snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Non-UL Chat > Amusement Bark

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12 May 2016, 04:50 PM
TallGeekyGirl's Avatar
TallGeekyGirl TallGeekyGirl is offline
 
Join Date: 31 December 2005
Location: Virginia
Posts: 11,821
Reading Why the headteacher who believes reading Harry Potter causes mental illness is wrong

Quote:
A blog post by a private school headteacher claiming reading fantasy such as Harry Potter and The Hunger Games can damage children’s brains has set the internet ablaze.

http://www.theguardian.com/childrens...nnon?CMP=fb_gu
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12 May 2016, 04:56 PM
DawnStorm's Avatar
DawnStorm DawnStorm is offline
 
Join Date: 11 March 2003
Location: Montgomery County, MD
Posts: 15,367
Devil

Well it doesn't matter considering that Harry Potter's readers are well on the road to Hell according to many evangelicals.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12 May 2016, 05:10 PM
Ali Infree's Avatar
Ali Infree Ali Infree is offline
 
Join Date: 02 February 2007
Location: Wheeling, WV
Posts: 2,534
Default

I am glad to see that someone has found the cause of mental illness, perhaps not teaching children to read would help?
Excuse me, my Irish children soup is starting to boil over.

Ali
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12 May 2016, 05:25 PM
Alarm's Avatar
Alarm Alarm is offline
 
Join Date: 26 May 2011
Location: Nepean, ON
Posts: 5,094
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali Infree View Post
I am glad to see that someone has found the cause of mental illness, perhaps not teaching children to read would help?
Excuse me, my Irish children soup is starting to boil over.

Ali
As long as it's not Alphabet soup, you're fine.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12 May 2016, 05:46 PM
GenYus234's Avatar
GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
 
Join Date: 02 August 2005
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 24,380
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali Infree View Post
Excuse me, my Irish children soup is starting to boil over.
I'm pretty sure Irish are supposed to be stewed.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12 May 2016, 05:50 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
Join Date: 29 December 2005
Location: Greenwood, IN
Posts: 6,590
Default

"Why the headteacher who believes reading Harry Potter causes mental illness is wrong", By Captain Obvious.

I wish my job occasionally included answering such patently stupid questions.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12 May 2016, 06:00 PM
thorny locust's Avatar
thorny locust thorny locust is offline
 
Join Date: 27 April 2007
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 7,861
Default

Quote:
material which I am certain encourages difficult behaviour in children
If "difficult behavior in children" includes, as I strongly suspect, disagreeing (possibly on multiple subjects) with the guy who wrote that: then I certainly hope so.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12 May 2016, 07:31 PM
Dutch Angua's Avatar
Dutch Angua Dutch Angua is offline
 
Join Date: 01 April 2005
Location: Catesby, UK
Posts: 1,287
Default

What a Dursley...
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12 May 2016, 07:37 PM
TallGeekyGirl's Avatar
TallGeekyGirl TallGeekyGirl is offline
 
Join Date: 31 December 2005
Location: Virginia
Posts: 11,821
Default

I'm sure he'd take umbridge at the comparison...
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12 May 2016, 08:15 PM
Dutch Angua's Avatar
Dutch Angua Dutch Angua is offline
 
Join Date: 01 April 2005
Location: Catesby, UK
Posts: 1,287
Default

Heeh!

Seriously though, I've been reading Pratchett since I was 12 or 13. His writing has taught me more about life, society and the world in general than any other non-fantasy book.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12 May 2016, 08:46 PM
thorny locust's Avatar
thorny locust thorny locust is offline
 
Join Date: 27 April 2007
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 7,861
Default

Pratchett did his absolute best (which was extremely good) to reach inside your head, grab ahold of your mind, shake it inside out, and make you think.

Graeme Whiting and I may be in disagreement about whether this is good for children. Or for grownups, for that matter. But it's one of the things that leaves me with some faint hope for the possible salvation of the human species.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12 May 2016, 10:36 PM
Onyx_TKD Onyx_TKD is offline
 
Join Date: 17 December 2007
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 376
Default

Wow. I wonder if the teacher even bothered to reread what he was writing or if he just spewed his thoughts onto the screen without checking for basic consistency.

Quote:
This morning, I recalled the many memories that lie deep in my own subconscious; the deaths of my loving parents, my three brothers, my wife and perhaps even more deeply entrenched are the experiences I had as a young child growing up after the war in a very different England. I recalled vivid pictures of the school bullies, and of the grim-faced teachers as they beat me.
So we're supposed to protect the delicate children from being mentally scarred by shielding them from dark literature, and he illustrates his point by describing his mental scarring from...the actual deaths of loved ones and being beaten as a child. Am I missing the step where his terrible life experiences were caused by "dark" literature and keeping it out of the hands of children will make the dark parts of life magically vanish and leave a world of sunshine and rainbows and puppydogs for all children?

Quote:
At school I had a passion for literature; indeed I felt that by the age of thirty I had read all the books I wanted to read.
Oh dear sir, you think you have/had a "passion for literature" and you ran out of books you wanted to read by age thirty? That's hilarious. Or pathetic. Or hilariously pathetic. Where's a falling-on-the-floor-laughing smiley when you need it?

Quote:
Gone are the classics, and when I asked my wife to write a reading list for the children of my school, many of the books she recommended were hard to find. A trip to the Amazon website revealed that thousands of great books for children can be bought for less than the cost of postage! Indeed, sets of classical literature, the stories that I read as a young buy, could be purchased and delivered to my door for less than the cost of driving to a bookshop.
So were they hard to find, or could they be delivered by Amazon for less than the cost of postage? Make up your mind! If this is your level of reading/writing comprehension, then you're really hurting your case for why you should be the arbiter of how to introduce kids to reading.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12 May 2016, 11:29 PM
Richard W's Avatar
Richard W Richard W is offline
 
Join Date: 19 February 2000
Location: High Wycombe, UK
Posts: 25,194
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
I wish my job occasionally included answering such patently stupid questions.
Mine does... the difficulty is in remaining tactful...

(eta) When I first saw this story, I wondered if this guy had actually read any Shakespeare himself. Because his opinion about Shakespeare being more suitable for children in the ways he describes is very odd. I couldn't remember where I'd said that, but it was on a Facebook thread rather than here.

Last edited by Richard W; 12 May 2016 at 11:40 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12 May 2016, 11:48 PM
ganzfeld's Avatar
ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
Join Date: 05 September 2005
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Posts: 23,023
Default

The headmaster's argument probably wouldn't have seemed out of place a hundred years ago when fiction books were sometimes thought of as video games are today. (Are they still called video games? Maybe that's one for the SQ thread...) Becoming "addicted to reading" (egads!) was considered a real problem. The 'bookworm' later became the comic book nerd and the D&D geek and then the video game otaku, etc. (g)You have to wonder what sorts of things people say today that will seem quaint in a hundred years.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12 May 2016, 11:50 PM
Richard W's Avatar
Richard W Richard W is offline
 
Join Date: 19 February 2000
Location: High Wycombe, UK
Posts: 25,194
Default

Was that argument still popular 100 years ago? 200 years, surely?
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 13 May 2016, 12:43 AM
Mouse's Avatar
Mouse Mouse is offline
 
Join Date: 10 July 2003
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 6,796
Mouse

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onyx_TKD View Post
So we're supposed to protect the delicate children from being mentally scarred by shielding them from dark literature, and he illustrates his point by describing his mental scarring from...the actual deaths of loved ones and being beaten as a child. Am I missing the step where his terrible life experiences were caused by "dark" literature and keeping it out of the hands of children will make the dark parts of life magically vanish and leave a world of sunshine and rainbows and puppydogs for all children?
As someone who both reads and writes YA lit, I can tell you this attitude keeps coming up. Mostly because editorials about Young Adult lit are written by someone for whom the extent of their research is browsing the New Releases section at Barnes & Noble. What? You think they should actually talk to people currently reading or writing YA lit or that they should read some Young Adult lit that was actually published in the last ten years? But that would take time out of their busy schedule of churning out patronizing generalizations.

I've more or less accepted that Young Adult fans can't win, like, at all with critics. If the critic notices a bunch of dystopian lit or something delving into some dark issues, is selling very well, then they'll whine about how dark YA is, not like the frothy romances they enjoyed as a kid, and what will it mean for a generation to grow up on such dark stories.

But if frothy romances are popular, that's proof of the genre's, and by extension, the fans' inherent shallowness. So like I said, YA fans can't win and there's a reason these kinds of bingo cards exist.

Me, I always found the "Is YA too dark?" debate to be pretty damn stupid, because it's not like Misery has every respected a "You Must Be This Old to Experience This" line. Plenty of people have found themselves dealing with some horrible shit before they're old enough to drive. I doubt the key to solving these problems is banning fictionalized portrayals of horrible events. But I've come to accept, as a general rule, that anyone who remembers childhood as an idyllic time, was never really a child.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 13 May 2016, 05:47 AM
Don Enrico's Avatar
Don Enrico Don Enrico is offline
 
Join Date: 05 October 2004
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Posts: 7,335
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Angua View Post
Heeh!

Seriously though, I've been reading Pratchett since I was 12 or 13.
... and here you are, talking to imaginary people on the so-called "Internet" and disagreeing with your elders!

Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 13 May 2016, 03:44 PM
DawnStorm's Avatar
DawnStorm DawnStorm is offline
 
Join Date: 11 March 2003
Location: Montgomery County, MD
Posts: 15,367
D'oh!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onyx_TKD View Post


So were they hard to find, or could they be delivered by Amazon for less than the cost of postage? Make up your mind! If this is your level of reading/writing comprehension, then you're really hurting your case for why you should be the arbiter of how to introduce kids to reading.
Depending on the age of the book, it may be in the public domain--hasn't this guy ever heard of The Guttenberg Project or LibroVox? IIRC, the website of the latter is booksshouldbefree.com.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 13 May 2016, 05:35 PM
Floater's Avatar
Floater Floater is offline
 
Join Date: 24 February 2000
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 6,781
Default

I grew up on Edith Nesbit and Tove Jansson, but I think I'm not too mentally deranged. I have also shaken hands with Terry Pratchett.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 13 May 2016, 06:02 PM
Psihala's Avatar
Psihala Psihala is offline
 
Join Date: 28 February 2001
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 7,458
Default

Quote:
Gone are the classics, and when I asked my wife to write a reading list for the children of my school, many of the books she recommended were hard to find. A trip to the Amazon website revealed that thousands of great books for children can be bought for less than the cost of postage!
"Why, I remember the good 'ol days when..."

~Psihala
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Nearly 1 in 5 had mental illness before enlisting in Army, study says snopes War, What Is It Good For? 1 04 March 2014 04:23 PM
Is grief a mental illness? Psychiatrists, critics face off Sue Social Studies 52 01 June 2013 05:21 PM
Not eating beef causes mental illness? purpleiguana Medical 31 30 March 2007 10:51 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 09:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.