Quick! To the Someone-Is-Wrong-On-The-Internet Signal!
Yeah yeah, insert appropriate meta-commentary about the pettiness of a post like this here. But it ANNOYS me, and I feel the need to share my irritation.
So someone just left a comment on my "Prisoner of White Agony Creek" post saying, simply, "I disagree." Very cryptic. You disagree that it was Rosa's last story? You disagree that there are too many historical figures dragged in? What's going on here? Fortunately (?), she also left a link so you can SEE what she disagrees with, which disagreement she makes via an incredibly forced interpretation consisting of two basic parts: 1)I don't want that to have happened; 2) sex is dirty. I think the most irritating thing is this business of treating the story as though the relevant plot point is--beyond side-issues and minutae--open to debate. MY GOODNESS. It reminds me of my brother's ex-girlfriend's vehement insistence that Scar does NOT die at the end of The Lion King! You never SEE him die (I'm not sure whether the idea was that he fought off the hyenas or that they became pals, but either way…)! Or else fanfiction about how at the end of Cowboy Bebop, Spike…well, I suppose even for an old show, that's spoiler territory. But you know what I mean if you know the show.
Now, you might say: "Jeez, what's the big deal? Okay, so someone's wrong, but who cares? If making up their own version of events allows them to enjoy the story in a way that they wouldn't have been otherwise, then so be it. It's not like they're actually changing it. Besides, if asked to comment, Rosa himself would no doubt give his usual non-committal 'it's up to readers' interpretations' answer, and sure he HAS to say that, inasmuch as these are putatively kids' stories, but there's a kernel of truth there. He KNEW he was pushing the envelope with this story, so it's just fair play if someone wants to push back." To which I say: man, you sure are long-winged, Mr. or Ms. Hypothetical Interlocutor.
But really: it's true, of course, that by any objective metric, this issue really is no big deal. But gosh, this thing where people are unable to appreciate a text if they don't consider it Ideologically Acceptable is just dismaying. I suppose better to misinterpret it than just throw it out, but you're sure not fully appreciating it if you feel compelled to do this round-peg-in-square-hold stuff. It also bothers me because sexual morality really is a thing, but a lot of people think it's not specifically because the predominant version of it in American culture is the dispiritingly stunted, myopic one that you see in this person's argument (the way she keeps putting "making love" in quotes is especially telling, and a little bit heartbreaking), and that leads to all KINDS of problems.