The Things People Call ‘Literature’

I was browsing through a few of Google’s literature related news articles yesterday and found another article discussing the degenerative nature of youth literature, specifically ‘chick lit,’ that is, literature targeting young women and girls. The major complaint of the article was that much of the literature in this category exhibits a considerable corrupting influence on the young people who read it, leading them to lives to sexual promiscuity, rampant consumerism, and wild debauchery in general. I wonder if there was a time when youth has not been surrounded with these regrettable, yet natural, aspects of the human condition. And, is it in the interest of those of us who are supposedly older and wiser to suppress this less-than-respectable ‘literature’ or to allow the minds of the young to analyze and accept or reject as we have done. Either course is obviously not possible to enact in its entirety, so I guess I am begging the question, which way should we be leaning? This is of course begs another question, which way is society leaning? And a third, shouldn’t the level-headed citizen always be pushing in the opposite direction?

If society is becoming increasingly liberal, is it not in the best interest of the moderate majority to become more conservative? If the opposite is true, than isn’t also its correlate? Or should we encourage freedom and expression regardless of the consequences? What exactly would be the consequences of allowing complete freedom of undeveloped minds such as these? I realize as I write this that the topic is growing in complexity beyond my control, and it makes me very happy I have no children, but increasingly disappointed that other people continue to do so.