Thursday, March 29, 2012
And in all likelihood I will figure out a way to put this audio up, as an MP3, which you can download for your listening pleasure, if you'd rather do that sort of thing. And the link to it will be, let's say, HERE.
Anyway. BLOGGING LOOKING FOR ALASKA, part 10. When we last left our heroes, Pudge, who--I've been calling him Miles, but we're gonna have to start calling him Pudge, because that is what he is called in the book. He's Pudge. I've been pretending that's not true, but it is. PUDGE took a basketball to the ol' noggin, and then threw up on his date Lara's lap.
I would be surprised if some enterprising nerdfighter hasn't already put up like a picture on Tumblr that says "In Soviet Russia, Lara throws up on YOUR lap!"
84 Days Before (Hey, it rhymes!)
It starts raining at Culver Creek, like a lot of rain, like there are multiple references to Noah and the Flood. And the first one is cute, and the second one is like WE GET IT. And the third one is like, I don't know if there's a third one, but TWO IS PLENTY.
And Pudge goes a couple days just seeing Alaska, not talking to her, and then one day he finally does. And there's this very Hemingway section:
"Indeed," she said. Her wet hair hung from her head and mostly covered her face. I ate some. She ate some.
And he asks how she's been, and she says "I'm not really up for answering questions that start with how, when, where, why, or what." Which is basically all questions unless you're the kind of person who asks a question like "The fuck?" Which is what I would say if someone said something like this to me.
But clearly we're in the MDPDG phase, the Manic Depressive Pixie Dream Girl. OK. And he asks if he's done something wrong because that is what guys do, and she says "Of course not, Sweetie" in a condescending way because that is what girls do. And Miles acts like he could never possibly understand her problems, and you get the sense that her problems are part of what makes her so fuckable to him. And that makes sense, because that is what, I'm sorry, WHITE MALE AUTHORS do. They think that they are being progressive by saying, "Hey, you know what? I even like the fact that this girl is a bitch sometimes!" And they don't realize that that is just as--it's worse! It's like when Esquire does that thing where they're like, "Hey have you guys noticed, for the sixty-second consecutive month, we have noticed that women are more than just walking vaginas for putting our dicks in? They're good at stuff other than sitting on dicks! They talk with their mouths and say words! And we enjoy the shape of their mouths while they talk, but we also listen to half the words or so!" Farbeit for me to speak on behalf of all women, but I think I can speak on behalf of white women (obviously), when I say: they would probably rather you just say you want to tit fuck them rather than obviously AVOID saying you want to tit fuck them and then act like you deserve a medal for avoiding it, like it was SO HARD TO DO.
76 Days Before
Once again we have one of those things where a woman acts in a complicated way, and John Green does a relatively fair treatment of it, and then a male character calls a girl a bitch on the next page. The Colonel is talking about his girlfriend, whatever the fuck her name was, and he has an epiphany that she was a bitch, which I feel like is the same epiphany he had last time he thought about her, and I don't care about her, and I just want everybody to move on. I want the Colonel to move on. Not because I care about him at all as a person but because I want him to SHUT UP.
So then The Old Man, the spiritual lynch pin of this book or--ugh--I could SAY he's the central philosophical figure of this book, and then I'd turn the page and Pudge would say, "He's kind of the central philosophical figure of this book!" Anyway he comes in and he says "Now, about this Jesus fellow..." and we go "Oh, that's a funny turn of phrase!" And a thousand vlogs were born. And the Old Man has a nice little speech about Jesus, which only makes me a little bit uneasy because one of you told me that this book was actually conceived as a Christian novel? And that makes me feel dirty, like you nerfighters tricked me into this shit.
But anyway he ends with "But Jesus was special because he lacked wealth and noble birth, but inherited the ultimate nobility: King of Kings. Class over. You can pick up a copy of your final exam on the way out. Stay dry." Which is nice in one of those "I wish you way more than luck" type things, but also he's talking about Jesus so I don't really care. So the final exam question is "What is the most important question human beings have to answer? Choose your questions...then examine how Islam, Buddhism and Christianity attempt to answer it." (Which is like a question that gets less and less interesting as it keeps going on--also, Islam, Buddhism and Christianity? I feel suspicious about the content and order of that curriculum. Like, he's two weird exotic things and here's The Way The Truth And The Light! CLASS OVER!)
So the Colonel and Pudge are talking about what they might do for the exam and then Alaska comes running toward them and she's screaming and being hysterical, in that way that bitches are, because maybe they are having their lady-times, but obviously Pudge will understand because he is the Great White Hope. And she's upset because the guys who tried to murder Pudge have now "pranked" her by flooding her dorm and destroying a lot of her books (what is with these guys and the water torture?). And a crime against a book within a book is a crime that we should ALL feel bad about. But the Colonel doesn't seem that down about it, he says it was a good prank. But also adds "God will punish the wicked. And before He does, we will." Like some Boondock Saints shit. There is a time that would have worked on me.
67 Days Before
We are moving at a pretty rapid clip toward whatever this thing that happens is. And I'm not just skimming faster because I'm talking now and because my voice gets tired faster than my hands do (LADIES...). We're really moving fast, jumping eleven or twelve days at a time. So more Noah references (luckily the rain didn't last for forty days because I would have been like FUCK YOU PUDGE) and then the rain stops. And Pudge is reading about the Civil War which he mentions as being known around his parts (gross) as The War Between The States, which is one of maybe like THREE times that he acknowledges the cultural differences of being in the South. There is no racism in this book, because there aren't any black characters to speak of. And it's fine that there aren't any interesting cultural observations--you can set something in Alabama and not talk about that. I'm sure there are at least five or six people in Alabama who are not racist, and maybe this book is about those five people, but don't bring it up at all! If you're gonna not with the thing, you know?
Pudge mentions that a lot of the people who died in the war had good last words (I mean the odds are just in your favor there, what with the THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF SENSELESS DEATHS but never mind that, let's get to the cleverness!) like a guy who was asked if he was injured and he said "Yes, and I fear seriously" (very witty way to die, nice job). Takumi shows up, superfluously, and he gives Miles an oatmeal cream pie, and he bites into it and says "Mmmm, hundreds of delicious calories per bite," and I wrote next to it OH RELAX. Seriously.
Takumi has a purpose, for once, he is bringing along some information that couldn't conceivably come from one of our major characters (OH that is why he is here). He tells Pudge that Alaska ratted out her roommate and her boyfriend who were fucking and getting high and you know, doing fun stuff while our heroes were talking about, I don't know, math and french fries.
So Alaska is the rat; she got caught leaving campus with booze and the principal said Tell me everything you know or go home. Which doesn't strike me as a particularly realistic administrative policy, but apparently everybody knows That Is How The Eagle Does Business. This guy, who will later be presented as an upstanding, good person--we don't leave this book with an unfavorable opinion of the Eagle. But he is a corrupt cop, I guess.
And because Omerta is so important at Culver Creek, the fact that Alaska is a rat--oh, she's a bitch AND a rat, how is Miles every going to fuck her again? I'm sure he'll find a way. But he is very upset about this new revelation. And maybe we are supposed to be too? They speculate why Alaska would be a rat rather than just get expelled, and guess that her home life is probably not so good (and there's a problem that LEGITIMATELY should increase Alaska's fuckability, girls who hate their parents are TOPS).
Nevertheless Takumi makes Pudge promise that if he ever gets caught critically, he will NOT be a rat, he will not give up information about, you know, the fact that the Colonel keeps vodka in his milk and weed in his own shit, or whatever. And Miles says yes, of course, I will fall on my sword before I give up my comrades. And of course he says that to Takumi, because fuck him, who cares what you tell that guy?
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
"Maxxie and Anwar" (Anwar is relegated here to simply sitting in the background and glaring) this episode is downright redemptive, with Sid and Michelle and Michelle's step-father ALL making positive changes and not even ultimately backsliding! A thing like that!
rack-focus during Cassie's only scene (let's hear it for Cassie, by the way, right? CASSIE!!!), in which she simultaneously busts Sid's and her new boyfriend's balls.
(*And even if he isn't, he really annoyingly pretends he is.)
rack-focus during Cassie's only scene (let's hear it for Cassie, by the way, right? CASSIE!!!), in which she simultaneously busts Sid's and her new boyfriend's balls.
(*And even if he isn't, he really annoyingly pretends he is.)
Even now I curse the day—and yet, I think,I mean, Tony hasn't dug up a dead body yet but give him time.
Few come within the compass of my curse,—
Wherein I did not some notorious ill,
As kill a man, or else devise his death,
Ravish a maid, or plot the way to do it,
Accuse some innocent and forswear myself,
Set deadly enmity between two friends,
Make poor men’s cattle break their necks;
Set fire on barns and hay-stacks in the night,
And bid the owners quench them with their tears.
Oft have I digg’d up dead men from their graves,
And set them upright at their dear friends’ doors,
Even when their sorrows almost were forgot;
And on their skins, as on the bark of trees,
Have with my knife carved in Roman letters,
‘Let not your sorrow die, though I am dead.’
Tut, I have done a thousand dreadful things
As willingly as one would kill a fly,
And nothing grieves me heartily indeed
But that I cannot do ten thousand more.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
So here I am, minding my business, thinking I'm a normal human person, and then I see a 49 second teaser trailer for Breaking Dawn pt. 2, a movie based on a part of a book I thought I loathed so much that I actually claimed I wasn't going to see it. Seriously, I actually claimed that. December 8th, 2011:
[7:24 PM] zacharylittle: Well, I am done with this series anyway.But apparently I was wrong about my own feelings, because my reaction to this trailer went something like this: FUCK YEAH ROCK ME VAMPY BELLA! FUCK YOU KATNISS! ICE THAT FUCKING DEER WITH YOUR BARE HANDS BELLA ARROWS IS 4 PUSSIES!!!! I'm so very on board with this movie. Already. I love that Vampire Bella is bringing some J-horror style to the proceedings. BEFORE YOU DIE YOU SEE THE UGLY ENGAGEMENT RING.
[7:24 PM] pir8munky: uh, you aren't going to se part 2?
[7:24 PM] kirabira: bullshit.
[7:24 PM] kirabira: you have to see pt 2.
[7:24 PM] zacharylittle: In theaters? I doubt it.
[7:24 PM] pir8munky: totally!
[7:25 PM] kirabira: you have to see renesmee
[7:25 PM] pir8munky: you can't stop now, zac
[7:25 PM] pir8munky: you have to see the "battle"
[7:25 PM] kirabira: you need to see this through.
[7:25 PM] zacharylittle: Like, no joke, this movie temporarily restored my love for the series
[7:25 PM] zacharylittle: But that love is gone again already
[7:25 PM] kirabira: maybe you don't need to attend a convention (but you do) but you need to see pt 2.
[7:25 PM] zacharylittle: UGHHH
[7:25 PM] pir8munky: This series is the Jake Gyllenhaal character to my Heath Ledger character
Monday, March 26, 2012
- Jezebel has a speculative piece about the race of the major characters in The Hunger Games. The conclusions are...mostly inconclusive! Oh well. Hey, why do people say the name Panem is "most likely" derived from "panem et circenses"? It very explicitly comes from that, as explained (dumbly) in Mockingjay. Look alive, bloggers.
- They've also (Jezebel was ALL OVER this movie. Props.) got a comprehensive list of everything the movie omitted from the book. I haven't read it because I want to be surprised in my disappointment, hahaha.
- Kotaku has a gude for how a Hunger Games video game could and should work. It didn't really occur to me that kids killing each other in a video game is problematic, but you know, it is! Whoops.
- i09 mentions a CW-ripoff of the Hunger Games now being fast-tracked, and recommends a few other properties that would make interesting Paranormal Teen Fuck Shows (my favorite Netflix category). Elsewhere at i09, pictures from an abandoned Japanese sex museum. Unrelated, but still cool!
- The article I was most excited about has finally arrived: Mary HK Choi and Natasha Vargas-Cooper discuss the movie in their particular, wonderful way.
- Not to end on a sour note, but Kim posted this god-awful thing in the comments of the last post and I feel compelled to share it here and ruin your day too. Jezebel reports on the trend of horrible teenagers complaining that Thresh and Rue are black. YIKES. Nearly all of these asshole appear to have been run off of Twitter, which is great. GOOD RIDDANCE. And at least one of them has been taken over by a parody account.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
This week we got a French-subtitled red-band teaser trailer for Robert Pattinson's next movie, Cosmopolis, and it looks like a doozy. Hand-shooting! Face-stabbing! Fucking! Dinosaurs? ("An R-rated Tree of Life set mostly in a limo."-Free quote for the next trailer). What do you think? Is this going to win our boy legitimacy in the culture at large? Between this and On The Road, how much goodwill do you think R. Pattz and K. Stew will earn by the end of the year? And how much damage will Breaking Dawn 2 do to said goodwill?
Friday, March 23, 2012
Various Links (I'll update over the weekend)
- Jezebel points out that The Hunger Games is the first movie about a girl. Or something. Do you think this is a significant crack in cinema's glass ceiling? Does cinema have a glass ceiling, in front of the camera anyway? I don't know. I am asking.
- Mother Jones viscously pans the flick, recommending instead that you see Battle Royale and City Of God. The second recommendation kind of comes out of nowhere, but it is true: you SHOULD see that movie. Battle Royale was eh though.
- Slate's Dana Stevens offers an enthusiastic review, more or less spoiler-free, for the uninitiated.
- Also at Slate, LV Anderson notes a frankly MADDENING trend in reviews of The Hunger Games: critics picking on Jennifer Lawrence's body. Um, LOOK AT THIS GIRL. And then look at the gaunt figure Ashley Greene has become lately. SHUT THE FUCK UP, MANOHLA DARGIS, TODD McCARTHY and JEFFREY WELLS! Let Jennifer Lawrence be great (and sexy, dammit)!
- Posters for The Hunger Games as directed by various auteurs. Pretty good.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Part II: The Quell
Shit gets exponentially totalitarian in District 12 because President Snow is working out his anger on the rebels by punishing Katniss. What's funny is that eventually, everybody will acknowledge the fact that Katniss has only a symbolic role (albeit a powerful one) in the whole war effort--which should be obvious already given that it started without her and is now going on without her, away from her--and even Snow (eventually) seems to know this. So the fact that he'd waste so much time and energy making her miserable is weird, but whatever, and eventually he announces that since it's the 75th Hunger Games, they're going to mix it up. Former winners from each district will fight it out (So yeah, Catching Fire is to Real World/Road Rules Challenge as Inception is to Scrooge McDuck or whatever). Since Katniss is the only living female champion from D12, she's in.
So she gets drunk with Haymitch and they make a pact to protect Peeta at all costs. Now, the getting drunk thing is kind of great and subversive at first--teen drinking! Never mind that girl has SEEN SOME SHIT and deserves a drink every now and then, but still! But Katniss wakes up with like, the worst hangover of all time and makes sure to note, several more times, what a bad, bad idea drinking is. Teens: Katniss is lying to you.
Once we're back in the Capitol (Haymitch gets picked for the games, which would have been BADASS, but Peeta volunteers in his place. Fucking Peeta!) in the Capitol, the rest of part II consists of escalating acts of political subversion. Cinna dresses Katniss up in a terrifying Black Swan number for the parade through the city. Which is nice, because girl has been White Swan for a half a book too long. For real though, that section of the book is pretty gnarly.
But then another stupid thing happens. SURPRISE. Katniss is getting in a elevator and this chick Johanna Mason (who I visualized as Joanna Newsom) starts talking to her. Johanna is complaining about her outfit for the just-finished opening ceremonies, and then she just gets naked and keeps talking to Katniss. So far, so good.
But once she leaves, Peeta laughs at Katniss and tells her that the other victors are making fun of her for being prudish. That all of the weird encounters she has had with them so far have been intended to mock her purity. Peeta points out her unwillingess to see him naked back in the arena in the first book (I mean he doesn't say "Remember in the first book?" but anyway). So we already know about the sins of excess at the Capitol—they of the ipecac parties and all that shit—and the Hunger Games themselves are the crass violent fixation of a corrupt, evil society. So why do we have to bring sex and nudity into our crosshairs, too? You guys know that I am a champion of sex and nudity, so this shit really offended me.
Dig it: Katniss, our hero, is righteous and tries to avoid unecessary violence and is generous with food and money. Enemies at every turn do none of these things, as Katniss is the opposite of them. And now the other thing that bad people do is fuck. Now one of Katniss’s most important traits is that she is “pure.” She’s killed some people, but she’s a virgin. Katniss = purity, charity, nonviolence, and now ABSTINENCE. The Capitol = excessive violence, greed, and now SEX. Having sex, therefore, is essentially suggested to be as bad as killing, as bad as tyranny. All excess is the same. Except: Oddly, the only sin that seems to be okay for the righteous side of the fight is alcohol and drug abuse. Okay! I don’t feel good about these themes.
But I do like Katniss's slutty new friends, Joanna Newsom and Finnick Odair (for the record, I picture him as Michael Fassbender and I think you should too).
And if you're doubting this purity argument that I am putting forth here, well:
At the interviews before the Games, Katniss and the other victor-tributes pull on heartstrings (some of them are super old, some of them have families) to win audience support. And then Peeta causes a near riot by implying that Katniss is actually pregnant. Uh-oh. Best of all possible worlds, this could be a cynical, crass use of Potential Baby Life--Peeta exploiting the sympathies of the lay-folk to win support (like, you know, many Republicans).
But this is not a cynical, crass use of Potential Baby Life, and in fact Katniss very quickly makes sure we don’t draw that conclusion, thinking “Well, yeah, I COULD be pregnant. And after all, the Capitol DID take away my ability to safely have children.” (And before this, Suzanne Collins is even vague—OBVIOUSLY she's fucking vague—about time Katniss and Peeta spend in bed. They aren’t fucking, but it is written in such a way that you might accidentally think they are, and that she really IS knocked up, for a little while. Suzanne Collins mistakes confusion for depth.) So now the weapon against the excessive, sexually promiscuous Capitol is the potential life of a (fake but again that doesn't matter) baby! LIFE BEGINS AT CONCEPTION, PRESIDENT SNOW! The Hunger Games are as bad as an ABORTION! Guhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
Couple this with the misguided, vaguely condescending racism and the whole rationing/starvation motif and you basically have a sci-fi series written by Newt Gingrich. Or maybe Peeta IS Newt Gingrich. And Gale is John Galt. Seriously, is that guy going to ever do anything other than get his ass kicked?
I've omitted pretty much all of the depth and shading in part 2, so please fill in my blanks in the comments.
Monday, March 19, 2012
I'm beginning to worry about the impact of this year's movie schedule on my income. I'm resigned to seeing The Hunger Games (anybody going this week?). Prometheus looks gnarly as fuck. The Dark Knight Rises is going to be stellar, obviously. I'll see The Avengers and Spider-Man whether they're good or not.* And K. Stew has me booked for THREE fucking movies this year (On The Road, Snow White, and Breaking Dawn Dos). I am in, girl. I am in. Plus my local arthouse theater does a summer-long festival of last year's arty flicks, and I'll have to see a few of those to feel like I am really doing right by this city, you know? I should get a second job again. On the bright side, at least any lingering allegiance to Ashley Greene won't cost me much this year. Unless that thing about the gender-swapped Oliver Twist is still going to happen.
(*Last year film critics complained about a backloaded 2011--every Oscar candidate came out in like, the last week of December, which killed Dragon Tattoo and a few others. Is this the back end of that scheduling? The over-blockbustered Summer of 2012?)
What about y'all? Any super-anticipated movies? Not that I want to be on the hook for more. I mean, I DO, but not really.
Friday, March 16, 2012
Meanwhile, i09 has collected the weirdest Hunger Games merch so far invented. But we've got years for this shit to get WAY WEIRDER. Personally I'm not going to bat an eye until someone markets a Gale Hawthorne sex whip. Shit, that's a damn good idea.
Elsewhere, my friend Hugo sent me this link today: If Famous Authors Had Written Twilight. It's pretty great.
Also, I continue to blog at a startling pace on Tumblr, if you are at all interested.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
OK, so obviously you guys don't want to talk about The Hunger Games! That is fine! So instead, I give you THIS. Here is Ashley Greene filming her new TV show, Americana. This is what her character looks like! Basically like an Anthropologie catalog threw up on Ashley Greene (after a few nights of not sleeping very much? You okay girl?). What do you think about her look? I like it! But I like pretty much everything. Get ya knives out, fashionistas! For more pictures of AG pushing a bike around New York City, pretending she knows how to ride it, click here.
Update: GOOD WORK, Hektor.
Monday, March 12, 2012
I totally hated Catching Fire, until I loved it. The first half--the first two-thirds, even!--are maddening, occasionally VERY sloppily written, and also a little racist? We’ll get into it.
Part 1: The Spark
[Here’s the deal: I have a bit to say about the aforementioned troubling material in Catching Fire, but not necessarily a lot of formal shit to say about like, the rest of the series (the parts I liked, in other words). But I would like to hear your thoughts! So look for a few open-thread discussions in the coming days. Bring your A commenting game, ya heard? And today, feel free to not address anything I mention here if there's other stuff in Part 1 you want to talk about. Instead. I'm DTF, as the kids say. Wait, that might not apply here.]
We pick up with Katniss a few weeks after the end of the Hunger Games. She and Peeta are living relatively large in their new houses in the Victor’s Village--shit’s weird between them for like a day and then they work it out, sort of. I mean, you didn’t expect Suzanne Collins to allow anything to seem definite for more than a few pages, right? Katniss and Peeta were quite obviously at odds at the end of the last book, and that won’t do. We have to get them back to “sort of at odds and maybe sort of in love but unwilling to maybe say so even to themselves maybe!” So we get back to there, and Gale is kicking around but not really because he works in the coal mine most of the week--I think FoxConn does the scheduling for that shit--and everything is OK for a little while. Victors are apparently supposed to pursue hobbies, and Peeta channels his passion for frosting cakes into something a little less weirdly specific: painting. Katniss is too lazy-angry to develop an actual skill so she gets Cinna to ghost-draw dresses for her (he sends her all his stoned reject sketches and she passes them off as her own for the press). Meanwhile Haymitch wanders drunkenly around through the background of scenes, bumping into furniture. (When Haymitch got back from the Games I bet his chosen skill was “moonshinery.”) All of this is conveyed in that weird, Proust-for-people-who-don’t-like Proust present tense-flashback shit as Katniss prepares for something called a “Victory Tour.”
(I predicted, in a video after reading The Hunger Games, that part deux would be like the Real World/Road Rules challenge version of the same story. I was almost right.)
Then The President shows up to tell Katniss she’s a stupid bitch and he hates her. She’s like “huh?” but slowly realizes, over the course of a tour of the districts, that revolution coming, fast. And her first, survival-focused instinct is to find a way to keep it from happening.
Things fall apart very quickly. Suzanne Collins sets up the Victory Tour plot and we, the readers, are perfectly happy to settle in for that story. Which is why it is kind of bewildering when Collins skips over all of it, literally publishing what reads like an outline of a few chapters:
Cinna begins to take in my clothes around the waist. The prep team frets over the circles under my eyes. Effie starts giving me pills to sleep, but they don’t work. Not well enough. I drift off only to be roused by nightmares that have increased in number and intensity. Peeta, who spends much of the night roaming the train, hears me screaming as I struggle to break out of the haze of drugs that merely prolong the horrible dreams. He manages to wake me and calm me down. Then he climbs into the bed to hold me until I fall back to sleep. After that, I refuse the pills. But every night I let him into my bed. We manage the darkness as we did in the arena, wrapped in each other’s arms, guarding against dangers that can descend at any moment. Nothing else happens, but our arrangement quickly becomes a subject of gossip on the train.
The grammatical confusion about which events are singular and which are continuous is the least of our problems. I mean, wouldn’t you like to see SOME of this play out in a scene? I’m surprised Suzanne Collins mustered complete sentences! (“And then this happens, and then this happens, and then this happens.”-how she writes) One of the many events we blur past is AN ACTUAL (FAKE, BUT TELEVISED) WEDDING between Peeta and Katniss. It’s literally one sentence in the middle of a chapter. Huh?
Before Suzanne Collins suddenly decides she’s sick of writing about the Victory Tour, however, we do get a brief sketch of the first stop, a tense appearance in District 11. I tried to forget, while I was reading the description of the place, that the actors playing Thresh and Rue in the Hunger Games movie are black. Because it’s more or less a slavery/prison colony. High fences, brutal guards (wearing white!), people hurting their backs and wearing straw hats, working in the fields. I started thinking Suzanne Collins never said they were black Suzanne Collins never said they were black like a mantra. But then Katniss describes Rue’s family, watching her speak from a platform, as “a flock of small dark birds.” UH OH!
And so it’s hard not to read everything after that as well-meaning but wildly racist. Katniss admires Thresh’s wizened-looking grandmother. She looks at Rue’s big family and describes them as “identical” (ha). And a wise old man touches off the moment of rebellion (I loved that Tracy Morgan line in 30 Rock about having extensive experience playing simple old black men who encourage white people to do stuff)--what happens is after Katniss speaks honoring Rue, he whistles a tune, Rue's tune. The crowd starts to push forward, and then the white guards shoot the old man in the head. Ughhhkay.
And Katniss considers their level of brutal treatment and (still in survival mode) frets that the people of D11 would be more likely to start a rebellion than her own people. This maybe wouldn’t be so fresh in my mind if I weren’t listening to David Blight’s (excellent) lectures on the Civil War, but Katniss’s phrase about a spark setting them ablaze sounds like something a paranoid member of the slaveholding class would have said in 1830. Yikes.
Once the Victory Tour is winding down, Katniss and Peeta attend an irritating party in the Capitol. Katniss contemplates what she’s seen (which would maybe be more impactful if we’d seen it too!) and can’t seem to form a coherent opinion about whether or not rebellion is good. Remember how, in The Hunger Games, Katniss recalled walking in the woods with Gale while he talked politics? And how she’d supposedy never really understood what he was saying? Once again, Katniss, our supposedly strong female narrator, defers to men for her political opinions; Peeta thinks that rebellion might not be a bad thing, and Katniss decides to agree.
That happens at the abrupt conclusion of the tour, during this fairly ridiculous section where Katniss and Peeta find out that Capitol partygoers like a drink that makes you vomit--they use it so they can keep eating food all night long. Katniss and Peeta are appalled, and Suzanne Collins takes a long time explaining how the drink works, which is weird since like, it exists in real life. It’s called Ipecac, and if you want to have some fun, search it on YouTube sometime! Anyway, note Suzanne Collins’s wide-ranging, vague distaste for excess. That’ll be important later.
ANYWAY Katniss and the gang return to District 12, where shit slowly gets more and more totalitarian. A new Peacekeeper shows up and whips Gale almost to death for hunting in the woods. The black market where Katniss used to hang out burns to the ground. Rage Against The Machine starts playing on the soundtrack.
But it still takes like another 100 pages before this book gets good.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Then again. I have seen some K. Stew fansites doing at-length discussions of the book. And the trailer does look great. And the minority of people on Tumblr who are pretentiously bitching about why it should never be a movie and whatever else are way worse than the frothing fan masses. Also: Kristen Stewart's boobs, probably.
In case you missed it: every person I write about ends up fucking someone else I write about. When will Cat Marnell hook up with Robert Pattinson? I'm guessing SOON. If you guys want to fuck a celebrity, let me know. I will blog about you.
- I Saw The Best Minds Of My Generation Destroyed By Miley Cyrus
- The Twilight Twitterati Are Kind Of Blowing My Mind Right Now
- What's New With Kristen Stewart? (I just re-read this post and really dug it. Am I allowed to like things I wrote if I don't remember writing them? Also: I think I was being coy in referring to the MTV Movie Awards without mentioning that I was going. I was also just sort of afraid to admit it was going to happen--I always assume something like that will fall apart.)
Friday, March 9, 2012
playing a character named Alice in a new TV show about fashion. We've been gently making fun of the fact that her movies aren't coming out, but rumor has it that homegirl is getting paid anyway for sitting in the front row at fashion shows. Everything is the same, even if it's different. Another potential new TV star this pilot season is Janet Montgomery, Ashley Greene's British doppelganger. (Janet Montgomery once guest-starred on Skins.) After seeing Our Idiot Brother, Kings of Leon member Jared Followill tweeted that he was "crushing on" Janet Montgomery (We are all the bassist in Kings of Leon, in a way). Jared Followill has often been seen with AG, but the word is that they're just friends ("You certainly have a type"-Michael Bluth). After being cast in that new pilot, Janet Montgomery tweeted that she was looking for, among other things, a "BF" in NYC. She and Followill have since been romantically linked ("Okay, I'll just date the other one"-Jared Followill). Sooner or later everything I write about comes back around to something else I write about. This is like an Eddie Murphy movie or some shit.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
I should have played that fucking role, you guys. So ONTD has a gallery of 80 stills from The Hunger Games movie you can pass judgment on. And I've found that Vulture is doing a great job of rounding up notable clips and other bits of information--their HG posts are here. Are you excited about The Hunger Games movie? I haven't written anything of note yet, but I have read Catching Fire and Mockingjay now and they've improved my opinion of the series overall enough that I can say I'm reasonably excited to see this movie. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?
Saturday, March 3, 2012
You’re an engineer? Build yourself a machine that fucks you.
No but seriously, all the guys you know are upset that you make money? Have you tried the guys at, say, art schools yet? I think they’ll be JUST FINE with this arrangement. In fact I can probably give you some phone numbers.
So there's this girl that I'm really into. She has told me that she is also into me. Her boyfriend broke up with her over 2 months ago but they are still having a "physical relationship" according to reliable sources. I think she is trying to get with me. Should I pursue her or should I not even try?
Oh, I don’t know. I sounds like this other guy has a pretty sweet thing going right now and I don’t know if you should ruin it for him.
My boyfriend lives on the other side of the country, how do I know he's not cheating while respecting his privacy?
Sadly for suspicious girlfriends and perverts, there is no such thing a a classy spy camera. I mean even the ones that are designed to look like a knob in the shower of a women’s locker room--I mean they look cute and harmless, but philosophically, you just can’t.
The name of the game then, sadly, is trust. You can’t know that he is not cheating on you, and you probably shouldn’t even ask. You just have to believe in the strength of your relationship. And I don't think that is something that you can learn to do; you have that trust already or you'll never get it (and the fact that you wrote in to me is not like, the best sign). Most couples don't have it (see the next question), but they also don't live on opposite sides of a country.
But maybe that’s not so bad. Fuck long distance relationships. Unless the country he lives on the other side of is the fucking Vatican, I doubt it’s worth the trouble. You should just break up with him. Is that harsh? Sorry. Dump him. Over Skype, not the phone.
Zac. I've been with this girl lets call her Katie. For about 4 years. Lately we fight all the time. Because she can't trust me. Even though I've never done anything to lose her trust. How do I gain her trust? I can't take much more fighting.
First of all, I dig your decisive punctuation, bro. Creates a really jagged rhythm. I feel like I’m giving advice to Ernest Hemingway. OK, so first of all, no matter what you do, don’t shoot yourself in the face.
(Have I told you guys about my new party game? Try to improve on Ernest Hemingway's shortest story ever--"For sale: Baby shoes, never worn"--using as many or fewer words. For sale: Baby shoes, stolen. For sale: Baby's cape, worn once. For sale: A baby. For sale: Baby carrots, never corn.)
ANYWAY. So she can’t trust you, even though you’ve never done anything to lose her trust. Okay. So how can you gain her trust? You can’t, obviously! What are you going to do, become EXTRA TRUSTWORTHY? Like, I guess if she murders someone and you keep a secret for her, that might work. But in any other case, it ain't happening.
These are the kinds of unfixable problems you have to identify like eight to twelve weeks into a relationship. By then you'll know everything that is permanently wrong with the other person (that's assuming you've fucked a few times by then) and whether or not you want to take them AS IS. It's not so bad, really. I mean if you're buying a used car you don't get that kind of grace period!
And after that grace period ends--if you think you can't live with the trust issues--walk away. Otherwise you're going to spend like, almost four years nagging her to change, and then it's your problem that is the problem, see?
But since you actually HAVE spent four years being an asshole to this girl, your calculus should probably change. You say you can't take much more fighting, but you've done four years of it so far! Are you sure you can't deal? How's the sex? Because the lack of trust can be kind of fun, there.
Lot of trust issues today. Is there a new book out? No Church In The Wild, the video series, is here.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
- In the work/life balance battle, work is kind of winning right now. So I don't have crazy amounts of time. Lots of ideas, very little time.
- But the ideas that I have right now tend to be video-related ideas, so I am working on those, when I can. My YouTube channel is much more navigable now, ever-more navigable really, so check it out if you haven't already.
- The writing ideas that I do have are bigger and more complex, which will take time, and also I have a mind to try and get some of them published elsewhere. If that happens, obviously I'll link you to it. And more likely: once those pieces have been rejected, I will post them here.
Be on the lookout for a few things on this blog: We will definitely do more Skins recaps, and I will soon also finish re-watching Breaking Dawn. Kira and I have an e-appointment to discuss Catching Fire and Mockingjay, the latter of which I am almost finished with. That dialogue will probably be posted here. And eventually I will get back to Looking For Alaska, but I'm officially putting that one on hiatus for a bit. Meanwhile, I've been doing a lot of day-to-day rough posting on my Tumblr. So for brief, semi-coherent dispatches from me on a regular basis, head over there. Thank you as always to you folks who loyally check back here. Please keep doing so! But maybe not as often. I'll keep you updated.