Itd be funny as fuck if the world operated like how people with social anxiety think it does. Like what if you got on a bus and everyone was like wow look at that piece of shit loser. Get off the bus you ugly bastard
me holding a gun to a mushroom: tell me the name of god you fungal piece of shit
mushroom: can you feel your heart burning? can you feel the struggle within? the fear within me is beyond anything your soul can make. you cannot kill me in a way that matters
me cocking the gun, tears streaming down my face: I’M NOT FUCKING SCARED OF YOU
Hey OP? What the FUCK does this mean?
decay exists as an extant form of life
That’s a terrifying answer, have a nice day
adhd culture is plugging in your headphones ready to bOp and then two hours later realising you haven’t actually pressed play
Thanks for reminding me that I’m listening to silent headphones.
Love this Autism-ADHD solidarity.
ADHD culture is turning on your music, then pausing to read something and continuing to listen to silent headphones for 4 hours.
Divergent is a bad book, but its accidental brilliance is that it completely mauled the YA dystopian genre by stripping it down to its barest bones for maximum marketability, utterly destroying the chances of YA dystopian literature’s long-term survival
Sure. Imagine that you need to make a book, and this book needs to be successful. This book needs to be the perfect Marketable YA Dystopian.
So you build your protagonist. She has no personality traits beyond being decently strong-willed, so that her quirks and interesting traits absolutely can’t get in the way of the audience’s projection onto her. She is dainty, birdlike, beautiful despite her protestations that she is ugly–yet she can still hold her own against significantly taller and stronger combatants. She is the perfect mask for the bashful, insecure tweens you are marketing to to wear while they read.
You think, as you draft your novel, that you need to add something that appeals to the basest nature of teenagers, something this government does that will be perversely appealing to them. The Hunger Games’ titular games were the main draw of the books, despite the hatred its characters hold for the event. So the government forces everyone into Harry Potter houses.
So the government makes everyone choose their faction, their single personality trait. Teenagers and tweens are basic–they likely identify by one distinct personality trait or career aspiration, and they’ll thus be enchanted by this system. For years, Tumblr and Twitter bios will include Erudite or Dauntless alongside Aquarius and Ravenclaw and INTJ. Congratulations, you just made having more than one personality trait anathema to your worldbuilding.
Your readers and thus your protagonist are naturally drawn to the faction that you have made RIDICULOUSLY cooler and better than the others: Dauntless. The faction where they play dangerous games of Capture the Flag and don’t work and act remarkably like teenagers with a budget. You add an attractive, tall man to help and hinder the protagonist. He is brooding and handsome; he doesn’t need to be anything else.
The villains appear soon afterward. They are your tried and true dystopian government: polished, sleek, intelligent, headed by a woman for some reason. They fight the protagonists, they carry out their evil, Machiavellian, stupid plan. You finish the novel with duct tape and fanservice, action sequences and skin and just enough glue and spit to seal the terrible, hollow world you have made shut just long enough to put it on the shelf.
And you have just destroyed YA dystopian literature. Because you have boiled it down to its bare essentials. A sleek, futuristic government borrowing its aesthetic from modern minimalism and wealth forces the population to participate in a perversely cool-to-read-about system like the Hunger Games or the factions, and one brave, slender, pretty, hollow main character is the only one brave–no, special enough to stand against it.
And by making this bare-bones world, crafted for maximum marketability, you expose yourself and every other YA dystopian writer as a lazy worldbuilder driven too far by the “rule of cool” and the formulas of other, better dystopian books before yours. In the following five years, you watch in real time as the dystopian genre crumbles under your feet, as the movies made based on your successful (but later widely-panned and mocked) books slowly regress to video-only releases, as fewer and fewer releases try to do what you did. And maybe you realize what you’ve done.
Some dude in 2020: You should not judge a historical figure, a man from the past, by the modern ethics! He was a product of his time. 500 years ago his actions were completely normal! It’s present-ism, we can’t judge… bla-bla-bla…
People from 500 years ago: Oh my, this guy is such a bastard, a genocidal butcher, a total piece of garbage. Let’s keep records of this douche so people from the future shall hate him too.
Columbus’s crew were writing about what a genocidal monster he was. There were mutinies and uprisings by his crews and colonists constantly. If his contemporaries were willing to risk the ire of the queen of Spain to oppose him, we have every right to call him out on it too.
My fave professor always says “there have always been antiracist people doing antiracist work”. So yeah, I can hold historical peeps to a higher standard because there were good, ethical people who knew better
I don’t think we’re meant to be exposed to so many random strangers opinions on literally anything and everything on a constant, daily basis
me as an ancient greek walking through the agora and past the lyceum trying to mind my own business
Me: *Removes my cat from my lap to do something else.*
My cat: Father is…evil? Father is unyielding? Father is incapable of love? I am running away. I am packing my little rucksack and going out to explore the world as a lone vagabond. I can no longer thrive in this household.
The spiritual successor to Miette
Might I also add