Monthly Archives: August 2011

Collected Thoughts on The Hunger Games, Book 1: Team Katniss All The Way

first written 8/4/11,  edited a bunch of times.  technically beta-ed by Alice.

There is so much to talk about regarding The Hunger Games trilogy that this post is no more than a list of several themes that interest me in the first book.  Because July turned into the month of Easy A and I don’t want that to happen again, I am currently planning ONLY ONE other post on this series, at least for now*.  I won’t internet-publish it until I’ve finished rereading the remaining two books, which will take a while.   When the first movie comes out in March 2012 I will absolutely review it here, in sha’allah.

*Or perhaps one review post per book?  Vote in the comments.

This post only focuses on Book 1 because that’s the one I reread most recently, in 4 hours with almost no breaks.  I was really gratified to realize that it’s still an amazing read.  By no means is it the best YA novel out there (for 2009 or of all time), but it’s still really, really good.   Yes, Suzanne Collins jumped aboard the Dystopia bandwagon, but she did it better than most people — arguably, even better than Cormac McCarthy in The Road.   (COME AT ME, BRO.)    Book 1 (also called The Hunger Games, which is annoying) is definitely the best of the three, no question.

I’ll do my best to avoid huge spoilers, but just take a weekend afternoon to read it already. This post will be waiting when you get back.

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Day 13: Emmy Declutters (and selections from Day 12’s bucket list).

I sat down and wrote my bucket list. 30 items and a lifetime (however long or short) to complete them (not including a large portion of the other 613 items).  SCAV OF LIFE. FUCKIN’ YEAH. Here are a few selections from it:

#5: Learn to play Bach’s Cello Suite No.1 by memory (on the cello, of course, currently rotting away in California).
#10: Treat my parents and sister to a vacation.
#11: Build a camping eruv and actually scare a mother bird from a nest before taking eggs. (Note: camping buddies desired for a Shabbat in the Indiana Dunes either before Thanksgiving or after Pesach – lemme know!).
#12: Take care of my parents when they retire through whatever means possible.
#17: Visit Rome and Athens, preferably with a philosopher tour guide or with friends who agree to do research for it and take turns giving philosophy-based tours.
#18: Go to Paris with my sister (take her if possible), see the Alps!
#19:  Take a train from Istanbul to Kathmandu (OMG I have to go through Iran and Pakistan for that!), and then take trains throughout India (also looking for an adventurous buddy for this one).
#23: Create a spoof rap music video of high quality.
#24: Climb Masada at sunrise (I can’t believe I didn’t do this on my first trip to Israel).
#27: Visit Cordoba, Spain; Fez, Morocco; Cairo, Egypt; Baghdad, Iraq; Uman, Ukraine; Vilna, Lithuania; Warsaw, Poland; Volozhin, Belarus. Maybe in one trip, maybe in two, maybe in more.
#28: Perfect a recipe for vegan paella, get known for it.

Day 13: Well, I have actually been decluttering, and I’m planning on donating my old clothes to the Howard Brown Center’s thrift store. In fact, this month I am also decluttering my typical diet through a raw vegan detox, and decluttering my mind by quitting facebook for a while (profile’s still up, wall’s closed, won’t be signing in until October 9).

I’m starting to like this.

OMG The VMAS: Rock It, Beyonce

SO MANY FEELINGS.

  • BEYONCE IS BOTH FABULOUS AND PREGNANT.
  • Nicki Minaj needs a new stylist but the same damn management team 4 LYFE.
  • Kreayshawn is doing exactly what she ought to do for her career/image.
  • I haven’t seen the performance videos yet.

If you care remotely about style, you need to read Tom & Lorenzo.   If you care remotely about funny things or the artists listed you need to read their VMA style recaps.   Sample quotes:

  • Kreayshawn: “The look could have been cute and quirky, but since she looks like Lovey Howell from the neck up, the effect has been downgraded to “mental patient with a Gold Card.””
  • Some Blonde Chick:  “She looks like Tinkerbell out on the town, looking to get laid.”
  • Miley Cyrus: “Why does this chick only have two settings: Trailer Park Party Girl and Lifetime Achievement Award?”
  • But THE BEST comment is regarding the Biebs.  They deserve ALL the hits for the line, so go read it.   (Runner Up: comment on Slimy Jonas.)

ETA: Joe Calderone, if you quit smoking I might commit to raising all your babies, no matter who the momma(s) is/are.  A++++

ETA2:  Emmy rightfully pointed out many things about the Joe Calderone performance that are problematic.  I wrote the above comment not having seen “Joe’s” harassment of Britney, so I am no longer interested in raising “his” babies.   I still really enjoyed the musical number though.

Pls comment if you want to hear all of my feelings; otherwise I’ll keep them to myself.   yes, this is a threat/demand for attention.

ahhhhhhhhh

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Days 8-12: My anti-angst

Honestly, I wish I had just stuck with once a week posting. I’m looking forward to returning to a new topic every week because this is getting old. I woke up today early in the morning and immediately started feeling very, very angsty. I guess a combination of Kanye and Matisyahu had to be called in, as well as a longish bath, and now I am deciding to start getting stuff done again, even if the motivation is down.

I’ll catch up on my blogging.

Day 8: Start a Journal.
So far I have designated a notebook that will be my journal. I haven’t had time to sit down and write in it. I think it will help to write things down in order to organize thoughts more.

Day 9: Take a Woman on a Date.
I didn’t feel like doing this one.

Day 10: Memorize “If”
I will work on this.

Day 11: Give yourself a testicular exam
Sorry, I’m not equipped. I will self-administer a breast exam, per Cranky’s direction on this one.

Day 12: Create your bucket list.
I hate that term “bucket list,” but I will work on that and post it in the comments.

 

 

Exploring the Obvious Star Vehicle: The Unexpected Charm of “Sonny With A Chance” (1/2)

That’s a lot of tags, huh?   Well,the Disney Channel is pretty frickin’ complicated, even though it might not seem like it on the surface. Go ahead and skip this week if DisneyCorp makes you irrationally angry or something, but over here at Wednesday Art Criticism Central we’re too school for cool and are gonna talk about a fascinating television show for tweens, “Sonny With A Chance.”

I discovered SWAC last summer and watched most of season 1 and the sneak previews/whatever on YouTube during the off days of my incredibly draining internship.   Mostly because Sterling Knight is attractive, let’s be honest.  But that’s not why I stayed.  (There are, after all, 21 episodes in season 1: that’s  XXX minutes!)

This is not a fangirl tumblr, it’s a Srs Blog.  So I have restrained myself from posting 100 pictures of Sterling Knight in various cocksure poses and tagging this entry things like:  Sterling Knight I like your face; Sterling Knight is sexy; you can be my Knight any day; notice me Horton (big points for getting this reference, you nerd); Team Sterling; etc. Do not think that this is because I have any shame about my, uh, appreciation for this boy young man.*  No, it’s simply that I think the rise and fall of SWAC is fascinating separately from My Man Sterling here, although most of the Internet agrees that the show succeeded largely because he carried most of the dramatic weight on his lovely, lovely shoulders.   OK, OK, I’ll stop….

*For the Record:  He is legal and so am I.   Stop judging.   This will never happen, which is totally not the point of internet obsessions.   Go back to reading your Elitist Blawgs and pontificating on the use of Wittgenstein to predict the Dow Jones next month.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

If you’ve never seen a Disney Channel live-action television show for tweens, you probably have good taste and relatively in-tact eardrums.  Saturday Night Live has never been as funny as it thinks it is, but this clip is actually perfect:

My apologies to the international readers (hi, Chatulim!); Hulu is almost certainly the only option for viewing this one.  And let’s not talk about Raven-Symone here; girl absolutely deserves her own post.  (Her new show on ABC family is equally fascinating!)

Here’s the Theme Song for SWAC Season 1, which tells you all of the important context for the show, in solid cartoon theme song fashion.

And HERE is the best moment of the series, in which:  SPOILER ALERT the two love interests finally get somewhere with All That Sexual Tension. END SPOILER  Don’t skip this clip unless you were already planning to marathon the show; I saw this clip way out of order and it didn’t ruin anything.  And because it’s a Disney show, there is no touching.

Sterling did all the acting in that scene, didn’t he?  Demi’s not awful here (and she’s miles better than how she started out), but it’s really his charm as Chad Dylan Cooper that locks down the scene and creates fangirls across the globe.

(If you want to know her answer, you need to YouTube it yourself.  The 2-episode arc is called Falling for the Falls.   And kudos to the writers for not going the cliche route and HUGE KUDOS for Sterling for rocking his response to her response like A Real Boy would.)

is he really going out with her? + another 1000 links

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Days 3-7: In which Emmy stops being a loser and catches up on the list.

It’s been a chaotic week, moving into my apartment, buying stuff for the kitchen, getting back to work, catching up on emails and what not. Sorry I haven’t been keeping up. Today I will try to do as many items on the list, and I’ll try to be caught up by them tomorrow.

Days 3-7

Fighting the Important Fights: “Feminazi” is a hate term, bro.

 On Sunday, someone tagged Christina in this image on Facebook.  She then tagged me and Emmy. I’d seen it before and had in fact planned to blog about it, but when my computer(s) were stolen, I lost my copy of this image.   Glad to have it back again.   I would have simply stored it for the time being and continued procrastinating, but one of Christina’s FB friends made a comment or two that I felt the need to publicly (and non-anonymously) disagree with.

The person I have labelled as ‘John Doe’ is someone I am not FB friends with and know nothing about except what he presents to the public/friends of friends.   From my limited profile access, I gathered the following information:

–his Facebook name includes a first name commonly given to white men in the US; his last name reads as “non-ethnic” but not particularly WASPy.

–his profile picture is of a white male, over 18 and under 30 (i am bad at ages)

–he is affiliated with the most prestigious public university in our state

–he is affiliated with the secular student alliance (or something similarly named) at said university.

I don’t expect Christina to make excuses for him or for her friendship with him.  I don’t ask her to remove him from her friends list either, because that’s not my place.   If it were me and we hadn’t had any significant Facebook interaction in the past year or so, I would severely limit his access to my profile or consider removing him entirely.   But anyone who has met Christina in real life knows she likes to surround herself with the opposition.  😉

John Doe appears educated and articulate, and is more respectful than 90% of internet commenters who would publicly hold his stance.  There might even be a few issues on which we agree.  On this subject, however, he is completely wrong.

Click here for the excerpted argument

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Day 1: Defining Your Core Values

It’s Day 1! In determining my core values, I found most inspiration from the Bible. Here they are, including the verse that inspired them, in no particular order other than that in which I thought of them.

1. Justice (Amos 5:23-24)

2. Wisdom (Proverbs 3:13-20)

3. Sound Judgment (Proverbs 3:21)

4. Courage (Joshua 1:9)

5. Artistry (Exodus 25) – I have no other word for saying I really value making things look and sound good for other people’s enjoyment.

Anyways, I thought this was a really cool exercise. I am not sure what I am going to do with these core values yet, but I am really glad to have sat down and thought about these things. Looking back at this from a feminist lens, I guess the main question I have is, does feminism today place enough emphasis on having values? Also, I will be thinking about how the values I chose fit in with feminist values.