You know, Peeta’s unconventional masculinity is as relevant for traditional gender subversion in The Hunger Games as Katniss’s unconventional femininity.
It’s a bit annoying to see everyone and their mother praising Katniss for being such a unique action female hero, and then hearing those same people making fun of Peeta for being a weakling and a ‘sissy’.
Yes, Peeta paints sunsets and bakes cookies and frosts cakes. He is sometimes/usually unarmed and needs Katniss’s protection. He needs saving at several points across the story, and eventually he is captured and needs rescuing.
So what? Just as Katniss can be dextrous at archery, an assassin and a leader in combat, while retaining her kindness, humanity and selflessness, Peeta can paint, bake, and not be a traditional male action hero and still be the male lead and romantic hero of the story. He can still be sexually alluring for Katniss and capable of extremely heroic actions, while needing rescue and baking cakes.
And if you can’t see how relevant it is for this story and for a younger generation to understand that traditional and media-approved masculinity is also a social construct/imposition, as restrictive and reactionary as enforced traditional femininity can be, then the joke’s on you.
Sorry to put this on you but I have an honest question about depression an suicide. Isn't it completely possible for it to be a alternative for someone. Can't there be someone out there who genuinely is tired and doesn't want to continue. I know there is beauty and wonderful things in this world. There are things to look forward to. There will be more pain but also more laughter. But what if I'm not interested?
well… well first off, i’d say, seek professional help immediately. because i am wildly unqualified to answer your question with anything but experience. and first off, my experience says, if you are in such a deep and dark place where you say things like this to total strangers on the internet, you need to be in contact with someone that can help you start to heal.
second, i’d say… you’re wrong. i’d say the things any of us don’t know, especially about tomorrow, could blanket every grain of sand on every beach of the world with bullshit. And to simply assume you are done tomorrow because you are done today is a mistake. a factual mistake, an error, a critical miscalculation.
i’d say, read Tad Friend’s piece JUMPERS in which he seeks and finds and talks to people that jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge — and lived. And they all say the same variations this: “I instantly realized that everything in my life that I’d thought was unfixable was totally fixable—except for having just jumped.”
And know that this piece has kept me in my seat on more than a couple dark nights.
And i’d say — i’d say i felt that way before too, and i was wrong.
And then i’d tell you something i don’t even think my wife knows. this happend years before we met — shit, more than a decade — and it’s not the first time i came close to suicide was on a thanksgiving night. i’d eaten well and then as the house shut down i went into the bathroom, drew a bath as hot as i could manage to stand, and climbed into the tub with a razor blade.
As i started to cut, as the corner touched my skin and that jolt of pain fired into my head, i stopped and thought — y’know, last chance. Are you SURE?
And i was tired. I sounded like you, that i knew there’d be ups again and downs but i was just so fucking TIRED i couldn’t stand the thought of having to get there. I felt this… this never-ending crush of days that were grey and tepid but for some reason i was supposed to greet each one with a smile. the constant pressure of having to keep my shit in all the time was just exhausting.
I wondered, then — well, is there anything you’re curious about. Anything you want to see play out. And i thought of a comic i was reading and i’d not figured out the end of the current storyline. And i realized I had curiosity. And that was the hook i’d hang my hat on. that by wanting to see how something played out I wasn’t really ready. That little sprout of a thing poking up through all that black earth kept me around a little longer.
I realized then that it had been so long since i’d laughed. I was numbed out and shut down and just… i missed laughing. maybe if i laughed a little i could get moving again. so i’d wait for my comic to conclude, try to find a few laughs, and then reevaluate.
So I’m in the bathtub and i got this real sharp-ass razor, right? And i look down and there’s all my bits floating in the water like they do and i thought okay, let’s get funny and i got to work.
I shaved off exactly half my pubic hair vertically. The end result was a ‘fro of pubes that looked like a Chia Pet that only half-worked. I started to laugh as I did it. And every time i’d piss, looking down made me laugh.
Because JESUS what a nightmare.
Shortly thereafter I got very heavily into Chuck Jones and Tex Avery. Way less chafing and way more funny.
jesus. i was still in high school at the time. dig if you will a picture of the chubby weirdo that was always giggling at his dick in the bathroom. that was me.
And then I guess I’d tell you about Dave, who did the same thing as me a few years later, only DIDN’T have my hilarious Chia Dick strategy in mind and got the razor in and up. And as he started to bleed out “Brown Eyed Girl” came on the radio and he realized he’d never get to hear that again so, in a bloody comedy of errors — I swear to god this is true — he got out of the tub, tried to get dressed the best he could, went downstairs calling for help only to find his family gone, went out to his car, and drove to doug’s house only to find doug not home and so, then, finally, he blacked out from blood loss sitting there in his car, playing a van morrison CD on repeat, until, by luck, Doug’s mom came home and found him.
Fucking Van Morrison, y’know?
A song, a comic, something dumb, something small. From that seed can come everything else, I swear to god.
I guess last I’d say… I’d say that, look — if you reached out to me for an answer, than I have to reach back out to you and insist you hear it. Because it means, what, you know me? My work? You read my stuff and thought, well, fuck, if anyone would know why I shouldn’t end my life, if anyone alive is QUALIFIED TO SAVE ME it’s the guy that had britney spears punch a bear? okay — okay, then, so as THAT GUY I’m saying: Get help. Now, today, tonight, whenever — get to a phone and find a doctor that can try to help you heal, that can try to recolorize your world again, that can help you start caring again. All you need is that one tiny thing, that speck, that little grain of sand. the World Series, AVENGERS 2, Tina Fey’s new show, the first issue of PRETTY DEADLY, some slice of the world you’ve never seen, some drink you love, who the fuck will love your dog like you do if you’re gone, what if jabrams KILLS it on the new STAR WARS, the hell are you doing for Halloween, you ever feed a dolphin with your bare hand? because i have and I am fucking telling you IT IS A THING TO EXPERIENCE and oh god WHAT FUCKING FONT WILL STARBUCKS USE ON THE CHRISTMAS DRINK SLEEVES THIS YEAR — i don’t care what or how dumb but i promise you somewhere in your life is that one fleck of dust that can help start you on the road back. That’s all it takes. One fucking mote, drifting through your head.
And because you asked me I am answering you because i know, motherfucker, i know, i know, i know the hole you are fucking in because I was there myself and if you look hard you can still see my writing on those walls and if you stare long enough i swear to god it’s pointing to up
“Our aim in Education is to give a Full Life. We begin to see what we want. Children make large demands upon us. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests. ‘Thou hast set my feet in a large room’ should be the glad cry of every intelligent soul. Life should be all living, and not merely a tedious passing of time; not all doing or all feeling or all thinking - the strain would be too great - but, all living; that is to say, we should be in touch wherever we go, whatever we hear, whatever we see, with some manner of vital interest… The question is not, - how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education — but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?”—Charlotte Mason’s School Education
“when i was 5 years old my best friend was a boy named kyle who didn’t know how to knock on doors so he made dinosaur noises outside my window to wake me up in the summer until i demonstrated how to ball his fists and slam them against my doors. we collected caterpillars in my trailer park and built them houses while we traded pokemon cards. he wasn’t the only one. there was ben, and mitch, and noah—but kyle’s the only one who hurt me, because when he tried to kiss me and i asked him why, he told me “because you’re a boy and i’m a girl, shouldn’t we like each other?”
i missed him so much and i wondered why he couldn’t just be my friend like he always was.
in the first grade there was rich and joseph and i got sent to detention with them almost every day with a smile on my face. we built block towers and sang to my teacher’s lion king soundtracks when she’d turn the lights off during lunch time. one day they got in a fist fight over me at recess, and i wondered why they felt they needed to share my friendship, like it was something they owned.
in the second grade zach and i played yu gi oh under our desks during free time and i got moved for talking to him constantly. everyone in the class would tease him and i for talking, asking when we were going to date already, asking him if he’d kissed me, and he stopped being my friend.
when i was 11 i met a chubby boy with the name of a colour who wore puffy vests and unwashed t-shirts, with greasy hair and bright blue eyes and a smile that hid hurt behind it. people didn’t like him because he was silly, but i liked him, because i was also silly. he became my friend the day he bought me 5 giant roses and asked me to be his girlfriend, and i politely declined but promised him i’d be his best friend because i’d always wanted a best guy friend that stuck around. we burnt our feet on the concrete during the summer and walked home with the sunset silhouetting us. he talked often about how he loved me, but never blamed me for being me, even though he refused to move on. that boy dyed his hair jet black and sat on the end of my bed playing songs to me on guitar, and all that pent up rage from before didn’t show until the first time he slapped me across the face and called me a dumb cunt.
in the 7th grade there was a boy named ryan who sat next to me on the bus and talked to me about manga. he’d ask me personal invasive questions but i didn’t mind because it was attention and i liked attention. i was dating another guitarist with curly brown hair, one who was much more kind-tempered than the other, and ryan mentioned how much of an asshole he was every day. i wondered, why, why does he think the love of my life is an asshole? but whenever i asked him, he just told me, “girls only date assholes. there’s no room for nice guys like me.”
i wondered, if he was so nice, why did he say such mean things?
he never stopped with me, taking me to movies, hanging out with me, you know. being friendly. i thought we were friends. but then, how many times had i thought that before?
how many times had i bonded with a boy, thought they got me, only for them to ask me if i wanted to make out?
how come when i told ryan i was coming out as a lesbian, he stopped being my friend, and said “damnit, the one girl i really want to pound into a mattress, and she’s only interested in chicks!”
there was a boy my junior year who stayed up all night with me until the sun rose, talking about life, past loves, hopes, dreams. beneath a million twinkling stars spanning forever, he brushed long brown hair out of his eyes and listened to me talk about the history that made me. then he asked me if i’d ever consider dating a guy, and complained about how he’d never get laid.
when i told him no a couple hundred times, he found new girls to listen to.
i would sit on the couch and play zelda with dakota, and he’d talk about all my favourite games with me. he was the closest thing to support i had, and the letters and poems he wrote me were always so kind and friendly. but he’d put his arms around me on the couch, and no matter how many times i told him i was uncomfortable, he’d still come over every day and do it.
“don’t you know how it feels to love someone and not have them love you back? don’t you know what it feels like to be friendzoned?”
when i meet guys who talk about the friendzone, who talk about the girls who don’t give “nice guys” like them i chance, i always want to just say
when i was 10 years old i met a girl whose brown hair fell across her shoulders and whos eyes sparkled when the sunlight hit them, whose voice was like velvet and whose scent was like mountain smoke, who made me dizzier than a fly climbing a sugar hill. and i’m 17 years old, and i still love her, and she knows, and she doesn’t love me.
but my first thoughts upon hearing her rejection were not “what a bitch,” were not “she just wants a douchebag and not a nice girl like me!” were not “im going to keep pushing her until she dates me,”
“she is the best friend i have ever had, and i am the best she’s ever had, and i would hate to take that away from her.”
so before you play the victim, mr. Nice Guy, before you angrily throw your fedora on the ground and blame the girl you claim to adore so much:
put yourself in the shoes of a girl who thought she made a wonderful friend, only to find out that he just wanted her for sex. that he just wanted her for a relationship. a girl who was just an object to win, a prize. a girl who’s trust you’ve just shattered.
maybe she friendzoned you. but you boyfriendzoned her, first.”—address unknown; return to denver: thoughts on the friendzone
“There is no escape. You can’t be a vagabond and an artist and still be a solid citizen, a wholesome, upstanding man. You want to get drunk, so you have to accept the hangover. You say yes to the sunlight and pure fantasies, so you have to say yes to the filth and the nausea. Everything is within you, gold and mud, happiness and pain, the laughter of childhood and the apprehension of death. Say yes to everything, shirk nothing. Don’t try to lie to yourself. You are not a solid citizen. You are not a Greek. You are not harmonious, or the master of yourself. You are a bird in the storm. Let it storm! Let it drive you! How much have you lied! A thousand times, even in your poems and books, you have played the harmonious man, the wise man, the happy, the enlightened man. In the same way, men attacking in war have played heroes, while their bowels twitched. My God, what a poor ape, what a fencer in the mirror man is— particularly the artist— particularly myself!”—Herman Hesse
“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”—Sylvia Plath
To say, “This is my uncle,” in Chinese, you have no choice but to encode more information about said uncle. The language requires that you denote the side the uncle is on, whether he’s related by marriage or birth and, if it’s your father’s brother, whether he’s older or younger.
“All of this information is obligatory. Chinese doesn’t let me ignore it,” says Chen. “In fact, if I want to speak correctly, Chinese forces me to constantly think about it.”
This got Chen wondering: Is there a connection between language and how we think and behave? In particular, Chen wanted to know: does our language affect our economic decisions?
Chen designed a study — which he describes in detail in this blog post — to look at how language might affect individual’s ability to save for the future. According to his results, it does — big time.
While “futured languages,” like English, distinguish between the past, present and future, “futureless languages,” like Chinese, use the same phrasing to describe the events of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Using vast inventories of data and meticulous analysis, Chen found that huge economic differences accompany this linguistic discrepancy. Futureless language speakers are 30 percent more likely to report having saved in any given year than futured language speakers. (This amounts to 25 percent more savings by retirement, if income is held constant.) Chen’s explanation: When we speak about the future as more distinct from the present, it feels more distant — and we’re less motivated to save money now in favor of monetary comfort years down the line.
But that’s only the beginning. There’s a wide field of research on the link between language and both psychology and behavior. Here, a few fascinating examples:
Navigation and Pormpuraawans In Pormpuraaw, an Australian Aboriginal community, you wouldn’t refer to an object as on your “left” or “right,” but rather as “northeast” or “southwest,” writes Stanford psychology professor Lera Boroditsky (and an expert in linguistic-cultural connections) in the Wall Street Journal. About a third of the world’s languages discuss space in these kinds of absolute terms rather than the relative ones we use in English, according to Boroditsky. “As a result of this constant linguistic training,” she writes, “speakers of such languages are remarkably good at staying oriented and keeping track of where they are, even in unfamiliar landscapes.” On a research trip to Australia, Boroditsky and her colleague found that Pormpuraawans, who speak Kuuk Thaayorre, not only knew instinctively in which direction they were facing, but also always arranged pictures in a temporal progression from east to west.
Blame and English Speakers In the same article, Boroditsky notes that in English, we’ll often say that someone broke a vase even if it was an accident, but Spanish and Japanese speakers tend to say that the vase broke itself. Boroditsky describes a study by her student Caitlin Fausey in which English speakers were much more likely to remember who accidentally popped balloons, broke eggs, or spilled drinks in a video than Spanish or Japanese speakers. (Guilt alert!) Not only that, but there’s a correlation between a focus on agents in English and our criminal-justice bent toward punishing transgressors rather than restituting victims, Boroditsky argues.
Color among Zuñi and Russian Speakers Our ability to distinguish between colors follows the terms in which we describe them, as Chen notes in the academic paper in which he presents his research (forthcoming in the American Economic Review; PDF here). A 1954 study found that Zuñi speakers, who don’t differentiate between orange and yellow, have trouble telling them apart. Russian speakers, on the other hand, have separate words for light blue (goluboy) and dark blue (siniy). According to a 2007 study, they’re better than English speakers at picking out blues close to the goluboy/siniy threshold.
Gender in Finnish and Hebrew In Hebrew, gender markers are all over the place, whereas Finnish doesn’t mark gender at all, Boroditsky writes in Scientific American (PDF). A study done in the 1980s found that, yup, thought follows suit: kids who spoke Hebrew knew their own genders a year earlier than those who grew up speaking Finnish. (Speakers of English, in which gender referents fall in the middle, were in between on that timeline, too.)