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April 02, 2012

White Until Proven Black: Imagining Race in Hunger Games

The thing no one seems to mention in all these discussions of race in the Hunger Games is that Katniss, the protagonist, is not white in the text. Sure, Jennifer Lawrence is super white, but in the text Katniss has dark gray eyes, she has black hair, she has olive-hued skin. She ain't white. Race is a subtle thing, surprisingly, in the Hunger Games. Most of the capitol citizens when their race is alluded to, are white. Most of the tributes (the kids forced to battle to the death) when they are described, are described as people of color. But apparently a lot of fans of the books miss these details. And a lot of them were furious when one of the tributes, the young and innocent little-sister-stand-in Rue was played by an african-american actress. The New Yorker takes its time with the story. The Book Bench: White Until Proven Black: Imagining Race in Hunger Games : The New Yorker
Like the conversations found on message boards, some of the opinions were vitriolic, if not blatantly racist; unlike the postings on fan forums, however, the Twitter comments were usually attached to real identities. “Naturally Thresh would be a black man,” tweeted someone who called herself @lovelyplease. “I was pumped about the Hunger Games. Until I learned that a black girl was playing Rue,” wrote @JohnnyKnoxIV. “Why is Rue a little black girl?” @FrankeeFresh demanded to know. (she appended her tweet with the hashtag admonishment #sticktothebookDUDE.) Adam was shocked—Suzanne Collins had been fairly explicit about the appearance, if not the ethnicity, of Rue and Thresh, who, along with twenty-two other kids, are thrown into the life-or-death, Lord of the Flies-esque battle that the book is named for. He began taking screen grabs of the offensive tweets and posting them to Instagram. Adam soon decided that Instagram’s functionality was too limited for his purposes—users can look at the photos of people they follow but can’t easily share them—so he played around with different social-media technologies and switched to Tumblr, which, like Twitter, allows users to reblog the posts of people they follow, thereby exponentially broadening their reach. . . .

April 01, 2012

Entirety of Game of Thrones Season 2 Leaked

This April Fool's joke also tickles me. Entirety of Game of Thrones Season 2 Leaked | Tor.com
In a shocking display of contempt for HBO, it appears that every detail about the highly-anticipated season 2 HBO drama Game of Thrones has been leaked, mere hours before the premiere of the show. The massive leak originates from an obscure book carrying the dubious title A Clash of Kings, copies of which have already been distributed in both physical and electronic form, possibly worldwide. HBO reps have confirmed that the contents of A Clash of Kings reveal the entirety of the upcoming season of Game of Thrones but did not offer any further information in regards to how the leaker obtained the information. Unfortunately for HBO, the leaker himself is all too proud to take the credit.

March 31, 2012

30 awesome author-on-author insults

There is no one bitchier and cattier than a writer. Flavorwire -- The 30 Harshest Author-on-Author Insults In History
4. Mark Twain on Jane Austen (1898) “I haven’t any right to criticize books, and I don’t do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.” 3. Virginia Woolf on James Joyce “[Ulysses is] the work of a queasy undergraduate scratching his pimples.” 2. William Faulkner on Mark Twain (1922) “A hack writer who would not have been considered fourth rate in Europe, who tricked out a few of the old proven sure fire literary skeletons with sufficient local color to intrigue the superficial and the lazy.” 1. D.H. Lawrence on James Joyce (1928) “My God, what a clumsy olla putrida James Joyce is! Nothing but old fags and cabbage stumps of quotations from the Bible and the rest stewed in the juice of deliberate, journalistic dirty-mindedness.”