The good folks at Marvel.com asked me a bunch of questions about Wolverine: Worst Day Ever. And I answered. In exhaustive detail. I pity poor Kiel Phegley, who had to transcribe my jabber…
You may have heard the legend of “Szechwan Panda,” the short story created in round robin improv style by ten YA authors who didn’t know any better at the time.
Now you can read it. And you can watch its creation.
Be warned: This is not for the faint of heart.
Sometimes all you have to do to set me off is be a clueless asshat.
In West Bend, Wisconsin, some jackasses are attacking the local public library because there are books in the YA section that discuss homosexuality, but none of them represent the “anti-gay” or “faith-based, ex-gay” viewpoint.
Check out the video below. (It’s long and it kicks off at two minutes in. If you watch it for about five minutes, you’ll find yourself enraged. See if you can make it through all the way!)
Never before have you seen such vile, putrescent notions communicated in the avuncular tones of a kindly grandfather. The anchor looks like a Mr. Rogers clone. Only this one was modified to spew hateful broadsides, all while nodding gently.
There are so many things wrong about this video that it boggles the mind: The idea that homosexuality is aberrant. The idea that teens are “kids” who need to be looked after and coddled by clueless adults, lest the very notion of homosexuality somehow poison them. The idea that a faith-based, “ex-gay” narrative is worth the paper it’s printed on. The idea that only “wholesome” material should be available to teens.
My favorite bit is when anchor Vic Eliason scans a list of basic descriptions of books like Hero and Naomi and Ely’s No-Kiss List and comments that the mere book descriptions would “make you blush.” Then he proceeds to read them, and let me tell you — there is nothing blush-worthy in the descriptions. After reading through many of them, he stops, worried about “polluting” the minds of his viewers.
What we have here is, once again, a collection of “well-meaning” parents and self-appointed arbiters of morality displaying their woeful ignorance and general inability to see the world that exists outside their own narrow scope. So afraid are they that a kid might learn that there are — gasp! horrors! — gay people in the world who are actually well-adjusted, happy, and content that they feel the need to impose bullshit “faith-based, ex-gay” narratives on the community.
I wonder if these same people also feel that for every book in which, say, a firearm is treated with respect that there should be a book explaining the dangers of guns. That for every book glorifying war there should be a book explaining its horrors. That for every single book that dares to explicate on the wonders of heterosexual marriage there must be a book that decries the institution.
I bet not. Vic constantly chirps “fair and balanced!” Yeah, right.
These people give Christians a bad name. They give faith a bad name.
Vic Eliason and channel 30 should be ashamed of themselves. It is incumbent upon a free press to educate the public, not to demagogue issues and, furthermore, stir up fear and unease. It’s not the job of Vic Eliason to lead us bravely back to the 1950s, when — as he rhapsodizes — sex was kept “in the closet [pun intended? who knows?]” and “in the bedroom.” He also — quite hilariously — warns his readers that if homosexuality became the “normal lifestyle” that the planet would be “pretty empty” in a generation.
I’m not making this stuff up.
Wake up and smell the reality, Vic. This is the real world.
Eliason dredges up tawdry old bull about “the gay lifestyle” leading to early death. He all but calls for attacks on the librarians who make the selection decision for the library, noting that once a book is on the shelves, it almost never leaves. So maybe, he wonders, we should be asking who decides what books go on the shelves in the first place.
Sounds like a not-so-veiled threat to me. Sounds like same-old, same-old.
Man. Now I need to go take some blood pressure meds because I am BOILING.
(To see the comment thread from the old barrylyga.com, click here. If you want to add to the conversation, use the comment form below.)
OK, I think I’m probably the last teen author in the world to post this news, but… here it is!
Monday, 3/16, 4-6pm, Tompkins Square Park branch of the NYPL, 331 E. 10th Street
Join Holly Black, Alaya Johnson, Justine Larbalestier, David Levithan, Diana Peterfruend, Scott Westerfeld as they read some of their (ahem) less accomplished work from their middle school and high school years. Hosted by Libba Bray.
I Have Seen the Future…and It Sounds Like This
Wednesday, 3/18, Mulberry Street Branch of the NYPL (address)
Teen authors are notoriously stingy about reading from their works-in-progress. But for Guest of Honor Joe Monti, authors Libba Bray, Rachel Cohn, Eireann Corrigan, Justine Larbalestier, Barry Lyga, and Scott Westerfeld are willing to share a little bit from their future books. Hosted by David Levithan.
The Five-Borough Read
BROOKLYN: Central Library, Dweck Center, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn
BRONX: Bronx Library Center, 310 E. Kingsbridge Road, Bronx
MANHATTAN: Countee Cullen Branch, 104 W 136th St
Matt de la Pena
MANHATTAN: Jefferson Market Branch, 425 Avenue of the Americas
MANHATTAN: Webster Branch, 1465 York Avenue
Lisa Ann Sandell
Cecily Von Ziegesar
QUEENS: Far Rockaway Branch, 2002 Cornaga Ave, Queens
STATEN ISLAND: St. George Library Center, 5 Central Avenue
Rock Out with TIGER BEAT!
Thursday, 3/19, 6pm at Books of Wonder
By day, Libba Bray, Daniel Ehrenhaft, Barney Miller, and Natalie Standiford are upstanding authors. But by night, they turn into … TIGER BEAT, the first ever YA author rock band. Tonight is their debut public performance … and it’s sure to go down in legend.
With opening act The Infinite Playlists (Rachel Cohn and David Levithan reading a litany of musical references, but mercifully not singing).
I Love You, New York: Teen Lit in the City
Friday, 3/20, 6pm, NYPL, 42nd Street, Court Room
Join authors Coe Booth, Paul Griffin, Maureen Johnson, David Levithan, Cecily von Ziegesar, and Rita Williams-Garcia in a spirited reading and discussion about teen novels set in New York City – from the glamour of the gossip girls to the grit of the Bronx projects, from the everyday battles of the high school halls to the extraordinary events of 9/11.
Stuff for the Teen Age Ceremony
Saturday, 3/21, 1pm, NYPL, 42nd Street, Celeste Bartos Forum
This new list only has the best of the best, and includes books, music, movies, and video games. Featuring a keynote by Walter Dean Myers
Teen Authors Celebrate Teen Readers
Sunday, 3/22, NYPL, 42nd Street, Trustees Room, 1pm
Over a dozen authors salute teen readers and teen advisory board members from around the city, including Blake Nelson, reading from his upcoming novel Destroy All Cars.
The Biggest Teen Author Signing EVER
Sunday, 3/22, Books of Wonder, 4pm
Join over 40 authors for a signing extravaganza as they take over Books of Wonder, sign books, and converse with fans new and old. An incredible event that is sure to go down in book-signing history.
Matt de la Pena
Lisa Ann Sandell
David Van Etten
Adrienne Maria Vrettos
Cecily von Ziegesar