Sigh. I guess I get to join the ranks of the aggrieved and super-sensitive. The story we read for class this week was a dystopian future about how people with mental disorders are treated. Once a boy reaches thirteen or a girl gets her period, they get to go to the local mental facility and pick out a “madman” just like we go to shelter and pick out a puppy.
Of course it’s set in California and here is the rationale for doing things this way–“The whole idea is that you take in a madman and that teaches you about Facing The Incomprehensible and Understanding Across Difference, and soon we are one big family.” (Cronin 436)
Oh. It’s all about “understanding diversity”. Well. That makes it all right then. Since you mean well, after all, who cares that you’re penning people with brain disorders up so they can be selected for adoption and treated like animals?
I think the author is trying to mean well. (it’s taken a day and a half to even conceive of that sentence). But as we all know, words have consequences. Particularly when written and published in literary anthologies. And the mental patients read like characters out of a horror movie. It is so stereotypically done it makes me angry just typing about it. And I hate being “that person”. But I couldn’t find any redeeming features in the story what-so-ever. So I don’t know if I’m even going to do the assignment or not.
Mental illness just isn’t like this, you guys. I want equal time to respond. But my little blog doesn’t have nearly the readership this anthology does. And the writing assignment is to NOT react to the content but react to the writing. I can’t seem to do that yet.