There is something very appropriate about using a comic book to look at the habits of society to demonize youth culture. I say this because comics themselves have had their time to be vilified. The 1950’s saw the largest book burnings to ever take place in America; the target, comics.
“Bad for you” uses the lesser known history of comic books as its opening chapter. Highlighting how dodgy “experts” and beliefs adults hold about children created a panic. Using faulty reasoning, falsified evidence, and moral outrage to attack a medium that was associated with youth.
It then goes on to look at how this pattern has been repeated in several other fields from novels to games, from technology to the playground, and even into the schools themselves, calling into question some of the deeply held assumptions that adults make about children.
It looks at the belief that children are out of control. This is best expressed in the quote below.
What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets, inflamed with wild notions. their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?
It then answers it by highlighting that the modern panics and moral outrages are nothing new. As a case in point the quotation above comes from about 400 bc and is attributed to Plato, although it could have as easily been taken from a paper in 2014.
It is with this firm sense of humor and determination to question the evidence used to ban “Fun” that the authors have produced a wonderfully informative book.
It is excellently researched with references, and contact information for activist groups is provided in the back of the book for the issues it raises.
I personally think this should be required reading for all teachers, politicians, and parents.
You can pick it up from Amazon.com here.