Thursday, July 07, 2005

Willie's interests

Willie was always a rabid comic-book reader. He "doted" on them. He spent a large part of the money he earned to buy them. Seeing all their pictures of brutality and shooting and their endless glamorous advertisements for guns and knives, his aunt had become alarmed—years before the Polo Grounds shooting—and did not permit them into the house. She also forbade him to read them. But of course such direct action on the part of a parent has no chance of succeeding in an environment where comic books are all over the place in enormous quantities. She encountered a further obstacle, too. Workers at a public child-guidance agency connected with the schools made her distrust her natural good sense and told her she should let Willie read all the comic books he wanted. She told one of the Lafargue social workers, "I didn't like for him to read these comic books, but I figured they knew better than I did."