minnow at minnow at
Wed Jun 11 18:16:43 EDT 2003

Jenne replied to my mild mutter:

>> irritation is that fantasy readers should *need to be told* that they ought
>> not to ignore the miserable child next door and turn their backs and walk
>> away, they ought to be bothering to find out what is going on.  (Surely
>> having enough imagination to be a fantasy reader should mean one would
>> notice a miserable child and wonder why it was so unhappy-looking?)
>I think it's more that the books target adolescents... and adolescents
>sometimes just don't have the real-world coping skills to figure out how
>to use the real-world resources to help others-- or themselves.

Yes.  That's utterly reasonable.  Thank you -- I can stop having that
caveat, then, and just see it as being someone taking the trouble to follow
through on the covert message in the book with a bit of helpful advice at
the end.

Mind you, I'm not sure what one ought to do if one hears a small child
screaming and some adult maybe beating up on it in their house...
Interfering overtly might just make things worse for the kid afterwards,
and the social services don't always manage to catch up in time.  The NSPCC
always turn out, usually within an hour, but they can't do anything much
if the adult won't let them in or doesn't let them see the child.

:-( difficult stuff.


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