Tag Archives: angry

Hunger Games: COULD DEFFO BE BETTER

16 Dec

Hey guys, it’s Jelly here, and I wanted to talk about Catching Fire and the Hunger Games franchise.

To start with; Lilipop and I are pretty hard-core excited about The Hunger Games. Lilipop even took me out on a “date” (it wasn’t a date! we’re not going out! I’m poor and lilipop is the bestest! (why thank you)) and we discussed Catching Fire intently over Vietnamese. However, one of the problems with being a feminist (I’m lying, being a feminist is great all the time, i swear) is that it’s quite difficult to enjoy a lot of media. Being aware of social issues has made practically everything icky – and it should be icky – and so, even when you get something that seems pretty good at first glance, like the Hunger Games, you are honour-bound to pick it apart and talk about how it could be better.

So, to start with: what’s great about the Hunger Games?

Well, the entire a pretty blatant anti-capitalist missive. The bad guys are called the Capitol (hardly a huge step away from capitalism), and the story is about how life sucks if you’re not super rich. Collins tells us that the next logical progression for humans who exploit the lower classes is to have humans who battle the kids of lower classes together in a brutal humiliating game, for the pleasure of people who don’t even view these children as human. The Panem that we see in the books is America – America ruled by money and power, that is, where if you are poor there is no way to get to the top. Oh, except by killing people who used to be your friends, children like yourself, oppressed and subjugated and having to live a life they don’t particularly want or everyone they love will be destroyed. Kinda like that.

And Katniss, well, she shakes things up.

Katniss is the second thing that’s good about the Hunger Games. There are ‘strong female characters’ in the books and the movies, and Katniss is stereotypically strong – physically strong – in contrast to what feminists usually mean when they ask for ‘strong female characters’ and mean, simply, realistic women. In the first movie, she supports her family by being a physical badass in that she can shoot things. She doesn’t enjoy talking about her emotions, clothes are not her thing, being more occupied with feeding her family, and she proves herself to be brave, strong, practical, and most of all, ruthless. These are, surprisingly enough, rather rare qualities in a girl in modern media. Katniss has no time for kindness, or softness, or largely, empathy, and not being “soft” makes her sometimes irritating, but very unusual and worthy of our respect. In fact, she is rather like a man on modern media in this respect – her romantic relationships are definitely not her priority and in her main relationship she is the one who is being needed, not needing. Pretty great stuff.

What’s not great about the Hunger Games? Well, the above reasons are all good. Combined with a great plot, interesting characters and general kick-assery, its success is self explanatory. However, what I’m here today to talk about (at angry nitpicking feminists dot com!) is the stuff that really could have been done better in the books and the movies.

First! Very important! In the books, Katniss is described as olive-skinned – and here is a very compelling case for her being a woman of colour. For the auditions for her character, they only let white-skinned actresses in. This is not great. This is bad. This is called whitewashing, and it’s a form of racism, as it systematically removes traces of PoC from modern media. However much you thought Jennifer Lawrence was perfect for the role, this proves she actually really wasn’t the best choice. Whitewashing is really harmful and should stop. Also read this disgusting backlash from racist and apparently illiterate HG readers! Racism in HG is actually a big problem and this blog tries to tell everyone just how.

One fact of life in modern day America is that most of the people is power are old, rich, white men. This is true in the Catching Fire as well; President Snow, Plutarch Heavensbee, Cesar Flickerman. What I don’t like is that the new revolution is also controlled by white guys – who keep Katniss in the dark, use her as a symbol instead of considering her as a person in her own right with her own ideas and –try not to faint here- might even be able to contribute to the resistance herself. This is not great. This shows a revolution, through violence or through education, as controlled by many of the same people and processes (especially in the case of Heavensbee, the previous Gamesmaker who apparently was ruthless enough to fool even the president) as before. This isn’t true revolution, after all, the master’s tools will never dismantle the masters house. Alternatively, this could be a subtle and scathing commentary upon the rise of brocialism, (anti -capitalist movements which exclude everyone who isn’t a white, able-bodied cis man, bro) but this is seriously unlikely and instead just looks like someone managed to miss out one of the major points of HG; that a revolution should be for everyone.

Another point! Katniss, in the books, is extremely independent of her romantic interests. She even says something to the effect of ‘I could do just fine without either of them,’ referring to Gale and Peeta. Her relationship with Peeta, a physically attractive, physically stronger and richer man, is controlled by her. She save Peeta – fends for him – is the dominant one in their relationship. He falls in love with her far before she falls in love with him. This, is some small way, subvert the norm for heterosexual movie relationships (although Lilipop says that I’m being far too lenient here). IN the books, although this relationship is neither particularly typical or healthy, care has been taken to keep her separate from the men in her life. All this is different in the movies. The kick-ass message that poor, angry, women of colour can change the world has been toned down in favour of a slightly ridiculous and ridiculously prominent love triangle. Katniss needs to choose between one man and another (how will she live without these manly arms protecting and sanitizing her anger???) panning back to a shot of Gale listing ruggedly after Katniss while she heartlessly abandons him to honeymoon wither blond baker in the Capitol. Katniss, “””””independent””””” Katniss, needs Peeta to stay with her after she has a nightmare. There is nothing wrong with human comfort – it’s just not consistent with her character. Basically, Katniss becomes defined by her relationships with men (NOT AGAIN) and loses a lot of her strength. Uh huh.

OVERALL! HG is great – loads of stuff in it is great – but it could be better, in the books and especially in the movies. The representation of Katniss is not as great as it could be. I’m only truly angry because this has so much potential – as modern media to incite and enthuse kids with the feeling that they can do something – but it falls a teensy bit flat. Still 100% recommend seeing it in the cinema though.

Hey this is Lilipop, a massive thanks to Jelly for writing this on behalf of both of us. There are about 700 more issues I would like to raise but we don’t want to bore you to death! I usually don’t bother getting this angry over various media but we both loved this film so hard, after reading the books together when we were about 11, that we thought it was worth doing some critical thinking on. GO SEE THE FILM!

Advertisements

WE JUST CARE SOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH

13 Oct

This is Lilipop and today I wanted to talk a bit about tokenising of women and women based campaigns because I think it a thing that happens a lot without us even realising it. I thought it would be particularly relevant because this is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and there has been a lot of prominent tokenising recently, not just of breast cancer, and I think we need to recognise it. Breast cancer and Malala Yousafzai are two perfect examples of how our patriarchal, capitalist society tokenises, particularly, women and women’s campaigns. Both get incredible amounts of media coverage and public sympathy, the news and internet has been full of breast cancer awareness campaigns like “Save the Tata’s” and people talking about just how amaaaaaaazing and inspirational Malala Yousafzai is but what are we actually doing about either of these?

Although breast cancer is of course a very serious disease and I send all of my best wishes to anyone suffering with it, how is “raising awareness” of an extremely well known and publicised disease actually helping people who suffer breast cancer? And may I just say, “Save the Tata’s”?? I THINK WE SHOULD BE MORE WORRIED ABOUT THE PEOPLE NOT THE BOOBS and what kind of word is tata anyway. This reminds me a lot of when Angelina Jolie very bravely got a double mastectomy because of her very high risk of breast cancer, which is a thing many women have to go through and it was great to see a celebrity talking about it publicly however then the vulture misogynist descended. People were mourning the lose of her boobs and saying how they think she is selfish for “taking her boobs away from them” – I’m sorry what? I was under the impression that women are actually people and we should be worried about saving them rather than the lumps of fat on their chests? Also for fucks sake, those are Angelina’s boobs to do whatever the fuck she wants with them, it is none of your fucking business what she does with them, they are not yours to admire so shut up. We make such a song and a dance about raising awareness for breast cancer but wearing pink for a day or not wearing a bra for a day does not actually do anything for people with breast cancer. We tokenise breast cancer as this women’s disease and all the campaigns and ads and (capitalist, profitmaking) charity to make ourselves feel better like “look at what we are doing for all these poor poor women folk who need our help, aren’t we great” but actually the survival rate for breast cancer is actually 90% which is exceptionally high but the next most common cancer in women, lung cancer, is almost completely ignored. Lung cancer has a 16% survival rate which means that an estimated 95 people a day die from lung cancer a day compared to the 32 from breast cancer. It is awful that anyone is dying from these disease but tokenising them with pointless campaigns and universal media coverage to make ourselves feel better that we are doing something to help them, is not actually helping anyone.

Something similar can be said about Malala Yousafzai’s campaign for education for girls in Pakistan. Malala is an amazing girl and the work that she and hundreds of other girls around the region is invaluable. The work Malala has done is freaking amazing but the way we in the west are treating her and marketing her to a western audience is sickening. We are making her into this symbol, celebrity almost. As a she is a Girl of Colour, our society is used to hyper-objectifying her. We listen to her speeches, read about what she is doing, our politians and media outlets hold her up as a hero but, again, what are we actually doing to help? Nothing. In fact we are doing something much much worse than nothing, we are sending drones, bombs and violence over there that not only actively stops girls going to school because it is dangerous but it kills them as well. We are holding Malala and her work up on a pedestal, patting our selves on the back for saving the poor little girl from her terrible terrible life. We ignore all of the other girls that are just as radical and brilliant as Malala who are also campaigning for education, as well as a myriad of other things like child marriage, childbirth mortality rate, crippling poverty and corruption. We already have our trophy girl, Malala, to CARE SOOOOOOOO FUCKING MUCH about and make us feel fab about ourselves so why should we give a shit about the other stuff? I can just see the Malala merchandise now.

I would like to stress that I think Malala is amazing and breast cancer is definitely a worthy cause to support but I just hate the way that they are tokenised and held up by our media and politicians to make us feel good about ourselves. The way that our society markets both of these makes me feel sick and especially the way people are capitalise on causes such as these. The point I’m trying to get across is that these things should not be taken in isolation, and that to fully help people with breast cancer, or people who are suffering from the war in Pakistan, we must not ignore the wider issues and take these ‘trendy’ people as tokens for the much wider struggle. People are getting shit even when it’s not fashionable, shock horror!

A good link: cancer is not sexy

Nina

18 Sep

We like Nina Simone. So here’s a playlist of some of her best to fly you through bad and good days alike. Compiled by Lilipop.

nina

1) I wish I knew how it would feel

2) To be young, gifted and black

3) House of the rising sun

4) Little girl blues

5) For all we know

6) Sinnerman

7) Mississippi goddamn

8) Feeling good

9) Four women

10) My baby just cares for me

11) I put a spell on you

12) Sinnerman (the repetition is not a mistake).

Enjoy!

Capitalism, can you not.

11 Sep

A bit of a rant about capitalism from Lilipop. I didn’t even spell check so sorry for mistake and I would just like to emphasise this is not meant to make any sense!

I don’t even think I can fucking live in a capitalist society any more. My entire worth, the only thing that is valuable about a person is their earning potential. FUCKING PRIVITISATION. Our system is being Americanised faster than anyone realises but WHY. Its not like the American system is working in America, more children are living on or below the poverty line each year, politians think that’s its fine and dandy to leave people starving on the streets (“They have the choice of paying for their own houses food and medical care” go fuck yourself) social mobility is a fucking joke. We have this idea in the UK of the US as a shining golden meritocracy lolz no. Privatisation just means more and more and more and more money stagnating at the top 0.01% of the super rich elite. Productivity is soaring, record highs, however wages are plummeting in real terms! I don’t even know if I believe in wage labour and to be honest I don’t really know that much about all the socialist communist anarchist stuff but I know that when it is even a debatable topic for people to not have basic food and housing THERE IS A FUCKING PROBLEM. I just don’t understand, I really really don’t. HOW WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY do people think that it is acceptable for people in as developed countries as the UK and US to not have medical care? Oh and another thing. People, they are privatising our legal system. This means we are just going to have some kind of factory justice system. People wont get to choose who represents them in court and as legal aid is being slashed to a REDICULOUS degree a lot of the time people wont have any legal aid. And again, people are living without medical care and it is somehow a debatable topic???

This is in no way comprehensible and I am not an expert on any of this but I don’t think I can deal for another minute without crying so this.

Still not cool

19 Jul

Hey. If you are around my age, and vaguely know me, then this post is directed at you. In fact, if you are any age, and it doesn’t matter if I know you or not, then this post is directed at you. It’s about this thing, called slurs.

To start with: If you are white, straight, cis, able-bodied and male, (as much of the UK and indeed the world is) then you have the power. This is unarguable. Whether you like it or not, or society is set up to help you at the expense of practically everyone else. It is possible to be this without being an asshole (of course it is!) but with great power comes great responsibility, and if you do use your various privileges in anyway, then I will personally kick your ass and tell you why you are Wrong.

Unfortunately, being any of the things mentioned above comes with a lot of history. Yes, we are better than we were a hundred years ago on a lot of things; for example – now PoC (people of colour) are allowed to do radical things like sit on buses or vote! yay! – but instances like Trayvon Martin’s murder (a far from isolated incident, unfortunately) shows that racism is so fucking far from over.

Another important point: words have enormous power and can be and are used to oppress people. Whatever you say about them just being words, whatever bullshit you spout about ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’, languages contain words which have no other purpose than to discriminate and to oppress certain people. Words which literally are nothing more than insults. Insults which are very specific – aimed at you because of the colour of your skin or the people you are attracted to which somehow makes you inferior.

Now, taking into account all those things above, think about what you say.

The n-word is not okay. It’s so not okay I find it almost unexplainable that I have to point out its unacceptability. Ha fucking ha, okay, because the n-word was explicitly designed as a extremely derogatory term for black people by white people. This means (TO ALL THOSE FUCKING ‘HILARIOUS’ TUMBLR TEXT POSTS OUT THERE AND ALSO ALL THOSE ‘HILARIOUS’ WHITE TEENAGE BOYS) that however you use it, as a joke or a term of endearment (ugh ok) that when a white person says it, they are contributing to racism and oppression, and that is not okay. That is the end of that statement. Please never, ever, ever, say it again. Please tell other people to shut the fuck up if they ever say it by telling them that it’s racist.

Same goes for any other oppressive slur – against female people (usually by shaming them for their sexual choices) against LGBT* people (why is sexual choices and gender still an issue for people who make laws, ughhhh), against non white people (wow okay I don’t understand how any white person ever thought that racial slurs are suddenly okay because they are totally not) , against people with disabilities (and putting ‘clinically’ in front of the word ‘retarded’ does not suddenly make it okay to say), because saying contributes to the oppression of these people. The only exception is when a person who would usually be targeted by these words says it, because then it is reclaiming the word and it’s not an insult anymore, since you can’t really oppress yourself. (Edit: as my sister pointed out, internalized misogyny, racism, homophobia etc. does exist, but it is not the same thing. People can oppress and limit themselves, but this is merely a very effective extension of the overall system and reclaiming words means that to these people at least, the word changes its meaning. However, whether to reclaim words or not is personal and there are lots of different opinions and views so please try and have consideration and google it ok) Does this make sense? Let me say it again, in big bold letters so if you take one thing from this badly written angry post then it is the important part:

Using insults based on an aspect of a person that they can be oppressed for is not okay. Insults like this are called slurs. It is not your place to use them, ever, even if they are not as an insult, because using them is seriously offensive and oppressive for vulnerable people. If someone calls you out on this, do not protest it. You know it is wrong, so shut the fuck up and stop being an asshole.

Thank you for listening. People who are my age/in my social circle, if you read this, you probably know why I’ve been giving you weird looks and avoiding you. You’re an asshole, but this serious condition can be remedied. Next time, listen when I tell you that something you’re saying is not cool.

Now back to your regularly scheduled broadcasting, although this time with hopefully slightly less douchebaggery. If you’re having trouble suddenly losing much of your insulting vocabulary, check out this and this to add some more that target everyone! Yay! If you have any more, add in the comments!

Jelly’s Guide To Getting Less Angry (a Non-Comprehensive List)

10 Jun

Hey, Jelly speaking. You know I get angry? Quite a lot? About lots of different things? Sometimes very shoutily?

Well, I have developed some ways of coping. So I don’t hurt myself, or other people, and I still have time for the things I enjoy doing and manage to struggle through the things I don’t. If you have a similar problem (i.e being an angsty teenager who enjoys sleeping and shouting rather more than she should) then this list may be the thing for you.

But then again not. It’s very specific, this list, tailored to my oddly specific tastes when it comes to not hitting things . Still, try it. I’m sure a hot bath will do wonders for anyone ever. 

And without further ado – Jelly’s Guide to Getting Less Angry (or keeping angry when you want to be angry at things such as stupid people, whatever works for you):

  • This song.
  • Also this song.
  • Reading a classic book I know I should read, and have been meaning to do so for years, and enjoying it, to my eternal surprise. Reasons why can be found here.
  • Seeing my friends.
  • Not seeing my friends. (I’m a fickle girl, you see.)
  • Drawing on my walls. They look like this: Snapshot_20130601
  • Eating an entire bar of chocolate, or too much cake, or a Sherbet Fountain
  • Perhaps this song as well.
  • This cat, or better still, this website dedicated to cute videos of animals you never realised you wanted to see.
  • A bath, as previously mentioned. Preferably one that goes on for more than an hour, accompanied by a book and a slice of cake.
  • Putting on lots of make-up and posing shamelessly in my bed: Snapshot_20130518 (5)
  • Making a zine or a crappy piece of collaged art (my attempts can be seen here)
  • Talking to my favourite people online, because weirdly enough, it’s much easier to talk about personal things when you can’t see the person, or is that just me? (take every example of everything I have ever posted online, ever: TMI)
  • Flicking through art magazines or going to art galleries. This probably sounds really pretentious but I really like art, and if you are looking to date me (ha not likely) then an art gallery as a date will make me love you forever.
  • Going for a walk or a run. I do not in anyway call myself athletic, but it is honestly really lovely to go out sometimes.

Like I said, this list is largely silly and entirely specific to moi. When I am really down, or really ill, or REALLY angry, this usually won’t help. Still, there is the chance that I can do something on this list that can change my day from shit to not-so-much. Please talk to me in the comments and tell me your suggestions for Getting Less Angry!

The Abolition of the NHS

29 Mar

Hello,

So in case you don’t know, The Health and Social Care Act was passed on the 27th March 2013.

THIS IS A BAD THING (in my opinion)

“Wow Lilipop” I hear you say “That’s a bit strong, how bad can it be?”

Well, very bad. The most crucial thing you need to know about this bill is that it takes away the right to universal health care in the UK. This means that the government no longer has a duty to provide health care for the public. This means, after the 1st of April, there will no longer be an NHS.

“er WHAT” I hear you exclaim “THIS IS AWFUL WHY HAVE I NOT HEARD OF THIS?!”

You have not heard of this because NO MAJOR NEWS NETWORK HAS REPORTED THE ABOLITION OF THE NHS. According to newspapers with page 3’s, boobs are bigger news (they aren’t).

What the Act means

Like most things in politics, the actual bill is incomprehensible without a lot of hard reading and previous knowledge (or a friend to explain it all) but if you want to have a look at it, here it is

And here is my brief sum-up

  • The Secretary of State will no longer have the duty to provide health care. This means the government is no longer accountable for the health service and make it difficult for the Secretary of State to step in should the new, independent groups provide substandard care. Now there is no one responsible to provide a service people need, the health service will become nothing more than a string on independent services governed by and unelected official, basically free to get on with making money. Also, because the government is no longer responsible for health care, there will no longer be government regulators or watchdogs. Instead they will be controlled by the companies that are providing the services making watchdogs much more likely to be influenced or bias. This means all the responsiblity of providing health care for the UK will be shifted from the government to private companies, GPs and unelected commissioners.
  • The National Health Service will now be opened to completion laws. The Act brings in several measures that are meant to increase market competition, making the health care market like a utility such as gas. Private health care companies with lots of lawyers and legal expertise are much more likely to exploit these new laws to make a profit rather than charities that want to provide a good quality service. These competition laws also open up what is left of the NHS to stealth privatisation. The Act will leave the system massively in favour of private health companies but there is no legislation against private health companies buying up services which makes it almost impossible for what remains of the NHS to provide basic services such as A&E or intensive care units.

BUT WHAT DOES THIS ACTUALLY MEAN FOR ME?

This doesn’t mean that immediately when you wake up on the 2nd of April you will no longer be able to receive health care. What it does mean is the death of comprehensive heath care. Comprehensive health care is all illnesses and everyone will be treated. This means if you are rich but have a small or minor illness you will get treated better or faster than someone with less money but a much more serious illness. The Faculty of Public Health’s risk assessment warns of 1) loss of a comprehensive health service, 2) increased costs, 3) reduced quality of care, 4) widening health inequalities. This Act paves the way for a for a health system more like the American model, where, if you can not afford health insurance, you do not get treated.

I am personally furious. Fuming.

%d bloggers like this: