I’m really glad that my predictions for the “I Could Never Be Ready” song turned out true in the way that they did, about Greg being hesitant about parenthood and generally uncertain.
More and more we’re seeing SU deconstruct the narratives we’ve just grown to accept in fiction. The birth of a demigod-like figure is one of them. A lot of the time we don’t really put a lot of focus on the parents. They’re either completely willing and unafraid for their child, or not really part of the story.
In fact, looking back at most of the big stories that have broken into numerous forms of young-adult pop culture, as old as time, we’ve had stories of parents passing away, parents having to go away for work reasons, parents who don’t understand (and don’t try to). I wouldn’t say just parents either. In many of these stories, we don’t see a guardian-figure until the worst possible moments.
By and large, there is an implicit message that young people have to fend for themselves, learn about how things work, and change the world on their own.
Chances are, you’d be thinking of a few of these stories right now, but I’m not here to name-names. I’m not saying these were terrible stories by virtue of that missing detail. It’s worth asking why it’s such a familiar narrative, though.
I wouldn’t say that at this age, young adults “don’t care” and are only self-centred. That’s a complete disservice to them and to the people with whom they engage. I will say though, that these stories tend to be focused on their protagonists and their audience, who are also people of this age group; in the same way children usually take a backseat in a novel about adult life (unless said adult is constantly interacting with children).
1. About Gen-This versus Gen-That
Personally, I’m not fond of the use of “generational divides” and using them as a reason to throw blame and a lot of ad hominem attacks thinly veiled as criticism. To me, there’s a clear reason why the previous “generation” doesn’t just vanish the moment a new set of people are born. The rationale behind formal institutional educations is that some things can be taught by someone who has already learned them. There’s a lot to be gained from working together. And of course that’s easier said than done, but I like how SU shows involvement is possible in the smallest unit of society: The family.
The map hanging on the wall was crisscrossed with notes and pins, entire areas marked with Xs or circled in red. Sylvain knew every mark by heart—had made them himself—but still spent far too much time staring at the map’s worn surface.
For ten years he’d been searching—consulting oracles, casting location spells, hiring investigators. For ten years he’d made no progress. It was as if his sister had vanished from the realm.
He realized the sun was rising; his office was growing light. Another night had passed with no result. With a sigh, Sylvain stood, stretching stiffened muscles, and spoke her name.
((The cluttered office-of-brooding is finished, except for one or two small pieces! YAY!))
Welcome to weird. Inspired by cult fascinator Exploding Lips, the author of Beyond Reality attempts to channel its bizarre qualities, creating an uncanny fusion of Doom, Wolf3D, and adventure games of the same era. Each level - the mansion is only a small part of your journey - is one big puzzle with lots of collectibles that are just as nonsensical as the monsters you encounter. Moments like the skullcrab invasion and the enormous scale of the sewers beneath the city are a success story of their own. By the time you’ve finally ousted the madman behind it all, though, you’ll probably have had enough Mayhem in your life.