Dystopia by SteFunny Yeung on flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/stefunnyyeung/5254919272/ -Shared under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

ya dystopias and current politics

[photo credit: Dystopia by SteFunny Yeung]

I just spotted a couple of articles about the political modelling going on in YA dystopias: What Occupy can Learn from the Hunger Games and a comment on that article that asks Are YA dystopias secretly conservative?

It seems like there’s some connection there in wondering about the ramifications of political messages for these impressionable readers and discounting their agency. Rosenberg says the message of opting out is “worrying, given the age of the target audience” which isn’t a full on “These kids today’ll believe anything,” but I was sensitive to it after this week’s readings in my youth services class that discuss how much importance there is to making sure young people are making their own decisions.

Also, this review of Z for Zachariah had a bit calling a character’s decision “very pacifistic, almost dangerously so” which struck me as interesting for its use of non-politically correct ideas.

Anyway, what do you think? I’d be interested to hear more stories about large scale political reform for YA, myself.

zine review: self-defense for radicals

I am a bad zine-buyer, in that I go for good production values. Hastily-made shitty looking things with tonnes of typos and bad photocopying aren’t my cup of tea, even though that’s part of the true hardcore zine ethos. Self-Defense for Radicals by Mickey Z. has a nice cover and good illustrations (by Richard Cole) as it does its A-Z of self-defense techniques. It’s basically a pamphlet about street-fighting and not being afraid to fight dirty if you’re being attacked. Which is interesting enough. It’s kind of disparaging of pacifists and makes fun of chanting and dialogue as a way of dealing with some huge asshole hellbent on curbstomping you.