May. 2, 2013
“The boy with blond curls and gray eyes (…) It took five, ten, fifteen years for me to agree. But Peeta wanted them so badly. (…) Carrying the boy was a little easier.”
oh my actual god who can read this and not be viscerally repulsed. She didn’t want children. She didn’t want children for fifteen years and he wore her down because he “wanted them so badly.” “A little easier.” Oh my god. She didn’t want children, she didn’t want the stereotypically nurturing feminine role, and…her happy ending, her ‘healing’ was being forced to conform to that?
I didn’t get the ship from the moment that he had the whole ~~betrayed~~ scene on the train ride about how Katniss had been acting completely out of character for all these interviews and he - who’d stalked her for years - had so little grasp of who she was as a person that he saw no aberration and was ~stunned~ when he found out it wasn’t true. He doesn’t love her because a) he bloody STALKED her and b) he has no concept or respect for her as a person. UGH.
Though to be fair I wouldn’t dislike Peeta (Nice Guy(tm) extraordinaire) so much if pretty much every single effing other person wasn’t guilting and shaming and deriding Katniss about not wanting or appreciating Peeta.
A fucking million times this.
(Source: probablystilladoreyou, via katnissisoliveskinneddealwithit)
Apr. 30, 2013
Dear Certain Members of THG Fandom:
Be consistent with your shit.
If you subscribe to the idea that Katniss is a woman of color then that means Gale is a man of color. And that means that the way this fandom at large deals with him is gross. He’s a man of color who’s fighting for the rights and freedom of his people, for fuck’s sake. To hear some people talk, you’d think he was the villain of the text.
If you don’t like him, then don’t like him, that’s fine. But being a person of color goes both ways. Maybe no one else in fandom cares about men of color who want the revolution to begin but I do.
Deal with it.
Apr. 25, 2013
I have found the whistler, a wizened old man in a faded red shirt and overalls. His eyes meet mine. What happens next is not an accident. It is too well executed to be spontaneous, because it happens in complete unison. Every person in the crowd presses the three middle fingers of their left hand against their lips and extends them to me. It’s our sign from District 12, the last good-bye I gave Rue in the arena.
We could have had it alllllllllllllllllllllll.
Apr. 24, 2013
“Her entire species must be eradicated…”
(Source: tobyziegler, via fuckyeahthehungergames)
Apr. 9, 2013
If I were in the Hunger Games I would use one of the parachutes and gift containers and put all kinds of poisonous berries in them and then climb trees and send them down to unsuspecting tributes. Oh, you thought you were getting a nice fruit salad? Think again. POISON.
You should volunteer as tribute, you evil genius
Apr. 9, 2013
gale hawthorne, district 12 and angry young men of colour
So I’m going to go out on a limb and say (as a veteran of the tracked tag, if nothing else) that the way huge swathes of ‘The Hunger Games’ fandom talks about Gale Hawthorne is super problematic.
It’s a tough thing to do, to talk about any of the characters in the series and do it fairly when the narrative itself is rife with problems - both in terms of what it picks up on and what it leaves out. But I think fandom tends to ignore those problematic aspects which aren’t convenient to their reading of the text, at the expense of misunderstanding several of its key figures. If I was someone looking in from the outside, who had never picked up a single copy of the books, I would, from fandom’s response, infer that Gale was the villain of the piece (or at least the final act) - the volatile, bloody mirror to Peeta’s good. And when you think about that contextually, when you think about that in conjunction with the fact that if we accept Katniss to be a POC then Gale is too, it follows that the portrait that we get in the books of one of the sole male POC characters fighting for his homeland is one who is paranoid, militant, downright violent. Which isn’t just problematic, but offensive as well - to put such a one-dimensional face on the subjugated people of colour partaking in the revolution, as well as feeding into long-held stereotypes of what a person of colour fighting for their rights looks like.
The fly in the ointment being - despite the fact that Collins drops in the racial commentary without ever exploring it any further - that is simply not who Gale is in the text. Yes, Gale is uncompromising, yes, he resorts to violence but if he’s not one of the heroes of the series, he’s certainly not one of its villains either. And for fandom to dismiss him as such is a disservice to his character. For fandom to single out Gale for his possessiveness, claiming that such a character trait is in evidence in the ‘Gale is mine. I am his’ line - a line not spoken by Gale, but by Katniss - is not just a disservice to his character, but completely baffling. And for fandom to glorify Katniss’ racial heritage whilst erasing (via ignoring) Gale’s, is adding insult to injury. Sure, you have your favourites, you have the ship that you prefer - but that doesn’t mean you get to prioritise which character of colour’s experiences have more intrinsic value, that’s neither a sensitive nor a respectful reading of these books.
And Gale isn’t a poorly hewn together caricature of what a POC revolutionary might look like either, all overflowing anger and inflammatory action - Collins’ writing has its faults, but that’s still never a place it goes. His character is not just defined by a single act - by the violence of the bombs he creates or Prim’s death - his character is informed by what he spends his life experiencing and what he shapes that to mean. Yes, he is single-minded in his determination and he believes that the ends justifies the means (in contrast to Peeta who sees the ends as the means) and if you don’t think that’s the right way to run a revolution, well that’s your prerogative. But that doesn’t mean Gale’s anger is without justifiable cause, that we can blame him whole-heartedly for his actions without charting the multitude of steps it takes to get him there, and it certainly doesn’t mean that his characterisation is of a man of colour who revolves solely around his anger.
Gale is angry, I won’t deny it, but he’s romantic too - romantic in the sense of being an idealist, after all he falls in love with the girl who is yes, his childhood friend but also the symbol of the whole goddamn revolution. He is hopeful and he is penitent and he moves back to District 2 - to the very district he helps destroy, because he knows that sometimes the cost of a revolution can be the soft spots inside you but you don’t need to carry that cost, that weight, for the rest of your life. He’s a complex character, he’s multifaceted and contradictory and I think his race charges his narrative as much as Katniss does hers. To ignore that part of him (whilst exulting that part of Katniss) is blatantly unfair and to flatten him into a stereotype that he’s not, is as offensive as it is nonsensical.
Also, just to briefly add —
I’d also further argue that this fandom is left with a choice. Interpretations of texts are about choices, and should we agree that Katniss is a woman of color (which not everyone in this fandom does, but I do) and that, therefore, Gale is a man of color, we are left with options. We can choose to recognize that in the moments that Collins deplores Gale’s revolutionary positioning and in the moments that she posits political revolutionary violence as just as oppressive as state-sponsored violence, she is establishing an incredibly problematic racial and political rhetoric and note the problematics of the text as such, or we can choose to buy into that line of thinking and condemn Gale for it as well. Extratextually, Gale’s actions are all completely within the scope of any ethics of war you want to look at bar outright pacifism; it’s only intratextually that he’s condemned for it, and this fandom needs to examine why that is and what that means for this series. And we have a responsibility to examine the problematics of all that and recognize that even if Collins is willing to take a disparaging position toward a man of color for revolutionary violence with the goal of liberation from state-sponsored and endemic oppression, we as readers do not have to do the same.
I do think that Collins is unsure of her political rhetoric in most of Mockingjay. At times she invokes the need for revolution and at other times she condemns it, ultimately suggesting that the rebels may be just as bad if not worse than the ruling regime which is often the case in real life but given the paradigms of this series is, frankly, mortifying. But no matter how she ultimately comes down on that issue — which she doesn’t, really, because Mockingjay has no space for resolution of any kind — for fandom to flatten Gale down to a one-dimensional villain who manipulates Katniss (which is not in any way textual) and who uses violence to attain his goals (which is textual) within the constructs of a racialized narrative is a problematic of the fandom itself. His violence is political. It does not happen in a vacuum, and it is not hapless. To say ‘oh, Gale is violent’ without looking at what kind of violence he performs or why he does it is overwhelmingly limited thinking.
Mar. 27, 2013
Everything beautiful brings her to mind. I see her in the yellow flowers that grow in the Meadow by my house. I see her in the Mockingjays that sing in the trees. But most of all, I see her in my sister, Prim.
(Source: ruestribute, via veganemelda)
Mar. 7, 2013
Don’t worry everyone, I fixed it. (Original here).
(Source: coffeeandfisting, via katnissisoliveskinneddealwithit)
Mar. 2, 2013
The Capitol from Johanna’s POV.
You’ll get nothing from us, you bastards! I’m sick of the sound of my own voice, but the silence is deafening; Peeta’s quietened down in the cell next to me. I wish he’d shout; I wish he’d scream for Katniss like he used to when we first got here. Now there’s just nothing. I hear him gasp in the middle of the night like he’s breaking the surface of the ocean. Maybe he’s dreaming about the arena. I hope he knows that we got her out; I hope he uses that and holds onto it and gives them hell when they take him into that white room at the end of the corridor. Love is his rebellion, and without that he’s nothing.
(Source: behindthebakery, via katnissisoliveskinneddealwithit)
Feb. 2, 2013
Let’s be real
If ‘The Hunger Games’ was accurately cast, with POC filling the lead roles, the metaphor of struggle and violence and the ugliness of oppression would be decidedly too powerful, too real, too close to the home of racism and classism in the United States today. The viciousness and brutality facing THG characters is but the reality of many, many kids of color across the United States as well as globally who’re struggling to breathe under the boot-heel of Western imperialism and white supremacy. These are the kids whose reality we’re taught to ignore, the kids whom media degrades as innately violent and thuggish, and therefore unworthy of help or attention.
If THG starred kids who look like the ones we’re only too happy to ignore, the metaphor of the Games would carry meaning and weight and gritty truth. As it stands, by whitewashing the cast, TPTB have effectively neutralized the powerful message embedded in the text, and turned it into yet another white-kids-are-heroes-watch-them-save-the-world franchise.
Because the alternative is too much for privileged folks to handle.
Jan. 17, 2013
But the decision to alter the storyline with Peeta’s leg really troubles me because of what it symbolises. Peeta becomes a prominently disabled character in the series, and his disability becomes part of his experiences. At the same time though, he’s not defined by the disability, consumed by it, and placed in the narrative for the sole purpose of constantly reminding everyone that he’s disabled. Peeta, like other characters, is scarred by the world he lives in, and he bears a visible mark of the cruelty and brutality of Panem, but more importantly, he’s another person trying to survive and build a better world. By neatly cutting that entire plotline away, the filmmakers avoided some tangled and thorny issues.
Like the fact that Peeta is supposed to be a love interest. I can’t help but feel one of the reasons the amputation storyline was taken out was because the filmmakers don’t think amputees can be love interests, or think that the reality of the amputation might be offputting to audiences who wouldn’t be able to identify with the characters if Katniss fell in love with a disabled Peeta, because that sort of thing Isn’t Done. Furthermore, obviously no amputees engage with media and pop culture and certainly don’t want to see versions of themselves on screen, so that angle didn’t need to be considered when preparing the film adaptation.
They probably also feared the idea of a character who happens to be disabled; they couldn’t let him get fitted for a prosthesis and get on with his life. They would have felt compelled to wrap up some kind of special story in it, even though that’s not necessary. Riding right over that storyline can be justified by saying they don’t have time to do it, with all the other things that need to be included. Just like they didn’t have time to view actresses of colour and nonwhite actresses while they were making decisions about the casting of Katniss. Making movies is very busy work, people.
And, of course, Peeta doesn’t comply with narratives above disability. His withdrawal and depression at the beginning of the second book are more about his emotional state over Katniss, rather than his leg. As a character, he’s physically active as well as politically defiant, once he begins to grow into himself. This isn’t what amputees are ‘supposed’ to do in pop culture, and thus it’s a narrative that makes people uncomfortable, and one that the filmmakers evidently simply didn’t want to deal with.
I could be wrong; perhaps in the next film we will learn that infection set in and they took the leg. But I doubt it, highly, because this doesn’t seem to be in character with way Hollywood works, where disability is erased when it doesn’t serve a greater narrative or actively defies tropes. Peeta cannot be allowed to be disabled.