And I mean, today, an upper-level grad student was asking to what extent I knew Marx, Durkheim, etc. and I was honest and said, none, and she was like, well you’re screwed for classical theory. And instead of being like, girl, girly honeybun ladybug girl gurl I went home and broke down some cardboard boxes and rearranged some furniture and thought about it and concluded that our definitions of screwed must be very different, like supergalactic different, like I am here and you are five worlds over, subtle knife somehow in your pocket, different.
I mean, there are a lot of things this person doesn’t know. She doesn’t know that I fucked up so many times in the past, there’s literally nothing else I can do but succeed. She doesn’t know that I’m highly skeptical of success anyway. She doesn’t know that I’m not remotely dicking around. For a few minutes I kinda felt like the Jim Kirk of grad school, like don’t tell me what I’ll do because I’ll do better and break some rules too. And unlike Jim Kirk I’ll be the nicest motherfucker you’ll know. Because why not. Because I refuse to forgo niceness even when it’s not popular or socially acceptable in a given situation. Because everyone deserves it, even when what they front is baffling.
People aren’t talkin about the news, they’re talking about what they think the news is. There is no news channel saying “This is what happened, draw your own conclusions.” We have made this country so bereft of critical thinking, that now we have a problem where we have to teach them to think for themselves.
We have no unified authority, or problem solvers. We have congressman discussing environmentalism, when they don’t understand half the problems our earth is going through. We go to congress instead of going to people who have worked their whole LIFE trying to solve these problems. When it comes to racism, we’re asking a panel of white dudes, when it comes to sexism and woman’s rights we ask a panel of white priests on what they think. IT’S INSANITY! We ask people who are not in the arena they should be speaking in/for.
AND THAT’S WHY WE DON’T trust the media, it’s because they’re not in the arena of black experience, and they don’t care about the black experience, UNTIL something bad happens and they have the tools to paint us as destructive, ugly and evil!
”—The response of a Protester in Ferguson who was asked by a reporter as to why most of the protesters didn’t want their faces on tv. (via sara-the-narco)
Writing retreats with everyone, but especially with rosycheeked! Last week I dragged my ass over to this tech orientation and got lost trying to find the lab, only to bump into a Vanderbilt grad — mutual things in common being: messy hair, triple eye bags, clinging humidity — and in another life, we would not be friends, like I kinda felt like the Ginny to her Halley from TOAOTP (best book, all teens should read), but instead 2.5 hours were spent making confused faces at the computer screen, slowly collapsing into disengaged stupor. I held out until the end — legend has it, my dad attended a class where everyone dropped out except him and one other person, and they both got automatic As, don’t think I haven’t learned from this — but she left early, but not before the sacred number exchange.
The point is, I made a friend, like, on my own, without major social forces like common program or matching specialization to help things along. The point is, it’s an ugly world, but miracles still happen.
The women in my cohort — three of us in total — are four, ten years older than me, which is phenomenal because I thought we were roughly the same age, given, like, looks. In terms of demeanor, I feel the oldest; most confident, most considerate in discussion, which means I’m the most extroverted, which means trouble because I’m such an introvert. Or maybe (relative) youth is what enables not giving a shit about what books you’ve published or what classes you teach, because by the fifth and final day of orientation, my brain is applesauce. Formless, raw and wet.
But our combined life experiences are kinda peerless! Human shields and training horses, etc. Excited to work with these ladies, excited to help my advisor with a project ASAP?! Excited to finally put my writing to good and productive use?!
Things my apartment’s still missing: quilt, colander, magnets. I have to get creative with hanging shit, including a 20 lb framed poster and the mobile that made it all the way from WA and that I tore in a moment of pure tragedy. Orange — a former favorite color, and therefore me and orange items are one and the same for my mom — is definitely a theme.
On the other hand, I feel super ancient when nine PM rolls around and the kids down the hall are partying so hard, man. I’m like, knuckling a smudge on my counter and making some tea with some tea bags stolen from Hampton Inn, bleary eyed and every joint cracking, and there’s like, loudness and laughter and I just >:(
I mean whatever, I really like it here; just so, so tired! One of our presenters said this year is ripe for change, which reminds me of Fired Up! “you gotta risk it to get the biscuit,” my own brand of life motto and arguably the best movie ever.
Permanent eye bags, man. Another thing that happened was getting reamed into by the department faculty, like you will love this but it will be shitty, which has essentially been my whole life, so yeah, daunting but not unfamiliar. There’s this one part in Ender’s Game — I need to DL some new sci-fi — where Dink’s like, hey Ender I bet your dad just absorbs the bullshit, takes and takes it until he can’t anymore, then he busts out; I think I’m like that. Both Dink floating around in the battle room and what Ender’s dad is not, which is that I can contextualize what’s fucked up then guilt myself into thinking it’s not that bad. There’s always a way to quantify your pain and make it smaller. But then I get pissed and do a thing, which is when something happens.
It’s definitely the big leagues. The barriers are so high it’s like, the city with the golden gates. I think I’m on the brink of that conflict where, I know I can do amazing things, but how much of the game do I actually want to play in order to be amazing. How much work do I want to put into it when what I’m scaling is the ivory tower. Idk but my apartment’s pretty great; pictures once I get a quilt, a lampshade.
I will write about the following, leave one in my ask box.
Dear person I hate, Dear person I like, Dear ex boyfriend, Dear ex girlfriend, Dear ex bestfriend, Dear bestfriend, Dear *anyone*, Dear Santa, Dear mom, Dear dad, Dear future me, Dear past me, Dear person I’m jealous of, Dear person I had a crush on, Dear girlfriend, Dear boyfriend, Dear [insert URL here],
Okay, okay, I’m going to tell you what Hermione sees in Ron.
A trio is a balancing act, right? They’re equalizers of each other. Harry’s like the action, Hermione’s the brains, Ron’s the heart. Hermione has been assassinated in these movies, and I mean that genuinely—by giving her every single positive character trait that Ron has, they have assassinated her character in the movies. She’s been harmed by being made to be less human, because everything good Ron has, she’s been given.
So, for instance: “If you want to kill Harry, you’re going to have to kill me too”—RON, leg is broken, he’s in pain, gets up and stands in front of Harry and says this. Who gets that line in the movie? Hermione.
“Fear of a name increases the fear of the thing itself.” Hermione doesn’t say Voldemort’s name until well into the books—that’s Dumbledore’s line. When does Hermione say it in the movies? Beginning of Movie 2.
When the Devil’s Snare is curling itself around everybody, Hermione panics, and Ron is the one who keeps his head and says “Are you a witch or not?” In the movie, everybody else panics and Hermione keeps her head and does the biggest, brightest flare of sunlight spell there ever was.
So, Hermione—all her flaws were shaved away in the films. And that sounds like you’re making a kick-ass, amazing character, and what you’re doing is dehumanizing her. And it pisses me off. It really does.
In the books, they balance each other out, because where Hermione gets frazzled and maybe her rationality overtakes some of her instinct, Ron has that to back it up; Ron has a kind of emotional grounding that can keep Hermione’s hyper-rationalness in check. Sometimes Hermione’s super-logical nature grates Harry and bothers him, and isn’t the thing he needs even if it’s the right thing, like when she says “You have a saving people thing.” That is the thing that Harry needed to hear, she’s a hundred percent right, but the way she does it is wrong. That’s the classic “she’s super logical, she’s super brilliant, but she doesn’t know how to handle people emotionally,” at least Harry.
So in the books they are this balanced group, and in the movies, in the movies—hell, not even Harry is good enough for Hermione in the movies. No one’s good enough for Hermione in the movies—God isn’t good enough for Hermione in the movies! Hermione is everybody’s everything in the movies.
Harry’s idea to jump on the dragon in the books, who gets it in the movies? Hermione, who hates to fly. Hermione, who overcomes her withering fear of flying to take over Harry’s big idea to get out of the—like, why does Hermione get all these moments?
[John: Because we need to market the movie to girls.]
I think girls like the books, period. And like the Hermione in the books, and like the Hermione in the books just fine before Hollywood made her idealized and perfect. And if they would have trusted that, they would have been just fine.
Would the movies have been bad if she was as awesome as she was in the books, and as human as she was in the books? Would the movies get worse?
She IS a strong girl character. This is the thing that pisses me off. They are equating “strong” with superhuman. To me, the Hermione in the book is twelve times stronger than the completely unreachable ideal of Hermione in the movies. Give me the Hermione in the book who’s human and has flaws any single day of the week.
Here’s a classic example: When Snape in the first book yells at Hermione for being an insufferable know-it-all, do you want to know what Ron says in the book? “Well, you’re asking the questions, and she has to answer. Why ask if you don’t want to be told?” What does he say in the movie? “He’s got a point, you know.” Ron? Would never do that. Would NEVER do that, even before he liked Hermione. Ron would never do that.
Melissa Anelli THROWS IT DOWN about the way Ron and Hermione have been adapted in the movies on the latest episode of PotterCast. Listen here. This glorious rant starts at about 49:00. (via karakamos)
I also super fucking resent the notion that this handling of Hermione was to market to girls. It suggests the books, with book!Hermione, weren’t already a success with girls. Last time I checked, it was BOYS they had to market to by forcing Joanne Rowling to use an initial. Book!Hermione was a wonderful character that I (A GIRL) strongly identified with. Movie!Hermione was written by men and felt like a man’s idealized view that left basically no room for flaws.
Watching Big Bite and have two seconds to write: the super deliberate slow moving patience he takes as he cooks with his son, the verbal setups and flag waving play by play, makes me appreciate him like ten thousand times more than any quick whisk visit to another diner or dive. Aah! :)
“America was built on two monumental crimes: the genocide of the Native American and the enslavement of the African American. The tendency of official America is to memorialize other peoples’ crimes and to forget its own - to seek a high moral ground as a pretext to ignore real issues.”—
tesslynch: I’ve been thinking about this Jezebel piece tonight, while scrolling through the coverage of the atrocities happening in Ferguson. The piece, “Why Would I Ever Want to Bring a Child Into this Fucked Up World?”, was written less than a month ago. Over the past couple of days, everything has gotten worse. Maybe I notice it more, maybe I’ve been watching more attentively; I don’t know. My child is two.
When I was pregnant, Adam Lanza shot 20 children to death. A few weeks after I gave birth, James Holmes killed 12 people in Aurora, Colorado. I used to absorb these kinds of news items with a sigh and close the computer, but suddenly — when I knew I would be leaving someone behind in the world eventually, alone — I couldn’t. When I was pregnant, I would sit with my computer on my thighs, and I would feel obligated to absorb the despair, because it was important in a new way. I used to think, “Well, this is the world,” and the impact I felt was numbed and relatively small. I had armor to protect me. Now I have none. But, of course, this isn’t about me, or at least it’s only about me as much as it’s about you, assuming you’re a person who isn’t currently in Ferguson or Gaza (or assuming, even, that you’re not Zelda Williams). What it’s about is how we are now given access to horrible, unspeakably awful things, and we feel paralyzed together in outrage, watching.
Of course, there are things we can do (for instance, donating to the Missouri ACLU might be a good idea). We can acknowledge things that we don’t like to admit: that mental illness is devastating and we need better resources to help those who are brave enough to seek it; that the militarization of police forces and discrimination are a devastating — and real — combination; and that no matter what we do, chaotic acts of violence will always exist and will always remind us of how volatile and scary we can be to each other.
When I was younger I used to think of that Breakfast Club quotation, “When you grow up, your heart dies.” Without shading John Hughes (I would never), I now find this is both melodramatic (obviously) and untrue. Your heart explodes, sometimes a million times a day. It is horrible, but it’s also a gift. The longer you remain in the world, regardless of whether or not you procreate, the larger your investment in it. It gradually feels more like it belongs to you, and you to it, and you are less of an outlier. You gain your footing and look around, and begin to actually notice and react to what you see. You have context. You become more powerful, and even when you know you can’t do much, you still feel very close to being able to do something.
The only thing that consoles you when everything is falling down around you is information, because now you know that the thing our generation has going for it is that we speak and we listen. The arrests of reporters in Ferguson is beyond unnerving, but the one thing that I find uplifting is that we’re evolving around these barriers. The brave journalists who have reported from Ferguson — several of whom have been arrested — are giving us a little power by igniting our consciences. We still have a long way to go, but we have a greater capacity for caring than we’ve ever had. Why would anyone ever hope to bring a child into this fucked up world? I suppose that it would be because he or she would hope that that child could change it. I do hope for that. Even — especially — now.
I was just saying to murderous-moon that choices — about doing something, about having a kid — are an astounding privilege. Like, in an actual parallel universe, I’m attending a wedding on Friday, I’m moving to a new state and starting a new job at a university on Monday. If I wanted to, if I “could,” I could drive down to Ferguson and bear witness to these events myself, while my black friends stay here in the cities because they have to work. The streets outside the house I sleep in stay quiet all night. Amazing, the invisible, impenetrable barriers.