Saturday, November 23, 2013

Teenagers, Tributes, and Fangirls

Speaking of Catching Fire, here's a good  post by a teen blogger about age prejudice and fangirling. Geekiness is becoming more socially acceptable because geeks own the internet and the internet is the world. In the Internet Age, fandom is an important source of identity. Yet fans, especially the young female ones, are often accused of liking a show for the sake of a hot male actor. Yes, shipping and character crushes are a huge part of any fandom. But any true fangirl goes deeper than that.
A fangirl is someone who knows a well constructed universe when she sees one. She calls out cliches. She anticipates plot twists three episodes in advance. She learns more about theme and character development from fan forums than any college professor could teach her in a year. She knows the jargon. She effortlessly slips between acronyms and everyday speech. She can fit a profound statement into 140 characters or less. She's genre savvy with a razor sharp wit. And if she feels like bashing her own fandom, beware, because she has the uncanny ability to speak sincerely while coating her words in a thick layer of sarcasm.
There's no shame in being a fangirl and even less in being a teenager.
Be proud of who you are.

What's Wrong With Killing Children?

With Catching Fire hitting theaters, I'm hearing more of the same old complaints about The Hunger Games.
"It will corrupt our children!"
"It's about teenagers killing each other!"
"It's not appropriate for kids!"
I haven't heard:
"It will corrupt our minds!"
"It's about people killing each other!"
"It's not appropriate!"
So killing is okay as long as it's adults doing the dirty work? Well then, you should be happier with this movie. 22 of the 24 tributes are adults. Which you'd know if you, you know, read the book. Try it. The movie will mean more to you.
Personally, I think killing is a bad thing. For everyone. You're entitled to your own opinion. Mine didn't stop me from enjoying the book. Hunger Games is not just the story of a bunch of kids killing each other. It's a complex story of hope, rebellion, and family. It provides a more realistic take on war and violence then most adult movies.
In adult movies, you can pick up a man, chuck him into a brick wall, and he slides to the ground with no bone damage.
In adult movies, you can jump through a third story window, land on concrete, and run away.
In adult movies, the hero can survive all this, plus multiple bullet and knife wounds.
In adult movies, all it takes is a single bullet to finish off the bad guys.
In adult movies, no one cries over an opponent's death. Much less sing to them as they die and decorate their body with flowers.

If you have no problem with adults killing each other, maybe you need this movie to change your mind. Do totalitarian governments and gladiator games bother you? Good! The purpose of Hunger Games isn't to brainwash the young or promote violence. It's to get you thinking. And trust me, there's a lot to think about.
Take whichever side you want:  Killing Is Bad or Action Makes Good Movies. Catching Fire will prove those both right.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a movie to watch.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

What A Child Wants

If you've read this blog for a while you know I'm strictly opposed to all ageism. From all sides. I don't believe adults are inferior to children. But after reading about the four hundred children taken into government custody after a massive pornography bust, well, let's just say I'm doing my best not to hate every adult on the planet. Surely they can't all be scumbags. What I really hate is the world they've made for us.
I don't want to live in a world where "adult media" means children are nothing more than cheap entertainment.
I don't want to live in a world where I'm vulnerable because of my age.
I don't want to live in a world where hundreds of children are subjected to horrific abuse.
I don't want to read that last sentence and remind myself they're just the tip of the iceberg.
I don't want to think back on the stories I've heard about teenage prostitutes and useless law enforcement.
I don't want to live in a world where porn can be billed as "coming of age and naturist films".
I don't want to live in a world where criminals can sell child porn without violating any laws.
I don't want to wonder if  "rescue" will amount to crappy foster homes or children forced to return to their own horrible parents.
I don't want to live in a world where teachers, preachers, doctors, nurses, cops, and parents are the ones pimping kids to the world.
I don't want to live in a world where I'll spend the next few weeks sizing up all the adults I see. Wondering if they can really be trusted.
I do want to know more about these boys. I want to follow this story and see the media's take on it. And even more, I want to read the children's accounts. I want to know about lives shattered and strength found. I want to hear their voices. I want to see their faces. This is breaking news for now and the only pictures I've seen are adults. Either law enforcement officials or some of the 348 adults arrested.
Thank you to the adults who decided to step up and be heroes. We could always use more of you. But I don't want heroes. I want to see these children become survivors rather than victims.
I want to see young people empowered.