I Watched Those Divergent Movies

All right, all right, everyone knows I love trash scifi movies. When the supernatural and/or dystopian scifi young adult trend exploded, I lost my shit. Twilight, Hunger Games, Teen Wolf, True Blood, Vampire Diaries, you name it.

I grew up on Tolkien, Shelley, and Anne Rice, which bourgeois adults consider to be “more cerebral” than the current YA media scene. The language, characters, and history were certainly more intellectually elevating; however, in response to that argument I offer a resounding “so what”. If these dumbed-down books help teens become interested in reading, I think it’s short-sighted to scoff and demean the fans of these literature stepping stones. Additionally, a love for trash media can coexist with an appreciation for Dickens and Dostoevsky, and the publishing industry is not worse off for it.

It’s big news right now that the final Divergent Series film has been bounced from the big screen. The lackluster ticket sales appeared to be due to the lower quality final book, the studio’s slicing said book across two films, and the overall lover interest in this series compared to other YA hits like Twilight and The Hunger Games (which had its own struggle stretching the final book across two films). Curious and hungry for high-production value, low-brow YA scifi-fantasy, I finally got around to watching these (thanks to a combination of Amazon Video Streaming rentals and HBO Now). I found myself in total disagreement with the buzz. Here’s my breakdown:

  • Divergent was the most enjoyable
  • Insurgent was the most suspenseful
  • and Allegiant was the most interesting

Theo James perfectly plays the sulky, alpha male hunk, and Shailene wins at the fierce, confident wunderkind. Kate Winslet wins at being Kate Winslet *shrug* My particular issue with the casting team was the collection of generic, babyfaced white boys with scraggly dark hair that I was somehow supposed to keep straight. It was a struggle, and I had to rewind the cliff scene and then IMDB the character when Tris said the culprit’s name. OK, it was Al….. Good. ….Which one was Al? Luckily, it got easier because the series killed off these guys systematically until only two remained. This series suffered from a severe lack of Nicholas Cage or Jeff Goldblum types, but whaddya gonna do.

dauntless

We run to class! We run home! Tank tops and cargo pants! You can’t control us, mom!

maru

Me at home, watching these kids run everywhere

As predictable as it was, I was still annoyed that Tori–the only interesting adult character–was killed the moment she began to do stuff again.  However, she surprised me by surviving Divergent, so that tells you how low the bar was in the first place. You know what the scifi bible says: Thou shalt not suffer the cool asians to live. Meanwhile, walking wastebaskets of cells, Miles Teller & her brother, were allowed to live over and over again. Sometimes forgiveness isn’t a virtue, kids; it’s a weakness. Let those toxic people out of your life! You do not need to surround yourself with people actively working against your interests & who constantly betray you just because they “feel bad” or have nowhere better to go or they’re “really really sorry”. That’s called emotional manipulation and is a favored tactic of abusers. Maybe she excises them from her life in part 2 of Allegiant, but I doubt it. They’re far more likely to be #redeemed because #secondchances (#thirdchances, #fourthchances….)

In summary, they were fine, and I’m disappointed the fourth one’s been cancelled. Here’s to bloated budgets for young adult scifi-fantasy dystopias! And may they never stop coming.


She doesn’t hear it

“Why would anyone pick that ugly girl over me?!” she publically decries from beneath the crushing weight of a thousand carefully staged selfies and no career.

How indeed, you beautiful, empty sack. How indeed. 🤗


Men define “plus size” for us every time they look at us

I was part of a veritable row of can-can dancers on Elliptical Lane tonight at the gym. Like breathing cycles in a camping tent, we all began to sync and fall into each other’s rhythm. To add to the oddity, we all had the same body types. I suppose the elliptical speaks to us on a particular frequency.

That experience brought back a whole slew of memories; one in particular that makes me laugh and cringe…  For some reason I felt strongly about penning it in the blog for posterity. Allow me to set the scene:

I was much younger and thinner. I was dating an egregiously unsound individual who needed help and who was looking for it in the wrong places (to be fair, I was in a similar boat). He always talked about his ex by whom he was recently dumped (before meeting me online). Obviously, he was grieving, and I liked him enough that I wanted to help and support that process. At the time, I was a good samaritan type of girl who saw red flags and rallied instead of running. Anyway, he painted her as a “big girl”. It always seemed important to him that I know she was a “big girl”. I wouldn’t see that as a relevant detail when regaling someone with tales of heartbreak, but he thought so (again, red flags. Whoooosh, and over my head they went).

One day while at his aparment he laid out a dress of hers that he still had. He planned to mail back. He might even have joked about giving it to me & that I wouldn’t fit it because, again, she was a big girl. I agreed he should send it back. It was still pressed and clean from the dry cleaners, and it was laid on the bed at such an angle that I could clearly see the label.

Me: I thought you said she was a “big girl”.
Him: Yeah?
Me: ……This is an 8.
Him: …
Me: -_-
Him: Yeah?
Me: …
Him: …
Me: I’m an 8.

I still laugh about this awkward exchange…. all of his absurd concepts of feminine beauty came crashing in at once as I put it all together. THIS, from a man so thin and Gollum-esque I was barely sexually attracted to him at all (but I thought he had a wonderful face and personality *snort*). It reminds me of the controversy over Amy Schumer’s being labeled “plus size” in Glamour last month even though she is a 6. A SIX!

Christ, this is why women have eating disorders, are constantly obsessive and upset about their appearance, and in many cases are pushing a body positivity movement. But that movement is difficult to get traction when so many women (and men like the one in the anecdote who reinforce these thoughts) think the quintessential feminine body is 90’s Kate Moss.

Keeping Track of the Scandal 2016 Primary

Do you watch Scandal on ABC?

In the midst of seemingly constant breaks between small episode chunks, do you find yourself losing track of the primary?

I feel you. I made an infographic to help us keep track of the field as it currently stands. Who is running, against whom, and which characters support the candidates?

(click to enlarge)

Scandal

 

Brought to you by Jake eating fried chicken.

chicken

 


No chill

For every ten successful, kind, loyal women there is one psychotic narcissist OK with emptying a man’s pocket and soul for years while she cheats on him with literally any guy who pays her a compliment, and she ruins it for the rest of us.


A Day in My Elective Course: Bros Who Might Identify As “Post-Feminist”

Sociology classes are just as interesting for the people-watching as they are for the substantive learning. A woman put forward her research topic today drilling into previous research done on the orgasm gap. This topic asks, for what quantifiable reasons could women orgasm less and in what circumstances (self-reported ratings of pleasure received, physical acts, situational circumstances, relationship status, etc….). This research comes from thousands of interviews and multiple studies on the topic. She was interested in some of the results in particular and doing some further analysis.

However, at the end of her presentation when asked why the content didn’t include any info on mens orgasms, the presenter had to explain, “Well, the understanding is that men do or expect to orgasm every time, and women as a group experience what’s called the orgasm gap where they do not orgasm every time there’s intercourse–not even close, statistically, ….. which is topic of this research, so….” The facepalming was so hardcore, and she was a champ for attempting.

But I’m not shitting you: He continued. The only guy in the class went on to suggest that men’s reports on these topics should be included in the research, you guys. Because whether a guy orgasms 98% of the time or 100% of the time could somehow make a statistical difference in women’s outcomes.

Even in a sociology class women cannot discuss women’s issues without a Koolaid Man breaking through the drywall and suggesting the problem is we’re not considering the men’z data. Broseph….. You should be studying these tables the most! Learn a thing or two for your girl!

// Cue the #notallgradstudents//


Notes from 17-year old me, the blossoming atheist

I once populated my office with any piece of office supplies I had at home. This included leftover materials from the college years, which in turn was made up of leftover high school materials. So there I am, assembling training binders when I stumble upon a paper-and-pen journal entry from eons ago. My guess (from the grandiose language and the slight flourish of philosophical-induced misery) is age 17. I’ve reproduced it here for posterity and for my own reference some day, for teen-Mary’s livejournal is a thing that should never, ever be opened. No, really.

 

The age-old Catholic theory of the afterlife is a peaceful, sacred heaven where all are united in love for and worship of the god figure. But if people strive so much for this precious sense of humanity and individuality while in this “trial world” only to abandon it to be part of a utopian collective, then this earthly quest loses all purpose. What meaning could we seek here if our only goals must be eternal pain or eternal subservience? (To conveniently snuff out this line of questioning, the Church simply had Lucifer be the one to ask it.) In this cooperative heaven, how would our creative and industrial characteristics be suppressed while still retaining the earthly identities we toiled so hard to build? And what of our inherent ego-centrism? Our cliquish minds which cannot comprehend more than some finite number of relationships? Man cannot simply worship a god and rejoice for beauty and then begin the next day the same. A being so cultural and philosophically diverse as man….how could the ultimate reward be anonymous communal worship? And if such piety in humans were attainable for enough people so as to make god’s plan even remotely reasonable, why do essentially none ever reach it? It’s apparent that even the most devout, whose piety splinters when their closet of skeletons and inner demons break loose in public scandal, won’t be eternally happy with such an outcome after life, nor happy for even one week.

If the Catholic god truly is the all-knowledgeable and loving figure of which the stories tell, then the age-old vision of heaven is not comprehensive nor can it be considered credible by the standards of the modern thinker. It wreaks of the “perfect world” fallacy, heaven being some holy tyranny where a god is surrounded by adoring creations who proved themselves “worthy” to be in his presence. If the god figure were a loving god, he would not build such a narcissistic echo chamber populated by what are essentially slave creations who only worshiped in life out of fear of punishment if they pursued contrary goals. Such sadistic torture dungeons are the things of crime novels and horror films from which we recoil 6 days a week, yet Catholics discuss it openly and proudly on Sunday without any sense of irony or cognitive dissonance.

While we each may have a different idea of what the afterlife will be, it would take quite a god to create one place that everyone could call utopia and yet maintain and exercise their individuality. Such a feat is impossible in light of our (allegedly purposeful) design to have interests and personalities contrary to each other. Consequently, the same principle would hold true for marriage. Exact matches would be misery for the caged intellectual. With no sparring partner or otherwise inspirational force in one’s life to divert from the routine, how could a marriage fight an onslaught of immediate and utter boredom? What can they express except affection, for the narcissist has married him or herself. What kind of paradise is a marriage with an organic copy? The conceptions of a perfect world, perfect love, perfect marriage, perfect heaven have no credence. “Perfection” is ideological tyranny. How can anyone beyond the age of 10 sit in a pew listening to elementary-level drivel about god, love, heaven, hell, and any other philosophical notions oversimplified for the dullards of humanity and not be repulsed? Offended? Condescended to? A celibate and single priest giving relationship advice to married couples? A man commenting on women’s place and rights because desert fables thousands of years’ old make him feel obliged to do so? Please explain the mass appeal of this faith beyond “people are stupid en masse”, because my youthful optimism begs for an alternate explanation.


The Bandwagon-like Rise of the “I’m anti-bandwagon” Punditry

Widely known internet fact: It is nearly impossible to talk about something topical without getting hit by some soapboxing idiot’s scepter, dubbing you disingenuous, attention-seeking, or (my personal favorite) a fake geek.

Welp, don’t you fucking try to “fake geek girl” me about Alan Rickman today, Internet. I will combust into the Phoenix and take you down with me into hell. You’re seriously going to suggest women are fake geek girls for fandom(s) primarily made up of women?!? You want to play gatekeeper for our own fandoms too? Fucking christ, patriarchy. You are on fleek today.

alan2

 


Let’s play “Bible or Quran?”

What do you think? Can you distinguish between the so-titled sharia laws of the Quran and those of the Christian Bible?

 

You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days….if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks….The priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.

To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children; yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray.

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.

Now kill all the boys and kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

If [a woman] vowed in her husband’s house or bound herself by a pledge with an oath and her husband heard of it and said nothing to her and did not oppose her, then all her vows shall stand, and every pledge by which she bound herself shall stand. But if her husband makes them null and void on the day that he hears them, then whatever proceeds out of her lips concerning her vows or concerning her pledge of herself shall not stand. Her husband has made them void.

Women should remain silent in congregations. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.

Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

Do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. ….Women will be saved through childbearing if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

When you go out to war against your enemies…and you see among the captives a beautiful woman and you desire to take her to be your wife and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails. And she shall take off the clothes in which she was captured and shall remain in your house and lament her father and her mother a full month. After that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife.

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death.

If a man takes a wife and, after sleeping with her, dislikes her and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,” then the young woman’s father and mother shall bring to the town elders at the gate proof that she was a virgin. ….Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town, and the elders shall take the man and punish him. They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to the young woman’s father, because this man has given a virgin a bad name. If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death.

If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.

A holy man should only take a virgin of his own people to wife.

 

Surprise, they’re all from the Christian Bible! But please, America, cherry pick away and continue proposing bills using this misogynistic, racist, inane drivel as your source of infinite wisdom.


Winter Break

The semester of doom is at an end, and the grades are rolling in. For the maintenance of my mental health and the successful attainment of passing grades during a time of great trial, anxious breathing attacks, and no truly restful sleep, I owe thanks to the following:

  • My rock, the manfriend. He calms me, keeps me grounded with humor, convinces me to sleep, and occasionally cooks me food.
  • The first three seasons of Scandal
  • Cape Cod brand sweet red chili chips
  • The Starbucks holiday spice flat white and the absurd abundance of holiday store hours
  • Cheddar cheese popcorn
  • Master Sword, whose persistent needs remind me to chip away at creative goals and maintain creative outlets, even during times of stress (scholastic duress???)

Thank you and good night.


Star Wars: The Force Awakened the Trolls

You know the types. The ones who have notoriously contrarian taste, and not for unknown gems or under-the-radar breakout talent or film festival hits that we just haven’t heard of yet…. but for things that are commonly thought of—even sometimes universally agreed upon—as bad. The kind of people that think Ben Carson makes some good points actually, Roger Moore was the best James Bond, Kanye West is a superior writer/performer to Freddie Mercury, Gamergate got a bad rap because the feminists complained, McDonalds makes the best burger, the Star Wars prequels are the best Star Wars movies, men just sing rock better than women #notmyfault #itsjustscience, Boondock Saints is so cerebral dude it really makes you think, ….

Yeah, you’ve got one. Everyone’s got one. I bet that dude doesn’t like Rey from The Force Awakens and he can’t really tell you why. If Daisy’s constant Keira Knightley overbite bothered him during her dialogue, I might roll my eyes, but at least that would be a reason (by definition only). Maybe he has an aversion to overbite. Who knows? But he can’t express why Rey upsets him so much; she just does. His growing awareness of women coexisting in all of his most cherished fandoms is upsetting, but he can’t say that because in his mind the feminazis would bear down on him, crush all his dreams with a flurry of tweets, and turn his friends against him. See, all these fake geek girls are participating in what he used to do alone with the guys! (Read: he never noticed them before because they didn’t have strong platforms to represent their interests, they used agender usernames, and/or they never talked about their gender because who cares.)

Nevermind that Star Wars has been an award-winning, multi billion $ franchise for over 40 years! This guy is upset that he liked it when few others did (?) and now others are onboard because the new movie release makes it suddenly topical (??). UGH, the vapors! Look at all these people who grew up watching these films with their parents now expressing delight at a new movie release for the franchise! Only he has liked Star Wars for long enough to justify a heavy level of engagement in Star Wars “subculture”.

Newsflash, bud. The audience for the biggest film of all time does not a subculture make. At that point, it’s just culture.

After all, Rey is a female lead character “taking over” what he and his male friends have exclusively (*snort*) enjoyed all their lives. Yes. By one woman starring in one fucking blockbuster that can still boast a primarily male ensemble, women are “taking over” the genre. It’s like that whole “Women have not been judged on the grounds of whether they talk more than men, but of whether they talk more than silent women.” It doesn’t matter whether we exist equally with men in film leads or even less than men in the fandom; the fact that women exist in the fandom at all and on screen in the lead role at all is seen as too much by this archetype and his vociferously insular cronies.

So how does he get you to understand that Rey just sucks? Well, let me tell you! He says the same line over and over again. He says it on every friend’s Facebook wall. He says it on every blog. He says it in the comment section of every article. He says some variation of it every day for three months and won’t step down, explain his case, or even introduce variation in the wording:

Rey has no character development or depth.

All I can do is blink a few times and remark, “K.” and make this face into the computer screen ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

We watched her suffer in the desert. We saw her desperation and loneliness. We watched her mourn and finally let go of her hope on Jakku and start a new life. We saw her struggle with abandonment issues throughout the film and make the decision to do good. We saw her slowly give up waiting on phantoms and pick life on her own terms. We saw her make friends, find courage and strength, get lost in self-doubt along the way, and come face to face with her past. We saw her reform her identity as a force user, experiment with her abilities, use her intelligence and wit to escape, and be saddened by the loss of a father figure. We watched her conquer her fears and tap into her inner strength to take on the dangerous Kylo Ren in order save her friend. We laughed with her, cried with her, feared for her, rooted for her, and cheered for her accomplishments for two riveting hours in IMAX 3-D.

So when you say “Rey has no character development”…..

newsroom

Were you asleep? Were you looking around the whole time waiting for the male protagonist to show up? I can’t help you, son.


I don’t use fact checkers! Facts are all part of the liberal agenda of the MSM!!!

The internet is an interesting place. Just last week, a loon I know proudly identified a quote as being wrongfully attributed to Pope Francis. It was one of those awkward attempts at a viral pic that’s so obviously out-of-character for the alleged speaker that you wonder why anyone would think it were true in the first place. But, apparently it was taken seriously enough to get thousands of shares. Not by this loon, though! She shared it only to make a point about not sharing it (o.0). She claimed that she used snopes.com to learn about the history of this falsely attributed quote and expressed a sincere hope that people will check things before mindlessly sharing them.

Start us off on the cringe waterfall, Reza.

Start us off on the cringe waterfall, Reza.

It was the most meta fucking thing. I stared and blinked at the screen and thought surely she was making a tongue-in-cheek joke at her own expense. This was a sarcastic charade, right? I realized, though, that someone in her position would never have a reason to joke about it. She’s the kind of person who shares Hitler/Obama memes. She shares effortlessly debunked nonsense on the daily right alongside odes to the gun lobby that are so twisted in their premise that you have to wonder if she’s ever been pro-life (particularly since U.S. toddlers shoot themselves, siblings, or parents every single day). ….The kind of person who shares chain emails and takes ten minutes to type things like, If this is true, then shame on {….} instead of taking the three seconds to just google it. ….The kind of person who will join any and all bandwagons that put her positions on pedestals regardless of the ethics of such a movement (e.g., Who cares if the KKK are the leaders of this movement?). ….The kind of person whose political positions share more in common with religious beliefs because they (1) are not naturally developed but taught, (2) must be respected as an equal to any other position regardless of the factual merits, research, or careful consideration of those positions, and (3) are recklessly held in the face of any and all evidence to the contrary. ….The kind of person who is almost unintelligible in any communication channel (in person, print, or computer) but who will proudly proclaim that one of the most rational, careful, and well spoken leaders of the decade is a “moran” (sic) because he thinks bombing other cultures back to the Stone Age isn’t a successful long term foreign policy. THIS person would like you to please kindly snope before you dope.

door

Dear loon,

Thank you for debunking the erroneous Pope Francis quote among your friend circle. You have done important societal detective work today, but I’m actually very disappointed to hear that you know what snopes is; that you’re aware, at least in a minimal and elementary way, that fact-checking bodies exist on the internet. Perhaps you can’t name any others, but you know of and have used at least one. How, then, do you explain the last three years of prolific and unconscionably false, inflammatory shares, posts, and comments on the internet? Before this admission, you were just a proudly ignorant loon, happy to hide in a bubble of your own experiences and privileges at the expense of others. Now you have outted yourself as doing so with knowledge of fact-checkers and that you choose to be this way on purpose. That is far, far worse. I didn’t realize there was a bar even lower for you to reach for, but you found it.

One more for the road.

considering the subject matter, ironic Clint gif FTW!

considering the subject matter, ironic Clint gif FTW!


GOP Debate Bingo, Episode II: The Failsauce Ignites and Lights California’s Forests on Fire

Ladies and gents, if you don’t suffer from anxiety and have nothing better to do at 8pm EST (or even 6pm EST for the happy hour edition), why not enjoy round 2 of the GOP debates on CNN? Here’s a bingo card with which to entertain yourselves.

GOPDebateIIBingowatermarked


Huckabee On The Campaign Fail–I mean Trail

At the next debate I will expect questions to Gov Huckabee on 1) why the supreme law of the land need only be followed if you’re in the mood, 2) why his platform for president is now essentially “Do whatever you feel in your fee-fees,” and 3) Why he felt it a more pressing call from his commander in chief (God) to help his human flock by making public appearances with first-world-problems rep Kim Davis instead of lobbying overseas and/or our current administration about the millions of dying, misplaced Syrian residents.

If a pastor thinks he should be running a secular government and by definition conflicting church and state, I damn well expect him to –at bare minimum– be capable of following his own religion.


In advance of Thursday, I bring you GOP Debate Bingo

Don’t be afraid. Let the tomfoolery flow though you. Let it give you sustenance as you mark the debate progress with stickers on this custom debate bingo card. And “God Bless America.”
GOPDebateBingo


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