Adults like to scare themselves with doomsday scenarios, if only to imagine how they might overcome or avert them, but we pass them down to our children as fables. Children like to be scared, so they’re always a ready market for our stories.

I’m still not sure what kind of fables we’re telling kids today, but down in the trenches of parenthood it seems to have something to do with superheroes and supernatural eruptions into teen sex lives. I don’t know what effect that will have on our kids, but I do know that a diet of dystopia back in the ’70s made my generation prone to despair and often supine in the face of threats to our livelihoods and lifestyles.