American Literature Abuse Society

Literature abuse, or “readaholism,” is a very serious problem.  Okay, it’s actually a silly one that was totally made up, but this great website for the American Literature Abuse Society (ALAS) is very funny and worth a read.  They also have a special section for when the problem gets completely out of control — that’s right, when the readaholic spirals into the depths of becoming (insert ominous music here) an English Major:

“Within the sordid world of literature abuse, the lowest circle belongs to those sufferers who have thrown their lives and hopes away to study literature in our colleges. Parents should look for signs that their children are taking the wrong path – don’t expect your teenager to approach you and say, ‘I can’t stop reading Spencer.’ By the time you visit her dorm room and find the secret stash of the Paris Review, it may already be too late. What to do if you suspect your child is becoming an English major:

1) Talk to your child in a loving way. Show your concern. Let her know you won’t abandon her- but that you aren’t spending a hundred grand to put her through Stanford so she can clerk at Waldenbooks, either. But remember that she may not be able to make a decision without help; perhaps she has just finished Madame Bovary and is dying of arsenic poisoning.

2) Face the issue: Tell her what you know, and how: ‘I found this book in your purse. How long has this been going on?’ Ask the hard question- Who is this Count Vronsky?’

3) Show her another way. Move the television set into her room. Praise her brother, the engineer. Introduce her to frat boys.

4) Do what you have to do. Tear up her library card. Make her stop signing her letters as ‘Emma.’ Force her to take a math class, or minor in Spanish. Transfer her to a Florida college.”

If you’re a regular visitor to A Bunch of Wordz, then chances are, you already fall into the category of a chronic readaholic.  I’d say you should probably read up on it — but, maybe not.

Abuse: Genes, Teens, and Talking Smack

In case you missed my post yesterday or the gazillions of other people writing about this on the internet, today is the day where bloggers come together to raise awareness of various forms of abuse.  In light of that, I’d like to talk about the following 3 things:  1) how a certain gene causes people who were mistreated as children to become violent adults, 2) when your child is abusing you — when kid or teen defiance is more than normal kid stuff and how to tell if your child has Oppositional Defiance Disorder, and 3) verbal abuse from the perspective of the abuser.

1) Reason Magazine published an article which asks the question “Are criminals born or made?”  The answer:

“A study published last week in Science suggests they’re made, but some people provide better raw material than others.

The study involved the gene that encodes the brain enzyme monoamine oxidase A (MAOA)….

Subjects who both suffered abuse and carried the low-activity MAOA gene were nine times as likely as the rest of the study group to engage in antisocial behavior such as persistent fighting, bullying, lying, stealing, or disobeying rules in adolescence. They accounted for only 12 percent of the subjects but 44 percent of the study group’s convictions for violent crime.

The results were even starker for the subjects who had suffered the most serious abuse. “As adults, 85 percent of the severely maltreated children who also had the gene for low MAOA activity developed antisocial outcomes, such as violent criminal behavior,” said Terrie Moffitt, one of the lead researchers.”

Read more about the MAOA gene at

2) At first glance, ODD, or Oppositional Defiance Disorder seems like something overzealous psychatrists and worry-wart parents made up.  The behavorial signs are all things that a normal teenager usually goes through:  losing ones temper, disobeying adults, arguing.  But ODD is much more than teenage angst, and many of the behavoirs are usually present from early childhood.  Additionally, ODD can cause a great deal of emotional turmoil for the rest of the family.  It often goes undiagnosed and can eventually lead to much more serious problems, such as Conduct Disorder, if left untreated.  Find out more about ODD and Conduct Disorder at or take the test to see if your child displays the symptoms of ODD at the ADD ADHD Advances website.

3) Lastly, check out this letter from a verbal abuser who acknowledges his problem and seeks change at Dr. Irene’s Verbal Abuse (Site).  The letter is interspersed with Dr. Irene’s advice.  If you suspect you may be a verbal abuser or a victim of verbal abuse, read Dr. Irene’s Signs of Verbal and Emotional Abuse.

India’s Bilingual Online Lit Mag

I’m always on the lookout for good literature in English which originates outside the usual sources like the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.  I was delighted when I found Tistarangit: First Online Literary Magazine of Sikkim, which is published in Sikkim, a state within India with a very interesting history.  Here you will find essays, fiction, and poetry translated into English.  The following is taken from a poem called The Expanding Universe by Rajendra Bhandari.

“From where I stand
the graveyard is nearer than my home.
The noonday shadow
under my foot
stretches in the afternoon.
Everything is running farther:
Mother’s embraces, Father’s blessing,
the childhood landscapes
the playground of my youth
the bamboo groves.”

Please go and read the entire poem and take some time to explore this site.  From what I gather, establishing this magazine is a big step for the people of this small state.  It’s also a fascinating window into a different culture which is making big strides into the larger literary scene.

Saving the World, One Blog at a Time

What is ozone abuse?  I have no clue, but maybe I’ll find out on September 27th, 2007, when bloggers are challenged by to blog about abuse (you choose which kind).  In addition, is sponsoring a contest where you can win prizes and have a donation made to charity in your name when you participate.  Take part in history, mark your calendar, blog to change the world.

Also, some cellphone blogger called Nine made these graphics.  Nice job.

Hypnosis and Phobia — A True Story

Mom Writers Literary Magazine features writing by mothers about motherhood.  Hypnosis Triumph by Diana M. Raab is the true story of a daughter’s medical phobia and the attempts to cure it through hypnosis.  Following is an excerpt:

“While standing in line to pay, Anna whispered, ‘Mom, I feel faint.’ She was not a huge fan of breakfast, so I suspected she was hungry. I pulled out a candy from my purse. While handing it to her, I noticed the color had completely vanished from her face. All of a sudden, her knees gave out, and she slid down onto the industrial-carpeted floor. My nursing instinct told me to cup my hand behind her head for protection. In the process, I lost the balance off my platform shoes, and my body flung directly on top of hers.”

Diana Raab writes a column at and has published several books, including Regina’s Closet: Finding My Grandmother’s Secret Journal.  You can also read a book review for Regina’s Closet at

WOW — Words on the Web

Words on the Web or “WOW” is an online literary magazine now in its sixth issue.  Check out these excerpts from two short poems in the current edition.

Scene in a Parking Lot by Nic Sebastian:

“I see them in the parking lot
in November she holds him
tight he talks does not stop
talking he pries her arms loose”

The Mountain Afterwards by Gréagóir Ó Dúill:

“The mountain will be the same
       angle, flat-top, drop
when she is no longer here
       and I am.”

Or visit the WOW homepage.

Reciprocal Links

I’m submitting this blog to various sites tonight, and some of them require a link back, so that’s what this post is about.  You can check out the following links for large quantities of blogs if you’re interested…

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