Spotty Logic (spottylogic) wrote,
Spotty Logic

Kiddie lit/wish fulfillment--

I'm listening to a BBC program that reads aloud young adult books. Sometimes there's some really thrilling stuff there, good mysteries and fantasies and the occasional Terry Pratchett, but right now, there's a painful little story that boils down to, no sarchasm here, "Frannie's birthday has come, but nobody can afford a present, so they go to the magical tree, which takes them to Birthday Land, where everyone can wish for whatever birthday food they want, and the birthday cake grants everyone's wish, with the best presents ever that run to you, filled with just the perfect presents.

I'm a bit reminded of some of the more frustrating gaming sessions I've had, which kind of boiled down to "if you could do anything or afford anything, what would you buy or do?"

It's interesting. Any story that really stands the test of time is thick with conflict and thwarted ambitions...except for horse stories, which are a very specific wish fulfillment story. Yet there's a school of thought that runs, "write a story about getting everything you want, that'll give them sympathetic satisfaction."

BTW, the new Strawberry Shortcake series is much less cool than the original Strawberry Shortcake series, for this very reason. This is a completely absurd statement, I know, but have you seen the new ones? They don't have any villains and no conflict at all! It's so strange!
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