The Kitten Smells Like Cookies


I mentioned recently that I am taking a YA Literature course. I am also taking a French course and a Philosophy of Science course. French is a little bit aggravating because I have to film video chats with my class mates, occasionally, and part of what I look for in online courses is the ability to avoid human interaction. So far the Philosophy of Science class has been the most accommodating in that regard, and it's the one class I am actually taking on campus.

But my YA Lit class is so far the best, because I am having to read YA again. And when I say the best, I mean it's incredibly easy (so far) and incredibly obnoxious- because YA literature is inherently obnoxious...because teenagers are inherently obnoxious. I am mortified by the things I did when I was young. I will probably be forever mortified by the ridiculousness of my past self, as it is often the human condition, but I think the inane ramblings of my teen years are the worst.

In some aspects I was fresh and full of ideas. On a larger scale, most of those ideas were impractical or just bad. So, I can see how capturing that tumultuous age when we all feel simultaneously invincible and very fragile would be a difficult thing to do with grace. It's not a graceful period of being. But it's almost never done right... I see this now. As I am having to read John Green. Who I believe is the gateway to reading Nicholas Sparks. Who in his own way probably assisted in creating people who "read" E.L. James- which can only be called an exercise in reducing literacy. When you are processing the characters that are bunched together on the pages of an E.L. James book you are actively making yourself less literate. So, John Green is a gateway drug to illiteracy. John Green makes people vapid and illiterate while sexualizing young girls. But don't we all?

This blog is definitely making you illiterate.

Anyway- I am having to read John Green and reread The Perks of Being a Wallflower (which I very much enjoyed in my youth, and am realizing probably shapes the way I write) and I have discovered the great flaw in YA literature. We are not all dorks with secret hidden talents and depth that deserve to get the girl. We're not all old souls. With any luck, yes, my part as a youth will be played in my eventual biography by someone that looks like a Jonas Brother- but that's not the way all teenagers evolve. There's so much more awkwardness, experimental clothing choices, and a complete disregard for hobbies that might make you interesting. Because the bulk of 14 to 18 year-olds are so self absorbed they don't realize to what extent they are very very boring creatures.

So, while a lot of these stories features sad weirdos, they always have a saving grace. And while they often face some tragedy that makes them take a hard look at the path they chose, things typically end up okay. I don't remember reading a lot of tragedies as a teenager that were not classics. Classics didn't care to package the world in a way that made things seem hopeful. The Russians were gritty and raw. They weren't afraid to make you come to terms with the way you create suffering in the world. With the way you would eventually lead to your own demise.

YA is the sugary soda of literature. It's so sweet and easy to drink but undoubtedly it is giving you cancer.

It's fun revisiting this.

In my next couple of blogs- as I gear up for the Fall Premieres- I am going to discuss my family and friends.
I have been doing much more creative work on a daily basis and I think I am getting closer, again, to being able to write a pilot or a webseries. The focus of most of my work will probably be the people around me for the foreseeable future, so I think I'm going to go into greater detail about how we interact and who they are. I'm torn between using aliases, because in a script I probably won't use their names anyway, but I am not sure. We'll see next time!

On a side note- The Mindy Project started following me on Twitter today and I completely lost my cool. This is probably the highest point of my career in comedy and I am almost definitely sure they did it just so I would follow them back. Damn you clever targeted advertisers!! Still, I am going to take this as a degree of separation from basically being Mindy Kaling's best friend and her tacit approval that I am doing a good job. I love you, too, Mindy.



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