Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Commitment

There's a big divide when it comes to commitment and romantic relationships. No this is a sexism rant. it's an observation I've made among the dating and married world. It probably goes without saying that marriage is a bigger deal than relationships, but I don't understand why. Both events involve 2 people who care about the other and can both involve feelings of romantic love. The difference comes in legality. Yes a commitment to a marriage is legally recognized, but what about states who recognize common law marriage? That's pretty much just "dating" with intent. 

The point of this is I don't understand why in the dating world it's ok for people to date many people, but if I were to marry three times I have a social stigma. This goes equally I think for both men and women. Now I am not talking about sex - we all know there are views and stigmas associated with sexual partners depending if you're a man a woman. In high school you think of the popular kids and you envy them for all the dates they go on and how every man/woman fawns over them; at least I did. When your friend breaks up with someone you don't judge them (granted if you were dumped your friends may say the dumper was a horrible person), but you are not blamed. Friends will tell you it was best or they understood and it's ok to fall out of love. But if I were to get married and divorce my husband or vice versa and it was no fault there would be a stigma for both of us - the one who does it has commitment issues or is cruel and the one who gets the shaft now has people wonder who don't know them "What made him or her divorce them..."

Why is it acceptable for me to date 10 guys before marriage, but bad if I fall out of love in a marriage? Because I made a vow? Didn't I make an oral vow in dating not to cheat or whatever? That I would always be into them? I guess people think its acceptable to date a lot because you're "immature" and marriage means you're "mature" - like dating is practice for marriage. Well I don't like that. I think it takes a lot more courage to say in a marriage you're done than in a dating relationship - it's easier to walk away from dating. If people are sincere that we are allowed to fall out of love and make mistakes then that should go across the board. I think it's more mature to date 60 guys knowing u aren't ready for marriage than to marry 1 and worry about any lingering doubt.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Hunger Games trilogy was AMAZING

Long after every person in the world read The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay I entered into the arena (heh heh). As a rule I avoid book fads (especially when they become a movie franchise) because I get so bombarded with "Omg you have to read this!" "Omg this movie sucked!" "Omg I hate movie people"  that I turn off my ears and pretend you don't exist. The exception was Twilight - I had no finals left for 2 weeks and I had no excuse not to read them (I was all packed, my goodbyes were said for the year, I had all my meetings). They were a quick read (albeit poorly written for an older "young adult" audience), but fun. And the movies were cool because it gave me something to look forward to and I will always heart RPatz (Cedric Diggory anyone??).

With Harry Potter I literally had no interest in the subject matter - a boy wizard who fights evil and whatnot. Yuck. To an eleven year old (the PERFECT age to start I might add) girl who was reading Judy Blume and fairy tales about romance and princesses it was not a priority. I did read the first book, but lost interest sadly. I did see the movies and enjoyed them immensely and maybe someday I will read those books. I definitely will make them available to my kids because Harry's bravery, Hermoine's intelligence, and Ron's reminder of human flaws are all good characteristics for a kid to have in their role models. Which bring me to....THE BEST BOOKS EVERRR



So I had no desire to read these from the start. It was very post apocalyptic Lord of the Flies and I had no interest in that genre. Also as a rule I don't read books. Books never seem to hold my interest and I end up making it a job - I will HAVE to read 5 chapters a day or finish in a month or whatever. Not fun. But being unemployed and taking classes and spending too much time on Web 2.0 I found myself waiting for class to start at the library and looking at the book - I literally had NO excuse not to fill up my time with it. I read the first book in 1 day, the second in a week, and the third in 2 days. Suzanne Collins is such an amazing writer - she is extremely descriptive and her characters all are well developed so you want to have a relationship with them and feel pain and get angry at them. My biggest "yay!" moment was seeing that Katniss Everdeen wasn't a 

Mary-Sue, Urban Dictionary:

A female character who is so perfect that she is annoying. The name originated in a very short Star Trek story that mocked the sort of female characters who showed up in fanfiction. It usually refers to original female characters put into fanfiction, but can refer to any character. 
Mary-Sues are characters who are usually extraordinarily gorgeous, amazingly talented, unusually powerful, and exceedingly attractive to whoever the author has a crush on. They often possess ridiculously fancy and pretentious first names -- Angel, Raven, Jewel, Lorelei Bianca Julia Marizza Snape -- and are very, very annoying.  

Case in point: Bella Swan or Elizabeth Swan (WTF with the swans?!)

Or a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, Urban Dictionary:

A Manic Pixie Dream Girl or MPDG, is a term coined by film critic Nathan Rabin after seeing Elizabethtown. It refers to "that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures." A pretty, outgoing, whacky female romantic lead whose sole purpose is to help broody male characters lighten up and enjoy their lives. 

Case in point: Bella Swan (not AS much, but her awkwardness makes up for the bubbly) or Jess from "New Girl"


Katniss was neither. I could not imagine myself as her nor could I identify with her, which in my opinion is a good thing. When I can put myself into the book like that with romance novels or fanfiction it's often on an aesthetic level and all I take away is hedonistic glee (which is not a bad thing lol). But I really like that she had human flaws that were relatable as well as moments of extreme selflessness and courage that you always want to have, but often wonder if you ever could. 

I also loved the plot - the unforgiving world these kids lived in and the dramatic Games could be compared to a lot of things (unfortunately) in this world. 

SPOILER ALERT: 

When I read the bombing and murdering of District 12  I saw on TV later a story on the Syrian Rebellion and I said to mom "Wow that's how I pictured 12 in the book" and she said "I was about to say that... Also when you see kids killing kids with no remorse (like the Careers) you think of those kidnapped and brainwashed children in places like the Sudan and Ghana that are recruited at 8 to fight and kill alongside the adults. 

President Snow using fear as punishment for former rebellions and unrest is a continuous plot point in history and President Coin having her own rebel agenda and suggesting that the Capitol's punishment be to put their own safe kids into a new Hunger Games shows how deeply hatred and revenge can overtake you during times of unrest. I was so angry with Katniss when she voted to put the Capitol children into the Games because here they were trying to ABOLISH that act of violence and what did they want to do? Become a new version of the same regime. But she watched her father die in an unsafe mine, she watched her family and friends starve and freeze, she watched reaping after reaping, she watched her sister die and Peeta be brainwashed with poison. She was rightfully pissed off and she wanted to hurt them. Granted she makes the right decision in the end, but it's nice to know you can be SO pissed off while at the same time understand a character's motives.

When I read the epilogue I had a lot of emotions (WHAT ARE EMOTIONSSSS???), but then I thought "This is the perfect ending" Yes her and Peeta end up together with two kids (and I assume married, but who cares?), but it took her 15 years to have kids because she was just too terrified of bringing a kid into that world even though the Games were over and a new government was working. And sadly Peeta will never be the same and Katniss will always be angry, both suffering from PTSD - but there is bittersweet hope. You have to wonder if she was banished from the Capitol because of her killing of Coin while her mother and Gale remain there working, but then you think "well it has been 15 years - I'm sure they visit her). But isn't that what Kat wanted? To go back home and be normal? What I really liked was her rationalizing why she picked Peeta over Gale (aside from Peeta being amazing) - Peeta has been her "angel" and her conscience. He reminded her everyday to calm down and pointed out the good in situations. He never once lied about his feelings towards her and always protected her while she protected him. Gale was just like Katniss - angry, passionate, worked to death, and fearless. She needed Peeta to remind her of the good in people, to move on and hold onto hope and love. She tells the audience that she has to remind herself everyday of all the good she has seen and the hope she has felt to keep her from darker places, and ends it AMAZINGLY with "It's a tedious game I play with myself, but there are worse games to be played..." BUM BUM BUUUUUMMMM. 

If her and Peeta had a magical unicorn ending it would have been a disgrace to the series. No simple happy ending can come through that kind of life and their struggles are what makes you think and remember. 

END OF SPOILER:



Bottom line: I am extremely happy I read these books. I extremely disagree with sensitive parents who would never show this to their kid because it is so violent. Every child should be exposed to alternate realities if only to make them thankful for their lives. The characters are amazing examples of courage, hate, love, sadness, and frailty. As a result, I have been more open minded to young adult novels that are popular (to a degree) and I am more willing to put down the easy reads for options that are outside my genre comfort zone.