So, in case you didn’t notice, it’s December! Which means both holidays of various sorts and the end of the year are upon us. The blogs I read are full of end-of-year posts and lists, surveys, interviews, stats, “best of,” and all sorts of year in review posts. I’ve been combing through them, wondering which I should do, and I’ve come to two realizations:
- The reason I write reviews is because I read too many to remember what happens in all of them, so “top ten X’s of 2013” are going to be…not an option.
- Screw it, WE’RE GOING TO HAVE POLLS!
Because this blog likes polls, the sillier the better. (Well, I do, at least, and I’m in control of things around here.) So we’ll have a different round of polls every week in December.
And at some point I’ll probably do a “this is the year in review” post as well, or as much of the year as I can remember, at least.
I think people in general employ critical thinking less than they should, and I think that taking in media without caring about the messages doesn’t prevent you from still taking in the messages. So, in a sense, yes, reading a book where girls are just “naturally” left out of the narrative isn’t good, especially since it’s been scientifically established that suggestions and assumptions like that get into our subconscious a lot faster than direct statements. Tell someone that women can’t fight, and their logic centers challenge that statement. But if you don’t say that, if you just say that women are around in this fight, but they all do their “fighting” by being manipulative and sneaking around, and the message sneaks past the part of your brain that usually challenges it. So, yeah, thinking and reading critically is important.I don’t know if I’d say there’s “something wrong with” not doing that, though. I mean, I think good grammar and a firm grasp of history are important, too, but I don’t go around to people saying “GOD, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?” Critical thinking is a learned skill; I’d rather just encourage people to pick it up than say there’s something wrong with them. Especially when it comes to young readers. (I know Nonny didn’t technically say that there’s something wrong with people who don’t read critically, but it feels like that’s implied, and I don’t want to come off like I agree with such a statement.)
Another force to contend with. Another power player who has decided to use me as a piece in her games
She says this as if she didn’t try to manipulate things first. I mean, here, Katniss has spent a month taking naps even while everyone around her tries to point out that there’s a lot of pain and destruction going on, and she won’t so much as help with domestic chores the whole time. Then, she makes all sorts of demands, starting with a useless trip to D12 and progressing to special pardons.
All Coin did in return was say “fine, but you’d better actually deliver on your end.”
And for the great sin of trying to actually get shit done in the face of Katniss’s childish antics, she’s being painted as Machiavellian. The only way this makes any sense is if you actually subscribe to the belief that Katniss, as an “important person,” is inherently deserving, and therefore it’s “wrong” of Coin to not give her stuff freely. That is the only way this statement makes any sense, because it sure doesn’t cut it over here in reality.
The stink of unwashed bodies, stale urine, and infection breaks through the cloud of antiseptic
…what kind of antiseptic are you guys using? You’ve got to pretty much be choking on the stuff to get it to cover up urine.
Entirely depends on the story. Sometimes, that can work out well, but you have to be careful about it. There shouldn’t be a sense that the MC is twisting in mental knots just to keep their thoughts away from the secret, because that makes it too obnoxious. Either they don’t know the information themselves and therefore can’t think of it, or you need to write carefully so that their thoughts sound natural while they also just happen to avoid alighting on certain things. (Unless you have a conversational narration style, and the MC is actually talking to the reader, then it’s a bit easier to get away with “and then…oh, well, I shouldn’t tell you that.”)
Haven’t seen it. It’s only showing at 4 in the afternoon at our local theater. Such an awkward time to go to the movies; I’d have to leave work early to manage it. :\
If you have anything to add, please tell me. Everything I know comes from…well, reading stories about people like your parents. You would know much more than me on that account.
“Katniss?” Prim whispers. She’s awake, peering at me through the darkness. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. Just a bad dream. Go back to sleep.” It’s automatic. Shutting Prim and my mother out of things to shield them.
Okay, but why? We actually have very little evidence that they wouldn’t be able to handle anything. In part because the book has zero fucks to give about these characters as anything more than set props for Katniss. Her mother had a breakdown, yes, but she also pulled herself out of it, which speaks volumes. And she’s got a much different support system now, so she’d likely be able to handle stress a lot better, and every time we see her she’s perfectly competent.
Now, one could argue quite reasonably that this is just Katniss’s perspective. Her mom checked out once, so she doesn’t put any stress on her anymore, despite any evidence that she’s changed. Prim she still sees as a little kid, even though she’s old enough to start hearing a few things now. So yes, Katniss could still be hesitant because of how she personally sees things, not because of these things being objectively true. But in that case, the book takes the least interesting option by never changing Katniss’s opinion. She remains stubbornly believing this, with no consequence, when something like this in a better book would be considered a character arc.
"It’s for my Queer and Feminist Comparative Literature Theory class."
“Let me write that down…”
“I took it more for the teacher than the class. My school was all-male until the sixties, and she was one of the first teachers at the women’s college. She’s really respected.”
“So what’s one important thing she’s taught you?”
“… about how it’s important for feminists to evaluate everyday occurrences. How even routine personal interactions are political. Everything is significant, and even little things have meaning.”
“Is it possible to see too much meaning in little things?”
“Well, there does seem to be some people who go around looking for things to be angry about. But if the alternative is to be desensitized to how small things affect us, I think it’s better to be overly sensitive.”