land of snow and glyphs

You can call me Arrows or a4p; other people who let me ride on their zombie dinosaur call me Kate.

"The first two books are adventure stories, about getting people jazzed for revolution. But the third one changes genres and switches into misery porn. It’s about the consequences and the reality of that revolution.
You wanted a war, dear reader? Here is war, up close and personal. Here is the boredom and the fear and the being locked in a “safe” place with no control. Here is Prim dying pointlessly. Here is PTSD. Here is a brainwashed, weaponized version of your beautiful lover who went off to battle and came back a killer. Here are people, fatuous people but people who cared about you and who just happened to be on the wrong side at the wrong time, people who are beaten and kept in chains by your allies. Here are your friends and peers dying screaming in the stinking dark, literally torn to pieces and devoured alive. Here is the man you thought would be your confidante for life and maybe something more, the blood of your fucking family all over his hands. Here is beaten down exhaustion and despair and confusion. Here is everything you wanted, dear reader. Eat it up. Choke it down. Does any of it seem so necessary now?
And for all that price paid, what changes? The old man is dying anyway, he chokes to death on his own blood laughing at you. The old lady just brings the games back. Everything you fought for, perverted by power-hungry politicians. All that changed was the color of the boot and the neck it pressed down on.
Even after righting THAT final wrong, the only happy ending Katniss gets is that she can tell her kids why mommy wakes up screaming at night.
Yeah, the prose isn’t the best. But damn do I love where Collins took the series. It’s not an adventure series about justified vengeance. It’s about the consequences of violence, and the personal and social toll it takes on everybody. She fashioned an intense anti-war story and suckered the audience into it with her thrilling dystopia tales. What a great trick."

reddit user mr_chip saying it how it is
[please don’t delete the quote credit] (via mockingfire)

(Source: jerichoes, via ofpaintedpumpkins)

I Saw The Hunger Games Last Night

29. March 2012


I’m late, but in my defense I was on planes much of the last five days.

So a quick prefatory comment: I’m quoted on the back of The Hunger Games for nice things I said about the first book in the New York Times Book Review when it came out, so obviously I like the book. Back then, I remember thinking that if a movie adaptation ever happened (it seemed unlikely to me; I didn’t yet know it would have a huge audience), it would make me sad, because so much of what the novel expertly examines is the fraught relationship between viewers and the viewed in a world dominated by screens. But in fact I thought the movie did a really good job of this, largely because Jennifer Lawrence’s performance was to my mind so intricate and complex and nuanced and just good.

In the years since I wrote that initial review, my opinion of the book has risen steadily. (This is also true for another book I reviewed in the NYTBRThe Book Thief.) Like, if i could go back and review The Hunger Games now, I would probably be even more breathless and enthusiastic than I originally was about the book, because in retrospect it was smarter and more interesting than I noticed in my first couple readings.

What I find most interesting about both book and movie is not whatever lame/obvious things THG has to say about reality television or the exploitative relationship between producers and consumers of everything from coal to entertainment.

What is very, very interesting to me is the ways in which the plot of both book and movie explore the extremely complicated and ethically fraught relationship between observer and observed—the way resource-laden Person X paying attention to the plight of resource-deprived Person Y shapes both the lives of Person X and Person Y. (The most interesting moment in the movie to me is when Katniss gets the salve from a sponsor that allows her to survive: Lawrence’s complicated thank you in that moment is maybe even more evocative than in the book. Katniss is benefiting from the generosity of the rich, but she only needs this generosity because the social order that created the wealth is also the social order that put her in the games.)

Like, what Collins explores with real brilliance is that most social orders are more or less designed to be unjust because they are less concerned with justice than they are with stability.

And when you yourself are the victim of this injustice, you’re aware in a heightened way of what gets sacrificed in the name of stability. But the vast majority of people benefit from stability, or at least feel that it is better than taking a chance at instability. (And in this respect, we’re not entirely wrong. Like, it’s still unclear whether the radically unjust but relatively stable rule of a Hosni Mubarak, for instance, will be replaced by something better.)

On this front, I thought Jennifer Lawrence brought a lot of complexity and ambiguity to Katniss: As viewers of the movie, we are never quite sure of the extent to which her love for Peeta is shaped by the morally fraught relationship between observer and observed. I thought this couldn’t work on screen, but in the end it does, because even more than in the book, we as viewers are aware that we are participants in the observer:observed relationship.

It’s not only the people of Panem who are watching The Hunger Games.


“You don’t have much competition anywhere.”

File under: disappointments in film adaptations. It’s the same file I keep Liam Hemsworth, the Marauders backstory & the Dawn Treader. 

Other things I also wanted:
"I don’t need to. He’s already there."
Peeta’s pre-berry speech about how much he loves her.
Everything that leads up to “because it’s better in the shirt.”
The trackside flowers.
Haymitch’s line about a smiling girl in a sparkly dress.
More emphasis on the dire nature of blood poisoning.
Basically more of absolutely every scene, and in the interests of not being like the obnoxious preteen in the row behind me who declared during the credits that the book was “Really different. It was really different,”I’m just going to say that I was very, very pleased.
And also I want an extended edition with more cave scenes.