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twentysixacid

catching fire

Dec. 10th, 2013 | 01:52 pm
breathing: uc berkeley
feeling: stressedstressed
hearing: edge of seventeen - stevie nicks

I saw Catching Fire on Friday (the Friday before dead week--brilliant) and it was so good. Like whoa. Predictably I am in the oh-so-familiar Hunger Games haze. I was walking to go aggressively procrastinate in the Anthropology library (where I am currently witing this instead of working on my take home final or doing some desperately-needed studying) and I had an idea: someone should write a Hunger Games fanfic where the rebellion sparked by Katniss's berries is effectively put down. Rather than sending her and the other Victors back into the arena for the Quarter Quell, the Capitol instead shrinks the pool of eligible tributes to only those children related to former Victors (kids and siblings, possibly grandkids and cousins, assume every district can manage to get one boy and one girl from this pool). Also assume that everything in the books up until Snow's reading of the Quarter Quell is exactly the same, including backstories revealed later in the books that would logically be in place before the reading (ie: Snow is still pimping out the pretty tributes and/or killing their loved ones, etc.).

A few details:


  • I'm pretty sure Prim would be the only eligible girl from 12, so she'd be going into the arena and Katniss would be forced to be her mentor, unable to volunteer in her place.

  • Either Peeta would have to mentor one of his brothers (I think one of them is still old  enough?), or in order to keep up the appearance of Gale being Katniss's cousin Gale's siblings could reaped (though I believe only one of his brothers is old enough).

  • There could be some half-trained Careers running around since it seems unlikely that there would be enough 18-year olds directly related to previous Career Victors to flesh out the Career pack. Think about a thirteen-year-old who thinks he's hot shit because he kind of knows how to use a sword.

  • You might get a brother/sister pair or two out of the tributes who would know they'd have to eventually turn on each other (much like Cashmere and Gloss in the canon!Quell).

  • Watch all the Victor friends turn on each other from the Control Room as they try desperately to save their loved ones, because you just know the Capitol would force the ones related to the reaped kids to be the mentors. Finnick, Johanna, and Haymitch could still hang around though because why the fuck not.

I would write this myself, but I'm really more of an ideas person than a follow-through person. (Like it was my idea to be a physics major, and look at how spectacularly I have avoided doing anything that resembles effort.)

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twentysixacid

government shutdown

Oct. 4th, 2013 | 01:08 am
breathing: berkeley
feeling: angryangry
hearing: rox in the box - the decemberists

I'm turning 21 this Monday, and as a luck coincidence my college ecology class was planning a field trip to Mt. Tamalpais State Park on Sunday. I thought this was such a great way to celebrate my birthday weekend because a) have you seen Mt. Tam? It is fucking gorgeous:

IMG_0032



and b) ohmygod a field trip. In college. Amazing. But we can't go. We're a big group and Mt. Tam is understaffed due to the government shutdown (even though it's a state park).

I don't care that the shutdown is the Republican's fault. I want every single congressperson, Democrats and Republicans, all 435 of them, fired. They have the gall to call millennials whiny and entitled while they have literally shut down the US government in the name of their little temper tantrum. Ugh.

Not to sound overdramatic or anything, but the federal government has kind of ruined my 21st birthday. So now the shutdown is fucking personal.

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twentysixacid

japan

Jun. 25th, 2013 | 11:57 am
breathing: mountain view
feeling: ecstaticecstatic
hearing: star witness - neko case

Got accepted to study abroad in Japan at Tohoku University in Sendai!!! Fucking delirious, dude. Though so far it is a provisional acceptance...but whatever.
  

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twentysixacid

o death

Jun. 8th, 2013 | 10:57 am
breathing: mountain view
feeling: creativecreative
hearing: o death - jen titus



This scene from Supernatural introducing Death, one of the horsemen of the apocalypse, is one of my favorite character introductions ever. I happened to catch it on a rerun of the show I had on s white noise when I was on my computer yesterday.

But today, as I was catching up on Game of Thrones I thought "Wouldn't it be cool if Death was a woman?" Maybe not in in this instance, because for seriously look at this death:



But, like, in general. Death always seems to be portrayed as male and think of how awesome it would be to have a Lady Death. I think you would have to explore the notion of life and death as being intertwined, only because it would be such a waste to pass up the chance to have death be all "I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it". Only I feel like, as in Supernatural, Death would have to be a sass master being all "Didn't your mother ever say 'I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it'? I am your mother, you are all my child; I give you life, I bring you death. And the cycle continues on, and, well, you get the picture."

Think of the possibilities!!
  

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twentysixacid

i hate myself right now

Jun. 2nd, 2013 | 08:47 pm
breathing: mountain view
feeling: depresseddepressed
hearing: born depressed - drill queen

like i just need to do the thing and instead i do this

  
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twentysixacid

asleep or dead?

Apr. 9th, 2013 | 10:18 pm
breathing: berkeley
feeling: stressedstressed
hearing: famous last words - my chemical romance

i'm starting to fucking hate physics.
  
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twentysixacid

socal

Mar. 31st, 2013 | 10:12 pm
breathing: berkeley
feeling: restlessrestless
hearing: s&m - rihanna

I want to move to Los Angeles. I'm not even an actor/musician/whatever. I just want to live there.

San Diego would be a sufficient plan B.
  

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twentysixacid

study abrod

Mar. 25th, 2013 | 11:05 pm
breathing: mountain view
feeling: ecstaticecstatic
hearing: mama - my chemical romance

Just a casual freakout because I am still slated to be in Barcelona this summer and I'm working on some of the paperwork and I am absolutely freaking out. Also I may be going to Sendai, Japan next spring. SO EXICTE.
  

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twentysixacid

barcelona

Mar. 21st, 2013 | 01:04 am
breathing: berkeley
feeling: jubilantjubilant
hearing: seaside - the kooks

So i got accepted into a study abroad program in Barcelona: "Interculturality, International Migration and the Dialogue of Civilizations Before and After 9/11." It's no big deal or anything.

lol jk I am dying inside. I AM GOING TO MUTHERFUCKING SPAIN. FUCK YEAH.
  

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twentysixacid

joss whedon: feminist or chauvinist?

Mar. 6th, 2013 | 01:11 am
breathing: berkeley
feeling: sleepysleepy
hearing: tell me a story - phillip phillips

I will gladly admit it: I am a Whedon Fan. Buffy and Firefly are two of my all-time favorite tv shows; Serenity is probably my all time favorite movie. The dude can really tell a story, and Buffy warms my otherwise cold feminist heart.

But Whedon is problematic.

Following up on the amazing Buffy decal I took last semester, I enrolled in the Firefly decal this semester.One of the best things about the Buffy class was that it was mostly women. It was such a refreshing change from my drowning-in-penises physics classes. But this class is probably at about parity, and is not quite as well-moderated as the Buffy class was. So when they asked a question last week on whether or not Joss Whedon is feminist or chauvinistic, we heard from one guy who, earlier in the discussion, had tried to argue that it was not implicitly misogynistic for Jayne to literally try to purchase a woman for his own sexual gratification without even talking to her to see if she'd like to have sex with him (she wouldn't) in "Our Mrs. Reynolds." The dude just immediately started talking, without stopping to think, "Hey, maybe a woman would be a bit more qualified to answer this" and then as soon as that dude had finished talking, we were "out of time" and had to move on. Right.

So I wrote a thing for my episode/reading response due this week. It starts below.

xxx

I was actually very intrigued by question posed in class last week of weather Joss Whedon could be considered a feminist or a chauvinist and was a bit disappointed that e did not going to spend more time on it. So I’m going to writing my reading response about that this week, since I think that “Our Mrs. Reynolds” provides just one of many great examples of that Whedon presents feminist ideals but in a really problematic way.

I’d say that Whedon is likely one of the most feminist writers in television. But there’s a major caveat there: it’s television. Saying one man is more feminist than the next isn’t saying much. My fridge is warmer than the South Pole, but that doesn’t make it warm; I don’t curl up inside it to keep warm every time my heater decides to do it’s own “no I’m not going to turn on because I’m a jerk” thing. And similarly, while I love Whedon shows, while I think he and the other writers on the show are all brilliant, talented storytellers, I hesitate to call Whedon himself a feminist.

For starters, Whedon’s a man. I’m not trying to say that men can’t be feminists, or that male allyship to feminist causes is not important. But women need to be involved in the telling of our own stories. If you’ll stick with me on this poorly-segued tangent-with-a-point, there’s this concept of feminist pornography. It’s a bit of a contentious topic, as some feminists view porn as being inherently degrading while others see it as potentially empowering, but in attempts to define which pornography constitutes as “feminist porn” and which doesn’t, the idea that women must be involved in production as well as performance has been proposed. This should certainly apply across the board for all media. In order for something to be considered feminist, women need to be involved in the creative process. It is simply not enough for women to give performances of male interpretations of women’s lives, no matter how progressive those men may be. Of Firefly’s 14 episodes, women have writing credits for only 2, or 14%: Jane Espenson for “Shindig” and Cheryl Cain for “War Stories”. Only one episode, “Jaynestown,” was directed by a woman, in this case Marita Obviously, these statistics are hindered by both Firefly’s truncated run and the abysmal representation of anyone who isn’t straight and white and male in Hollywood is hindered by Firefly’s short run, but one would expect at less bad standing if Whedon were truly trying to be a feminist in practice as well as theory.

This lack of consideration for women’s voices being an integral part in the telling of women’s stories, particularly stories that deal with the very real oppression and violence that women face (i.e.: being sold as a sexual object in a deal between two men who never bother to get your consent). A prime example is the “someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back” scene between Mal and Saffron in “Our Mrs. Reynolds.” Saffron is presented as this incredibly weak, servile creature. But this is a Whedon show. Weak women need to be taught some feminism, dammit. Anyone tries to be oppressive and violent towards her because she is a woman, well she should stick up for herself. That’s what a woman does. And obviously Mal is the absolute best person to teach her that. Not Inara, not Kaylee, not even Zoe, queen of the badasses. Obviously there’s a certain plot element here—Saffron is actively trying to seduce Mal to kill his crew and steal his ship, so she at least needs to spend some time with him—Whedon did not see fit to have his message of relative equality (no woman deserves to be murdered by her intimate partner) delivered by one of the female crewmembers. In fact, none of the women on Serenity really interact at all this episode, and both Zoe and Inara are presented as being jealous of Saffron and her perceived intimacy with Mal. Zoe treats the whole thing as a joke until her husband won’t turn around and dump her back on the  (supposedly) “dumb planet” from whence she came; Inara immediately goes off to sulk in her shuttle; Kaylee and River get very little screen time, so we don’t even really know what’s going on with them. Feminism is nothing without solidarity among women. And in the one episode of Firefly where Whedon makes his big feminist stand, it’s the Mal who comes off as the feminist hero, and the alleged victim is just that—alleged. Saffron didn’t really suffer any kind of gendered oppression. She made it all up to screw with a man’s life. We live in a world where rape survivors are told that they deserved what they got, they actually wanted the violence committed against them, that they’re just sluts looking for attention, they’re vindictively taking out their buyer’s remorse on some poor, hapless man, and as a supposed feminist Whedon should know that. He should know that and he should not be contributing to that cultural lie by having his fictitious woman lie about being sexually trafficked as they seduce near-hapless men out of their shiny toys for their own personal gratification. That right there, that presentation of women, is not feminism, is not even chauvinism, but is straight up misogyny.

Obviously having male allies is important. But when male allies systematically ignore women’s voices, or when they reduce women to being caricatures of girl-on-girl hate who don’t even speak to each other in the middle of a story that deals specifically with oppressive attitudes towards women, then those feminist male allies are not actually being allies. They’re just scoring feminist brownie points for being ~progressive~. That really does fall more on the chauvinist side. Like “Oh, I’m not a misogynist. I mean, I don’t really worry about things like gender wage gaps and violence against women, but I open doors for them and stuff and I don’t hit personally women, so. Gold star for me.” It just doesn't work that way. As stated earlier, Joss Whedon is one of the more feminist writers in Hollywood, and, behind Tina Fey, he might even be among the most vocal self-identified feminists. Going just beyond Firefly, Buffy Summers and Willow Rosenberg will always be fabulous, strong, queer female characters that as a fabulous, strong, queer woman I will love forever and ever. But that does not make their portrayals immune to criticism. Nor does the fact that Whedon seems to think women are actually people (an apparently radical notion, given the state of the politics surrounding rape this past election) automatically make him a feminist. And frankly, the subtleties presented in his portrayals of otherwise fantastic women point more in the chauvinism direction.

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