Tag Archives: catching fire

Capitol Cuties

24 Dec

This is Lilipop and recently I have been helping run ONE OF MY FAVE EVER campaigns with SPARK called Capitol Cuties. It is kind of parody of the Covergirl Capitol Collection because it is so unbelievable ironic and has zero self-awareness. You can read about it here! . There have been A LOT of criticism of the problem because there seems to have been a bit of a misunderstanding of our campaign. We are makin fun of the company Lionsgate, not the people who are wearing the Capitol Collection! Lionsgate is a massive company taking advantage of people they are aggressively advertising towards. It is the corporation making and pushing these products, twisting and suppressing the true message of The Hunger Games to make a profit. It makes me sick.

The new Catching Fire film has been the cataclysm for a lot of activism around classism/capitalism because it is all pretty much bullshit but the film really put it into the forefront of public discussion. The Harry Potter Alliance has started two campaigns, We Are The Districts and Odds In Our Favor. These are kind of the opposite to our campaign, they are framing the ordinary citizens of America as people from the Districts and the super-rich of America as the Capitol to highlight wealth inequality in America. They made this video to explain their campaign: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BmVJaBuoEYA

In the spirit of Capitol Cuties, we decided we would re-blog their video on Tumblr but with our own “Capitol Critique” if you will of their video. I have got to say it is probably the best thing ever in the world. You can read it here.

I wrote the first draft of the critique, based on this speech by David “spoilt fucking Eton tory” Cameron about Welfare reform (not sure if a trigger warning is appropriate here but watching this video really upset me and I was crying for like and hour so here is a warning anyway: this video is really upsetting and contains unrestrained ignorance in power) here if you want to watch. I was very very proud of the draft I wrote so here it is!

 

So a few of you have already seen this video and I think we can all agree that these whiners just need to get a move on and stop complaining. I mean, if they hate being poor and this “inequality” thing then why don’t they just get rich? You just have to want it hard enough and work at it. My father didn’t get all his money just by sitting around complaining, as a Gamemaker he has to work sometimes up to 35 hours a week! You don’t get to the top without some hard work. These shirkers should just shut up and get on with it. You see all those sweet little guys working in the districts on TV, they never complain because they know that they are working for a higher cause, to bring prosperity and innovation to the great nation of Panem! Not to mention the cute kids that are on The Hunger Games (my fave show lol). Speaking of The Hunger Games, how can you say that the Capitol is so bad and shit when President Snow generously gives all these prizes and fame to the Victors, I mean come on, that is really nice of him. The Games are a necessary part of what brings us together as a country, they are an annual reminder to us all of the horrific things that would have been happening now if The Revolution had been successful. We saved the districts from the Rebels, support them through thick and thin and this is how they repay us? Truly they should be ashamed.

People say we don’t care but I really think the tough approach is best or these lazy protesters won’t ever learn. My father introduced me to Minister Flamsteed at the club and he told me about all his hard work, he started importing coal from District 12 when he was just SIXTEEN. If you want to get ahead, that’s what you have to do–build a good work ethic and start young. Really it isn’t even that much of a tough approach, look at all the charity and fair trade work that goes on nowadays. Even my mascara is ethically sourced for Godess’ sake. We have given the Districts it too good for too long and now they are getting complacent; we have papered over the cracks, subsiding the farms for too long now. The compassionate thing to do is to take a hard line approach to ensure that the people of the Districts all know the satisfaction of a full days work, then they will understand that complaining is just selfish. They should be thinking of the greater good and what they can do for Panem, not what Panem can do for them.

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!

%d bloggers like this: