Last week I finished reading the Animorphs. I’ve read it before, back when I was a kid, but reading it this time was a totally different experience. Most obviously, I’m older, so a story about a bunch of teens doesn’t read the same as it did when they were closer to my contemporaries. On top of that, I’ve read a lot more since then, so I recognized the tropes along the way, sometimes for better but usually for worse. Finally, I’m more politically aware than I was as a 12-year-old, and that made me way more cognizant of the messages of the series.
Basically… War sucks. Discrimination sucks. Divisiveness sucks. Violence sucks.
K.A. Applegate wrote a letter about the ending of the series after it came out, that has one really important message I want to focus on today. I’ll definitely have more to say about the series in the future, but for now, let’s just talk about that ending.
(Spoilers, of course, follow through the rest of this post. If you want to avoid the spoilers, stop reading, and go vote.)
“So, you don’t like the way our little fictional war came out? You don’t like Rachel dead and Tobias shattered and Jake guilt-ridden? You don’t like that one war simply led to another? Fine. Pretty soon you’ll all be of voting age, and of draft age. So when someone proposes a war, remember that even the most necessary wars, even the rare wars where the lines of good and evil are clear and clean, end with a lot of people dead, a lot of people crippled, and a lot of orphans, widows and grieving parents.”
Tomorrow is the mid-term election for the United States, and there is a war being promoted by our current administration against us. Against unity and inclusivity and truth. It’s a war of words, but those words are more and more frequently being translated into violent, despicable, cowardly, hateful action by people who are emboldened by our President.
Tomorrow we have a chance to vote against hatred. A chance to vote against racism. A chance to vote against violence. A chance to vote against bigotry and jingoism and ignorance.
Please go vote. Go vote for peace, and for love, and for unity.
And go vote for Rachel.
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