And the ones that mother gives you... don't do anything at all.
July 8, 2022 11:18 AM   Subscribe

"Go Ask Alice" is a 1971 novel about teenage drug use, purported to be the "found diary" of a real teenage girl (but almost certainly a complete fabrication) and a contributor to the moral panic of Nixon's war on drugs. It has never been out of print. Carmen Maria Machado is the guest in a 3-part You're Wrong About podcast series with host Sarah Marshall and guest Rick Emerson (author of Unmask Alice) to talk about the book's influence on American culture. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

The book title comes from lyrics in the song White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane.

Part 1 - This week we begin our journey into the totally true not at all made up diary that has been scaring America’s teens for fifty years. Digressions include Jell-O, magic mushrooms, and ironing your hair, and Sarah promises to trip with Carmen.

Part 2 - This week Carmen and Sarah read the rest of Alice’s bitchin' diary, and ponder the truths that only lies can tell. Digressions include Pamela and Clarissa, sadistic switch hitters, and orange yeast rolls.

Part 3 - Sarah and Carmen complete their epic trilogy by meeting Rick Emerson on the edge of Mount Doom to discuss his book, Unmask Alice, and some of the story behind the diary that has captivated America—and informed its drug policy—for half a century. Digressions include multi-level marketing, Oceans Eleven, the Great Salt Lake.

Carmen Maria Machado previously, previously, previously, previously, previously
posted by AlSweigart (69 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
It will take me awhile to dig through these links, until then: I read this book quite a few times as a kid and from what I remember it made drugs seem cool as hell. 🤣 It is tricky to demonize something without glorifying it.
posted by muddgirl at 11:21 AM on July 8 [18 favorites]

I listened to these as they came out and they're delightful (if frustrating in the way that You're Wrong About tends to be, showing us the ways in which we are simply serially lied to). I knew the book was a hoax but had no idea just how ham-handed it was.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:28 AM on July 8 [6 favorites]

It's worth checking out what the other "found diaries" by likely author Beatrice Sparks are about. I won't spoil it here (and maybe it's mentioned in the podcast, which I haven't listened to yet) but it's wild.
posted by bigendian at 11:29 AM on July 8 [2 favorites]

As a young drug consumer I misheard the lyrics from the title of the post as "and the ones that really get you don't do anything at all", which was a mindblower. I was really disappointed when I learned the actual words.
posted by bgribble at 11:40 AM on July 8 [6 favorites]

The best part of this book, when I was a kid, was the part where two fifteen year olds open a white-faux-fur bedecked shop full of stuff they like in San Francisco. I seriously remember reading that at, like, eleven and being in absolute awe that anyone could be so cool. So obsessed was I with this one part of the book that I completely glazed over the drug stuff and spent a few years hounding Bay Area adjacent family friend to try to figure out if he knew anyone who'd ever been to the store and if it was a cool as it sounded in the book. Alas, it was a fraud. But as mentioned in the podcast, just pure wild kid wish fulfillment stuff.

I seriously would have a read a whole book just about two fifteen year old best friends/runaways running a store with cool platform shoes ( I swear I remember a mention of silver platform shoes, but maybe I embroidered that onto the memory) and a hang-out corner for friends. In retrospect, the idea of that shop was probably my own gateway drug, of sorts, because it primed me to become a thirteen year old obsessed with reading about punk rock/glam London and Sex/Seditionaries and all that. That stupid shop in Go Ask Alice is probably why I worked at a hang-out friendly record store until I was legit forty years old, and why I, to date, still have a secret fantasy about being rich enough to open a store that sells only vintage dresses, statement earrings and a curated selection of books and records I like, with a hang-out nook for tea/adult beverages.

Sorry to go on like this, but guys, I seriously just put all this together.
posted by thivaia at 12:09 PM on July 8 [101 favorites]

also the movie ... starring William Shatner as Dad.

Which got me around to reading the book, which I've discussed previously around here:

speaking of Just Say No Gone Wrong stories. I saw the big deal anti-drug movie of my day Go Ask Alice yt when I was maybe nineteen, which prompted me to read the book (also a big deal anti-drug item), which did such a great job of detailing ...

A. how cool LSD was, and
B. how not to fuck up on it like Alice did ...

that I instantly went looking for some LSD, which I found and loved with a passion which eventually drove me at least slightly mad ... but that's another story (or nine hundred).

posted by philip-random at 12:10 PM on July 8 [9 favorites]

Is this the one where the teenage alcoholic keeps a thermos in her locker filled with scotch and milk? Or is that another one?
posted by bartleby at 12:14 PM on July 8

I have a crystal clear memory of this book inside my school-bag alongside The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole. They definitely shared equal regard as works of fiction to me.

Thanks for posting this on a weekend. I'll meet you back here after the listening.
posted by adept256 at 12:19 PM on July 8

Not to be confused with Columbia University’s Go Ask Alice!, which is a pretty great site for medical and health questions.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 12:28 PM on July 8 [7 favorites]

Man, I loved all of that anti drug propaganda of the late 60's and early 70's. They all definitely made me want to do drugs (and yes, of course I did). And the later stuff like DARE and Just say no (Just say yo? Just say know?), were so ham fisted and square, I find it hard to imagine kids seeing those and not needing to try out drugs, just to have it on record that they were the opposition.
posted by evilDoug at 12:34 PM on July 8 [3 favorites]

I've been enjoying listening to these podcasts so much. This book came out when I was young and impressionable, and since it was in paperback, one girl at my school was able to get hold of a copy and it was passed from girl to girl, getting dogeared and mangled. We were freaking obsessed with it. Everyone speculated on who Anonymous was, most of us coming down on it being any particular young actress popular at the time, which made no sense but kids are dumb and ignorant and impressionable. (We all got obsessed with Kay Lenz for some reason, probably because of Lisa, Bright and Dark, and the most popular theory was Anon had to be her. God, we were stupid kids.)

Anyway, the book definitely had an effect on me, but not so much about the drugs as about the sex stuff. I'd had enough really awful encounters with older boys and adult men that I was a perfect target audience in that I was convinced that taking drugs was only bad because you would become ADDICTED and FORCED INTO PROSTITUTION because all drug stuff revolved around terrible sexual situations, especially TERRIFYING LSD and its bad trips that lasted forever. It took me years to get that indoctrination out of my head. Honestly, it was just not a book that young girls should have been reading, it was so effing lurid and I think really messed a lot of us up about the relationships between sex and pleasure, although it did give us, as noted above, aspirational shopkeeping goals.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 12:36 PM on July 8 [15 favorites]

It's worth checking out what the other "found diaries" by likely author Beatrice Sparks are about.

I had to read this three times before I realized you weren't making a joke about Beverley Cleary or Beatrix Potter, either of whose books ARE entirely wild, esp if you approach them as found diaries.
posted by hippybear at 12:38 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]

I read several of these 'scare them kids straight' books back in the 70s. I was a precocious reader and probably read Go Ask Alice when I was nine. There's another book I remember much better called The Minnesota Pipeline, which warned midwestern teen girls that if they ran away from home, they would be taken to New York City by pimps, sexually assaulted, forcibly addicted to drugs, put out on the street to pick up johns, whipped with wire hangers, and die young. It left me fearing pimps the same way I feared quicksand. Turns out I never encountered either in my life.
posted by LindsayIrene at 12:45 PM on July 8 [6 favorites]

The Minnesota Pipeline

Pretty sure you mean The Minnesota Connection -- living in Minnesota, this used to be one of those "at every garage sale and every thrift shop" books, our theory is that churches bought these by the truckload for sunday school teens and handed them out constantly.
posted by AzraelBrown at 12:53 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]

the later stuff like DARE

Some time during the early or mid 90s when our son was in 5th or 6th grade, he mentioned at dinner that they had given his class a DARE presentation. I asked him what DARE stood for, and without missing a beat he casually replied "Drugs Are Really Expensive." I couldn't help but laugh. And it enforced my opinion that such presentations are a waste of time.

More on topic, I never encountered this book as a teen in the 70's - in fact I didn't even know it existed until I read this post! No idea how I managed that... But I certainly heard plenty of anti-drug messages similar to what I'm hearing is in the book. Not that it mattered, since I was a sheltered child in stolidly middle-class white America and wouldn't have known where to get drugs if I'd wanted to. Anyway my teenage interests were well served by alcohol, which was much easier to acquire.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:54 PM on July 8

And the later stuff like DARE and Just say no (Just say yo? Just say know?), were so ham fisted and square. . . try out drugs, just to have it on record that they were the opposition.

When I worked for Addition Services, part (at least at the time) of the Nova Scotia Department of Health, one of the counsellors told me that DARE was actually more likely to lead to drug use than not. They frowned on those kinds of programs, and indeed, although I am contemporaneous with a lot of this stuff, and read Go Ask Alice as a teen, we didn't have those programs at any of the schools I attended.
posted by joannemerriam at 12:54 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]

Is this the one where the teenage alcoholic keeps a thermos in her locker filled with scotch and milk?

I think that that was Sarah T. - Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic, Linda Blair's other "teen girl in trouble" TV movie. (Not to be confused with Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway, yet another teensploitation TV movie, this one starring Eve Plumb of the Brady Bunch.) Between the books and the TV movies, there was something between a YA subgenre and a cottage industry trying to warn teens of the dangers of drugs, alcohol, sex, and, uh, running away, I guess. As hamfisted as they could be, though, they at least seemed sincere, if at times very misinformed about the effects of particular drugs. (I listened to the first episode of YWA's series on Go Ask Alice, which I vaguely remember reading, and will be catching up on the rest soon.) Although I may have simply been a bit too old to be the target, I never got that feeling of painful earnestness from later anti-drug campaigns such as Just Say No and D.A.R.E.; the former seemed like nothing deeper than Nancy Reagan's pet cause and maybe a few celebrities hanging on, and the latter was a T-shirt coveted by stoners who insisted that it really meant Drugs Are Really Excellent.

As for me, I stayed away from hard drugs because of John Belushi overdosing on them, and was glad of it when I started having serious problems with alcohol.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:55 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]

Pretty sure you mean The Minnesota Connection

You're right! No wonder I've had trouble tracking that book down. What can I say, it's been decades.
posted by LindsayIrene at 12:56 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]

Another TV movie of the genre--Diary Of A Teenaged Hitchiker.
posted by LindsayIrene at 1:00 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]

the same way I feared quicksand
I thought that Helen Hunt jumping out of windows on PCP was going to be a bigger deal when I grew up
posted by bartleby at 1:02 PM on July 8 [12 favorites]

My friend and I were so obsessed with this book. LSD was hard to come by in the mid 90s if you were a ten year old in the suburbs but we lived in hope that someone would get us some.
posted by potrzebie at 1:09 PM on July 8 [22 favorites]

Didn't really know anything about the book before hearing the podcast. I really enjoyed it. [edit: the podcast, not the book]. Thanks for the post.
posted by eotvos at 1:09 PM on July 8

Despite all the fearmongering the only 'runaway' I ever met said it probably saved her life and if she ever saw her dad again she'd cut his dick off and flush it. Makes you wonder how many girls stayed in awful situations because of bullshit books like this.
posted by adept256 at 1:14 PM on July 8 [17 favorites]

METAFILTER: LSD was hard to come by in the mid 90s if you were a ten year old in the suburbs but we lived in hope that someone would get us some.
posted by philip-random at 1:16 PM on July 8 [22 favorites]

LSD was weirdly common at my high school in South Carolina? I mean, in that it wouldn't be hard to find some if you really wanted it. LSD is the reason 16 year old me was utterly convinced Disney's The Lion King was a mere hour long for years.
posted by Kitteh at 1:20 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]

I started grade school in 1974, so I sort of had this school drug education (beginning in older elementary school) that was not a scare campaign, but was "this is what they do, this is how you can fuck up with them, best to stay away from them so you don't fuck up". It was strangely factual and actually turned me into an informed consumer later in life. I attribute much of my still being alive today to lessons I learned back then about things that were safe or not safe.

It wasn't long behind me that the whole 80s Panic Culture started and so all that came to an end by the time I was in high school.

Also, LSD is amazing.
posted by hippybear at 1:24 PM on July 8 [13 favorites]

my god i must have read this book 900 times as a kid starting in like fourth grade or something. like several others have said, its main effect was to make LSD and weed sound absolutely amazing and my entire goal in life became to find and ingest some immediately. (it took until like 11th grade before a nerd like me was able to get my hands on some though, unfortunately)
posted by capnsue at 1:30 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]

I haven't thought about this since I read it around age 12.

All I can say is that it failed miserably in it's mission to keep me from trying drugs.

I never had much interest in LSD, but cocaine and alcohol were a lot of fun!
posted by freakazoid at 1:33 PM on July 8

My personal Go Ask Alice (in the "young person gets obsessed with a YA novel about a kid in trouble, but not for the author's intended reason" sense) was the largely forgotten Slake's Limbo, about a kid who lives by himself in the tunnels of the NYC subway but manages to hold down a job, decorate his living space however he wants, go on dates, and frankly live exactly the kind of life I thought sounded awesome.

I'm pretty sure I got it at a Scholastic book fair.
posted by penduluum at 1:33 PM on July 8 [15 favorites]

I did a report on LSD for a junior high health class, and the cover of my report showed, on one side, someone rocketing into the sky like a superhero, because they were getting high, you see, and on the other side, someone falling to their death, because I had it on good authority that LSD made you jump out of windows. Although I was running off of pure antidrug agitprop, I'm still a bit proud of that visual.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:34 PM on July 8 [8 favorites]

penduluum, that reminds me a bit of The Planet of Junior Brown.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:36 PM on July 8

I was a little too young for "Go Ask Alice". The anti-drug ad I remember most from the late 80s when I was a teen was the one that solemnly intoned "Parents who use drugs have kids who use drugs," which we thought was so hilarious that whenever one of my friends would ask another any question including "Why did you..." the immediate answer would be "YOU, all right? I LEARNED IT FROM WATCHING YOU!"
posted by Daily Alice at 1:39 PM on July 8 [32 favorites]

I guess it did sort of work on me, in that I knew from a young age I was not Cool, so drugs must not be for me. It wasn't until college when I realized that drugs were for everyone.
posted by muddgirl at 1:42 PM on July 8 [15 favorites]

I looooved this book when I was 17! I: 1. Believed that it was totally true at the time, and 2. Tried LSD and mescaline like the night after I finished it.
posted by sugarbomb at 1:52 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]

probably because of Lisa, Bright and Dark

I was today years old when I realized these were separate books.
posted by corb at 2:12 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]

one of the counsellors told me that DARE was actually more likely to lead to drug use than not

I am under the impression that the majority of research does not look good for D.A.R.E. at all and that it has hence fallen out of favor somewhat. A couple years ago I came across a guy with a table set up at a shopping center soliciting donations, which a.) might not actually be new but which feels pretty low for the D.A.R.E. of my youth and b.) I could swear was framed like they were specifically pitching an effort to get D.A.R.E. back into local schools, targeting those of us old enough to be nostalgic for it.

"Drugs Are Really Expensive."

You know, drugs did set me back financially more than in any other aspect of my life - this might not be a bad message.
posted by atoxyl at 2:25 PM on July 8 [7 favorites]

Bartley, Halloween Jack the whiskey and milk in the thermos is in Sandra Scoppetone's The Late Great Me( avaliable to borrow on the internet archive).

She also wrote Suzuki Beane, a bunch of other YA and mysteries.
posted by brujita at 2:31 PM on July 8 [7 favorites]

LSD was hard to come by in the mid 90s if you were a ten year old in the suburbs but we lived in hope that someone would get us some.

She would hate me for mentioning this but my oldest friend and I spent one whole night in 1990 (we were 14) trying to smoke "Opium" scented potpourri from the local batik bedspread/Wicca mom shop because try as we might, we could not find a single person cool enough to get us any real drugs.

And I grew up in a hippie town, y'all.
posted by thivaia at 2:33 PM on July 8 [9 favorites]

I found it odd that Beatrice Sparks' obituary wasn't in the NY times.

The family of the irl "Jay" is NOT happy with the Sparks book.
posted by brujita at 2:36 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]

Paul F. Thompkins weighs in on the subject

That whole PFT album is gold, including the ultimate resolution of the perennial cake v. pie debate. The title of the album -- from GAA -- is appropriately Freak Wharf.
posted by Shepherd at 3:15 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]

Someday we'll find it
The Minnesota Connection
I'm damned 'cuz I tried LSDeeeeeee

posted by Gray Duck at 3:32 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]

The only book that was ALWAYS check out of my high school library...

(With the left behind books, ugh, a closed second in popularity.)
posted by subdee at 4:43 PM on July 8

I remember all those antidrug and alcohol things. We were not impressed by "Go ask Alice" or after-school specials. We had to read a pamphlet called "Ethyl on my mind" featuring a female bottle of wine walking erratically while wearing a lampshade on her head. It had a paragraph about how, yes, if you were drunk, you were less likely to freeze to death if you fell unconscious into a snowdrift, but the pamphlet noted that you were more likely to fall unconscious into a snowdrift if you were drunk. I remember wondering if this was a useful to know if I ever fell into a snowdrift. What actually worked was a field trip we took as 4th graders to a medical lab where the researchers showed us mice that had been fed different drugs. The mouse on speed ran in tight circles. I don't remember what the LSD mouse did. We kids were pretty impressed, but, in retrospect, now that I am a scientist myself, I realize I don't keep a bunch of drug-addicted mice hanging around my lab. That whole thing was rigged.
posted by acrasis at 5:28 PM on July 8 [5 favorites]

The best part of this book, when I was a kid, was the part where two fifteen year olds open a white-faux-fur bedecked shop full of stuff they like in San Francisco. I seriously remember reading that at, like, eleven and being in absolute awe that anyone could be so cool.

That's not too far off the story of Jim Siegel and White Rabbit, though that happened after the book was published.
posted by feckless at 5:33 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]

Oh man. I remember a cousin loaned me this and I read it in the mid-70's when I was around 11 or so. Completely bought the premise, did not even occur to me that it wasn't an actual found diary. Then it sort of lurked around in my head and many years later I ended up being reminded of it and thought .... waaaaaaiiitaminute. That's pretty fuckin sketchy right there.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:22 PM on July 8

Thank you for this post! The podcast episodes are a delight. I thought of posting about them myself.

I remember reading this book at the table in the middle school library, unwilling to try to take it home. Naturally I believed the nonsense, although I do not think the particular drug myths were new to me. What was new was the way the world just closed in on Alice, how everybody turned against her, which was terrifying.

I had an interest in stories about real (for various values of "real") girls who were navigating a strange new hellworld, and it's funny that I thought I was so alone in that when it is entirely to be expected for young teens. The book that made the bigger impression on me was I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, about a girl struggling with schizophrenia rather than drug abuse. As a certified weird girl who was extremely in her head about her new feelings, I was really compelled and frightened by stories about getting lost like this. (In looking briefly into it now, it appears that book was at least honest in its way, although the author may not have been correctly diagnosed.)
posted by Countess Elena at 8:26 PM on July 8 [5 favorites]

Finished listening to this series, and the second and third parts are as great as the first one. Machado is an engaging conversationalist, and Rick Emerson does a great job at joining the conversation in the third part.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:45 AM on July 9

One pill makes you Roger and
One pill makes you Paul
And the ones that mother gives you
Don't make you anyone at all
Go ask Alice
When he's Charles De Gaulle
posted by othrechaz at 8:49 AM on July 9 [10 favorites]

Haven't listened to the podcast yet, but reminds me of the "Dope Fiend" passage from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (movie scene link)
posted by Hume at 9:21 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]

Bartley, Halloween Jack the whiskey and milk in the thermos is in Sandra Scoppetone's The Late Great Me( avaliable to borrow on the internet archive).

I googled to be sure, and based on the cover this is definitely the one I read many times. It has a photo of the character on the front looking fine but gazing at the booze, and on the back, totally drunk.

I recognized the milk-and-scotch thermos, but I'm pretty sure this is also the book where she got so fat that the only thing she could wear, somehow, was a kind of runner thing that had been on top of the piano? So not actually clothing.

Sandra Scoppetone also wrote "Trying Hard to Hear You," the rare novel in my youth that had gay characters, at least one of whom ends up dead by the end. Typical of the era—it came out in 1974—-when gay people didn't get happy endings. Scoppetone herself was a lesbian.
posted by Well I never at 10:19 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]

I'm amused that others here have also read The Late Great Me. That is all.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:51 PM on July 9

Christiane F is what we were shown in high school as the big Don't Do Drugs movie. Go Ask Alice was not available in the school library but someone had a well-thumbed secondhand copy that was passed around.
posted by andraste at 1:33 AM on July 10

I never read Go Ask Alice, but one of our teachers in middle school READ US the entirety of It Happened to Nancy, the book about getting date raped and getting AIDS and dying, another fabricated diary "edited" by Sparks.
posted by Tesseractive at 1:10 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]

jenfulmoon's link is to a review of Rick Emerson's book, which I finished today; it's a relatively quick but engaging read. Although GAA is implicated as ammo in the early War on (Some) Drugs, Emerson really takes Sparks to task for being responsible for much of the Satanic Panic; lots of the hysteria in the form of specific claims about Satanic ritual abuse seems to have come from Jay's Journal, and unlike the likely source of GAA, there was never really any secret about the identity of the teen whose journal formed the seed of the (largely fictionalized) Jay's Journal, at least in his home town.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:40 PM on July 10 [2 favorites]

I read this in high school and have only vague memories about it.

But since we're telling drug stories from high school - when I was a senior (1974) our English class had to do a presentation of some sort. I don't remember what I did but I DO remember the presentation that involved a demonstration of how to roll a joint. Really. The teacher was frozen in her horror, let the presentation finish and then just said "that was not appropriate". Everyone in the class was watching with rapt attention, although I'm pretty sure at least half the class was already adept at joint rolling.

The other presentation I remember - in the same class - was a sympathetic presentation about Malcolm X but that's for another time.
posted by bluesky43 at 2:43 PM on July 10 [2 favorites]

I'm surprised Jay's Journal predates the book that really kicked the Satanic Panic into gear, Michelle Remembers, and I wonder if that scumbag Lawrence Pazder plagiarized Sparks.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:45 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]

also the movie yt ... starring William Shatner as Dad
Wait. What?! Really?! I missed that part.
posted by eotvos at 9:39 PM on July 10

my oldest friend and I spent one whole night in 1990 (we were 14) trying to smoke "Opium" scented potpourri from the local batik bedspread/Wicca mom shop

My best friend and I were around that age when we tried rolling up and smoking some Lipton tea. It was terrible. Would've definitely been healthier on our lungs if someone had deemed us cool enough to sell us some weed.

The main thing I remember about our D.A.R.E. education circa 1999/2000 was that they gave out these erasers that said "Drugs Erase Your Mind" and everyone started scratching off the words so it said "Drug Your Mind" instead.
posted by adso at 7:44 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]

Mefi's former hermitosis screened GAA as part of their Meet the Lady series several years ago and brought Jamie Smith-Jackson to speak.

It's available on tubi
posted by brujita at 5:41 AM on July 12

I'm halfway through Unmasking Alice and I like it a lot. It moves at a brisk pace and covers a lot of ground The true story of Jay is touching and the way Sparks exploited it is infuriating. Also, there are some very weird details about Sparks' house.
posted by LindsayIrene at 8:02 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]

This was the first book I ever bailed on reading (which up until then, I viewed as a personal failiing). That's right, this book was so bad, it taught me as a child that hey, maybe not all books are automatically worth reading just because they were published. It singlehandedly dethroned books as these mystical objects, these magical tools of knowledge. A revelation on the same level as learning, as a kid, that some adults are actually pretty full of bullshit.

So, uh, thanks?
posted by Eideteker at 8:10 AM on July 13 [2 favorites]

My 8th grade English teacher specifically told us NOT to pick GAA, Sybil or The Diary of Anne Frank for a biography report. My parents had a copy of Nancy Milford's Zelda Fitzgerald bio so I read that.
posted by brujita at 9:07 AM on July 15 [1 favorite]

From the above:

... According to author and religious studies professor Joseph Laycock, Jay’s Journal “helped trigger the Satanic Panic” of the 1980s that accused heavy metal and Dungeons and Dragons of turning teens murderous and suicidal.

Some blowjob on Twitter went trending yesterday because he said that the Satanic Panic was a good thing because the child abuse was real. He wasn't even a Republican or some other kind of fascist, just somebody who profoundly does not remember the '80s. And because of the hand of Time, the public is now full of adults who don't remember the '80s, which is partly why we are reliving some of the stupidest parts.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:13 AM on July 26

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