In Bad For You, coming on January 7th from Henry Holt, authors Kevin C. Pyle and Scott Cunningham expose the long-standing campaign against fun for what it really is: a bunch of anxious adults grasping at straws, ignoring scientific data, and blindly yearning for the good old days that never were.
Throughout the last two months, we’ve excerpted various portions from the book, illustrating and putting into context ill-informed panics over books, comic books, Dungeons & Dragons, and even chess. The damage these panics cause can be quite substantial and in some cases has led to tragic consequences. The targets of these panics are often children, and even when the intentions behind them are good, they still underscore the fact that we hold little trust for those we’re ostensibly trying to educate.
Today’s excerpt tallies instances of that mistrust over millennia. Is this a cycle that can be broken?