at Austin denied your application for undergraduate admission because they were required to fulfill a federal diversity quota, which subjected you to bias. In blaming affirmative action for that denial letter, you are disregarding your responsibility as a college applicant. It is much easier to fault affirmative action than to hold up a mirror and see that you just weren’t qualified.
You told The New York Times that attending UT had been your dream since the second grade, so before submitting an application, you had to be aware of the admissions requirements. You knew that the institution automatically accepts the top 10 percentile from every high school in Texas and that the average SAT score is in the 1200s. It is common knowledge that UT is one of the most prestigious institutions in the United States, so it is challenging to be gain admission.
Before securing those letters of recommendation and forking over that expensive application fee, you knew that despite your legacy as the child of UT graduates, a spot on the coveted honor roll and a lifelong affair with the cello that admission wasn’t guaranteed.
In blaming affirmative action for that denial letter, you have failed to mention that you graduated number 82 in a class of 674 with a 3.59 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, which alienated you from the automatic admissions bunch. You conveniently omit that you scored an 1180 on your SAT, which is way below UT’s average, so that automatically diminished your chances of being accepted.
You suffer from selective amnesia, Abigail. You are aware that the University of Texas at Austin uses two indexes, the Academic and the Personal Achievement, to determine admission for students. You know that the Academic Index combines grades and standardized test scores while the Personal Achievement Index considers the submitted essays along with extracurricular activities and special circumstance (which can include race). You have been told that these two scores are combined and plotted on a graph and that everyone above a certain combined score is admitted while everyone below is rejected.
This leads to one conclusion: Affirmative action is not the issue. Now, before you attempt to bash me as another black woman benefiting from federal mandates, let me clarify: I scored a 1680 on the SAT and I was accepted into every undergraduate institution that I applied to. I graduated from Bennett College Summa Cum Laude and valedictorian with a 4.0 grade point average and I’m on a full ride merit-based fellowship for graduate school.
From academic to academic, it’s time to wake up and smell the ashes Abigail. You were not accepted into the University of Texas at Austin because you’re white. You were not qualified. But of course because African-Americans students were chosen for admittance and you were not, it must be reverse racism in the form of affirmative action.
I’ve seen this time and time again. It is owed to the prevalence of white privilege, which leads to unwarranted entitlement. You do know what white privilege is, right?"
as much as I love Harry Potter I will always hate that the fact that love potions are basically date rape drugs is never acknowledged in the books
like Dumbledore asumes Merope gave Tom Riddle a love potion (and that’s probably what she did because Dumbledore’s guesses are always what actually happened l b r) and Harry, upon hearing this, doesn’t bat an eyelid. He’s horrified when he learns that Merope didn’t fight for her life even though she had a son (and that’s understandable because Harry’s own mother died for him, and that’s why he hates it when parents don’t make an effort to stay with their children; another fact to support this is how he lashes out at Lupin when he tells him he’s willing to leave his son to go search for the Horcruxes with him- I’m not saying his reaction was rational, but it’s understandable) but he never thinks “wow, Merope drugged a man and then had sex with him while he was under the influence of said drug, that’s super fucked up”. And it is. It’s rape. I know Merope’s father was really fucking terrible and constantly berated her and physically abused her. I know that she stopped drugging him probably hoping against all hope that he’d fallen in love with her- doesn’t justify what she did at ALL.
Furthermore, Romilda Vane attempted to give Harry a love potion to force him to ask her to come to one of Slughorn’s parties with him (Ron ends up eating the chocolates but Harry was the original target). He doesn’t give much thought to this but what she wants to do is absolutely terrifying. When Hermione warns Harry she mentions that she’d heard SIX girls in the bathroom discussing what was the best way to drug Harry. This is fucked up shit. If a dude drugged me and then we went to a party together and he attempted to kiss me (and lbr Romilda would have done something of the sort) or maybe even something more, I would feel absolutely violated and horrified when I regained ‘consciousness’. And I would have every right to feel that way. Drugging someone is NOT okay. When Ron is drugged (especially in the movie) it’s supposed to be a funny moment but when you think about it, it really isn’t. It isn’t.
It just bothers me that there’s not one instance in the books when someone says “you know what? love potions are fucking terrifying and wrong and no one should be using them like EVER”. The closest we get to that is when Slughorn says “Amortentia doesn’t really create love, of course. It is impossible to manufacture or imitate love. No, this will simply cause a powerful infatuation or obsession… When you have seen as much of life as I have, you will not underestimate the power of obsessive love.” He assures them it’s the most dangerous and powerful potion in the room. He’s absolutely right, but it’s not enough of an explanation for me. I read HBP when I was 13 years old. It’s still my favourite HP book until this day, and that’s why it hurts to criticise it, but people need to be aware. I, very much like Harry, didn’t bat an eyelid either when I read Merope’s story. The word “rape” never went through my mind. I understand this is a children’s book and this is a sensitive topic, but it’s exactly why JK should have been even MORE careful. I repeat, we’re NEVER told that what Merope did was horrible, or as horrible as it actually was. Even more, we’re supposed to feel bad for her. This is what Dumbledore tells Harry: “Yes, Merope Riddle chose death in spite of a son who needed her, but do not judge her too harshly, Harry. She was greatly weakened by long suffering and she never had your mother’s courage”.
The fact that Fred and George sell these drugs make me sad because I love them both and I want to believe that they really didn’t realise what they were doing and the real power of the potions they were selling.
I am not trying to insult Harry Potter. I LOVE HARRY POTTER. But this is wrong.
oops, not sorry
WAIT A SECOND.
This is —
fandom is like an ecosystem that lives under a rock and mainstream journalism about fandom is like someone picking up that rock and shining a flashlight while everything under it curls up in mortification and tries to hide from the light.
most accurate description ever.
robert pattinson did not write the “date a girl who reads” quote
- robert pattinson said the one thing he cannot live without is beer
- robert pattinson quotes bump ‘n grind by r kelly in just about every interview
- robert pattinson said, if given the chance to be invisible for a day, he would like to get extremely drunk and pass out in the gutter
- robert pattinson said an elephant is a resourceful animal because it can also be used as a roof
robert pattinson did not write the “date a girl who reads” quote