“Novels aren’t just happy escapes; they are slivers of people’s souls, nailed to the pages, dripping ink from veins of wood pulp. Reading the right one at the right time can make all the difference.”—Brandon Sanderson, Alcatraz and the Evil Librarians series (via antiquedvintage)
THIS. Pretty much sums up how I feel about THG movie casting (although I’m less inclined to think Katniss was supposed to be Greek or Italian, considering all the other racial overtones present in the book and Katniss being from the Appalachians).
Before I get any more Asks about my feelings re: Katniss and Jennifer Lawrence, read this. I’ve gotten messages saying “they auditioned for talent, not skin color” and “Katniss wasn’t Black in the books.” No, folks, no. The point, you have missed it. The casting call was for whites only and that’s why I have an issue with it.
Katniss is described as olive-skinned with black hair and gray eyes. In terms of ethnic population, the Appalachian region has plenty of people who could be described as olive-skinned, particularly Native Americans and Italians who immigrated in the early 1900s. There are people today who are white who have an “olive complexion” — most folks with southern Italian or Greek backgrounds, for instance. So yes, Katniss could be played by a white person and still be honest to the books. But the fact that the casting call was for whites ONLY means that Native, Hispanic, and biracial actresses weren’t even considered for the part. They cast a blonde, blue-eyed actress and dyed her hair.
I have no issue with Jennifer Lawrence. She did a great job. But don’t pretend she was the only person who could have possibly played this role. If they’d auditioned actresses of every race and ultimately decided on Jennifer Lawrence, I’d have a lot less of a problem with it. But they didn’t. They didn’t even consider non-white actresses for her, and probably not for Gale either (who’s supposed to look a lot like Katniss).
Here’s why: Thinking she was Amber Rose, Tyrese Gibson sent her an (unsolicited!) email wanting to “make some music” together (uh huh. ew). So Amber Tamblyn did what any awesome boss-like woman would do, and punk’d his douchey ass by playing along and sending him her “rap demos”. They are made of awesome and win with double rainbow unicorn sprinkles on top. And this demo, All in Favor, is my new favorite thing. The lyrics:
Dear men in Congress,
You think banning birth control is conservative progress?
You think sanctioning my ovaries won’t bring me to violence?
How about I tell you what to do with your caucus:
It is now illegal to think about me topless
to keep your lotion where your socks is
to refer to powerful women as monsters like those jocks at FOX did
I am not afraid to cock-block, dick
to sew an instructional video for rape kits to your eyelids and make you watch it
I’ll take away your golf clubs and gun clips
I’m gonna fix this by getting you fixed
Enough’s enough kid, come on stop that
If you wanna make this law, then use my law rap:
You have the right to get strangled by a bra strap
Anything you sexualize with can, and will get shot at, with a glock cap
I’ll shove your life in a duffelbag, hand it over to a sex trafficker and let him smuggle that…
You wanna cuddle dad?
No, don’t touch me!
You can’t touch me anymore!
I’m so pissed I forgot how to rhyme
I hate you so much, I forgot what I was talking about
Who wants to get Mexican food?
Jay-Z do something – this is do or die
These are the new rules I play by
This is the end of the line – KO white guy
Ladies testify. It’s time to put a measure on the floor against chromosome Y
Fact: Black youths arrested for drug possession are 48 times more likely to wind up in prison than white youths arrested for the same crime under the same circumstances.
Source: “Young White Offenders get lighter treatment,” 2000. The Tennessean. April 26: 8A.
Fact: Black and Latino men are three times more likely than white men to be stopped by the police and have their cars searched – even though white men are four times more likely to have weapons or drugs.
Source: Matthew R. Durose, Erica L. Schmitt and Patrick A. Langan, Contacts Between Police and the Public: Findings from the 2002 National Survey. U.S. Department of Justice, (Bureau of Justice Statistics), April 2005.
Fact: White men with a criminal record are more likely to be called back for a job interview than black men with no record, even when their education and experience are the same.
Source: Pager, Devah. 2003. “The Mark of a Criminal Record.” American Journal of Sociology. Volume 108: 5, March: 937-75…
Unlike the Tea Party, who see themselves as the customers of government, people in the Occupy Wall Street movement understand that we are the government. Stated most simply, we are trying to run a 21st-century society on a 13th-century economic operating system. It just doesn’t work.
“It’s OK if it’s impossible; it’s OK! Listen carefully. The object is not to win. That’s not the objective. The object is to do the right and good thing. If you decide not to do anything, because it’s too hard or too impossible, then nothing will be done, and when you’re on your death bed, you’re gonna say, “I wish I had done something. But if you go and do the right thing NOW, and you do it long enough “good things will happen—something’s gonna happen.”—
“People forget that the day before the earthquake there were more NGOs operating in Haiti than any other country on the planet and it was still an unmitigated shithole and a horror. The idea that this will turn around in your lifetime is a fantasy—and a crime of gargantuan proportions.”—
Daniel, who lives in a tent city run by Sean Penn’s Haiti organization.
“There is no equality. You cannot guarantee that any two people will end up the same. And you can’t legislate it, and you can’t make it happen. You can try, under the guise of fairness and so forth, but some people are self-starters, and some people are born lazy. Some people are born victims. Some people are just born to be slaves.”—
Rush Limbaugh being awesome. And by awesome, I mean a stupid dick. But that’s just because some people are born to be stupid, greedy, fat, drug addled fucks I guess.
I cannot express how much I loathe this false idea that somehow superiority is inherent, that hard work and bootstrapping self-startership is all it takes to achieve upward mobility. Even worse is the not-so-subtle subtext that such inherent superiority stems from race. Right. Like this is a truly “merit” based world where hard work and smarts and talent are all that’s needed. Totally.
If we really lived in such a mythical world, I doubt a fat, boring, grotesque caricature like Rush would ever receive a $400 million contract for anything. He’s not smart, he’s not interesting, he’s not talented, he’s not good looking, I doubt he’s a hard worker—I mean, he can’t even score his own drugs! So I wonder what he’s going on about really…
Long ago the Mayans once said, “Life is a dream. We only come to dream, we only come to sleep. It is not true, not true that we come on Earth to live.”
I love movies that prick at my brain like an itch that must be scratched. The movies that taunt me, begging me to solve them, analyze them, figure them out. Memento did this, as does Inception. So much so I had to see it twice. Here’s my take (and yeah, keep in mind SPOILERS abound):
It’s all just a dream. And more, it’s all a dream designed to perform inception on Cobb so that he can accept, as his wife did, that he’s still in a dream.
Cobb says it himself: the best way to perform inception is if the subject thinks the thought is their own, and the best way for that to happen is through strong positive emotion, reconciliation, catharsis. Which is exactly what Cobb undergoes at the end, beginning with the deepest dream level of limbo as he holds the dying projection of his wife.
Think about Fischer’s inception for a moment: at the end, he finds the spinning wheel in the safe by his father’s bed and says something like, “I understand now, you did love me but wanted me to be my own man.” He is having a moment of realization and acceptance. Here, the audience understands that the inception has worked: Fischer thinks the idea is his own, but we saw all the subtle ways Cobb’s team worked to plant the seed of the idea beforehand.
Now, think back to Cobb as he’s holding the dying projection of Mal in limbo: the way he talks to her is exactly the same tone as that used by Fischer. A dawning realization. Catharsis complete. Inception performed—Cobb comes to accept the idea that he has to let Mal go, that he can’t stay with her in the dream world.
But is it his idea?
Evidence Cobb is dreaming and inception is being performed, starting with the obvious:
» The totem, which we never see fall at the end. And it spins for far longer than any of the previous times. Of course, it does start to falter before the film cuts away, but it was never Cobb’s totem, it was Mal’s…
The way they describe it, it would seem a totem loses its potency or accuracy (or something) if even touched by another. Yet, Cobb is going around using his dead wife’s totem as his own. And, with the way the human mind and heart work, all the emotion Cobb has related to his wife would almost certainly affect—maybe even alter—the way the totem works in the dream state.
» The children, whom Cobb finds at the end exactly as he left them: playing in the exact same position, seemingly wearing the exact same clothes and at the exact same age. Okay, so maybe it’s only been a short while since he’s seen his kids. But, there’s also a weird moment with the kids when he’s supposedly in the real world….
» When Cobb is talking to the kids on the phone. The voices at first sound very young, which matches the age Cobb remembers his children to be. Yet, there’s a moment when one of the kids says, “Grandma says you’re never coming back” in a voice that sounds far older than either of the kids of Cobb’s memory. The look on Cobb’s face suggests this voice throws him off a little..
» Miles telling Cobb: Why don’t you wake up and come back to reality? In dreams, the wise old man symbolizes wisdom, forgiveness and spiritual guidance. Certainly a role Miles plays here.
But, could Miles also be a forger, his role similar to how Eames impersonates Browning so that Fischer will accept the idea they want to implant? Is this line the start of the inception process? Indeed, Miles is there with Cobb again at the end, after Cobb’s cathartic awakening from limbo (standing right next to Fischer’s driver, coincidentally)—just as the forgery of Browning is there with Fischer after his cathartic awakening.
Also note: after Fischer’s moment of catharsis, he awakens in the van—his first dream level. Cobb, on the other hand, awakens in the plane after his catharsis. Reality? Or Cobb’s first dream level?
» Random visual cues: when being chased in Mombassa, Cobb goes through an alleyway where the walls seem to close in on him, as in a dream. When he squeezes through, Saito just so happens to be there waiting for him in a handy getaway car.
» Ariadne—her entire existence in the film. It is Miles (the wise spiritual guide) who introduces Cobb to Ariadne. In Greek myth, Ariadne is the daughter of King Minos and she helps Theseus escape the Labyrinth after he’s killed the minotaur.
With the dream world being repeatedly described as a maze or labyrinth, and that being SUCH an unusual name, there’s no way in hell Christopher Nolan picked it at random and intended it to be meaningless.
Also, the reality of all the scenes where Cobb initially meets, tests and trains Ariadne is suspect. One moment, he’s being introduced to her in the school hall. The next, he’s suddenly in the middle of testing Ariadne on a balcony (or roof?) outside somewhere. Which wouldn’t seem all that odd—it is a movie, after all. Jump cuts happen all the time, right?
But, the very next scene in the cafe brings attention to such jump cuts, causing you to question what is real when Cobb says, “you never seem to remember the beginning of a dream; you always start right in the middle.” At which point Ariadne asks, “we’re dreaming?” And indeed, they are. If the cafe is a dream, why not the balcony? Where does reality end and the dream begin?
» Mal’s suicide jump: she’s sitting on a ledge across from their hotel room, seemingly in another building (or a different wing). Not only that, but the room behind her is almost an exact mirror of the room Cobb is in, down to the lamp and flowers on the coffee table (with the exception of Cobb’s room being thrashed). Of course, if it’s the same hotel the rooms would be similar.
But, why would she go through all the planning—writing a letter to her lawyer that she fears for her safety, getting three doctors to declare her competent, thrashing the room before he arrived, etc—all to make it look like he killed her, when anyone who’s seen at least one episode of CSI would know that forensic investigators could determine a) if she jumped, fell or was pushed and b) what window she tumbled out of. Surely she would’ve gone all the way with her plan, throwing herself backwards out of the window from the right hotel room.
» In the beginning, Mal is working with Saito. She’s not simply showing up and sabotaging Cobb, but is actually working with Saito.
If Saito is in fact a wholly separate person—the subject of that particular dream—how likely is it that Cobb’s rogue projection (Mal) and Saito would be working together? Especially since it’s made clear that the subconscious projections will sniff out and attack any foreign consciousnesses. Wouldn’t Saito’s men have seen Mal as a threat too, attacking her like they did Cobb and Arthur?
» Both Mal and Saito tell Cobb to “take a leap of faith”—and both do so while in the real world: Mal, while trying to convince Cobb to trust her that their world is a dream just before she jumps, and Saito while trying to convince Cobb to trust him that taking on the inception mission is the only way he’ll ever be able to see his kids again. Besides Cobb, Mal and Saito are the only ones whose lines repeat like this.
Another example: when Cobb is telling Ariadne what happened to Mal, he says, “She locked away a secret, deep inside herself, something she once knew to be true…” Later, when he finds Saito an old man in limbo, he tells him something similar: “I came to remind you of something, something you once knew to be true…”
Are Mal and Saito connected? Looking at their names, Mal means “bad” while Saito means “purification” or “correct” as in to make right. Two sides of the same projection, good and bad?
Or, could Mal actually be sharing the dream with Cobb, and the reason why she seems like such a “bad” projection is because his subconscious has figured out her foreign nature and is on the attack? Could Saito be Mal’s version of the Mr. Charles gambit? Saito is even referred to as “The Tourist” indicating his foreign nature, at least.
» Cobb is the only non-dreamer whose projections enter the dreamspace. It’s not just Mal either—he also randomly sees his kids playing while he’s in another subject’s dream. No one else has this ability (or problem). Otherwise, couldn’t Cobb’s team just create an army of their own projections to battle against Fischer’s? But they only had each other. Each other and Mal, that is.
Okay, so Cobb is seriously damaged with all his emotional guilt and that’s why he’s unable to control his subconscious. But really? Is he the only one with skeletons and baggage and emotional damage and subconscious guilt?
Ariadne and Arthur, I might believe they had their shit under control. But Eames? He’s so colorful, he has to have some skeletons. And Saito? A worldly, wealthy businessman who is willing to resort to implanting an idea in his competitor’s mind while his competitor is dreaming—buying an entire airline to do so, all to get what he wants? A man like that has his subconscious mind under better control than Cobb, who is basically a professional dreamer while Saito is not?
Considering that Christopher Nolan spent ten years writing this film, I’m pretty sure he wrestled with such questions so I have a difficult time thinking it’s all just glaring plot holes.
The only thing I can’t really place is Fischer’s role in everything. Although, with his name being Fischer and him having the dying father’s empire drama—and considering there’s a character named Arthur—I’m inclined to think there are some allusions to the Arthurian tale of the Fisher King going on. I just don’t know enough about that particular mythology to say for sure.
Wow. I must be a liberal, because the “liberal” country that would be born from this divorce agreement actually sounds quite awesome. And European.
stfuconservatives: Submitted by bettenoir: “Via Facebook. Hilarious. Too good not to spread around. Either way, enjoy.”
Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, et al:
We have stuck together since the late 1950’s for the sake of the kids, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has clearly run its course.
Our twoideological sides of Americacannot and will not ever agree on what is right for us all, so let’s just endit on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilabledifferences and go our own way.
Here is a model separation agreement:
Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by land mass each taking a similar portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes.
We don’t like redistributive taxes so you can keep them. You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU. Since you hate guns and war, we’ll take our firearms, thecops, the NRA and the military. We’ll take the nasty, smelly oil industry and you can go with wind, solar and bio-diesel. You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O’Donnell. You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them.
We’ll keep capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street. You can have your beloved lifelong welfare dwellers, food stamps, homeless, homeboys, hippies, druggies and illegal aliens. We’ll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO’s and rednecks. We’ll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood.
You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we’ll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us. You can have the peaceniks and war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we’ll help provide them security.
We’ll keep ourJudeo-Christian values. You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism, political correctness and Shirley McClain. You can also have the U.N. but wewill no longer be paying the bill.
We’ll keep the SUV’s, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Subaru station wagon you can find.
You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any practicing doctors. We’ll continue to believe health care is a luxury and not a right.
We’ll keep “The Battle Hymn of theRepublic” and “The National Anthem.” I’m sure you’ll be happy to substitute”Imagine”, “I’d Like toTeach the World to Sing”, “Kum Ba Ya” or “We Are the World”…
We’ll practice trickle down economics and you can continue to give trickle up poverty your best shot.
Since it often so offends you, we’ll keep our history, our name and our flag.
Would you agree to this? If so, please pass it along toother like-minded liberal and conservative patriots and if you do not agree, just hit delete. In the spirit of friendly parting, I’ll bet you answer which one of us will need whose help in 15 years.
John J. Wall
Law Student and an American
P. S. Also, please take Ted Turner, Sean Penn, Martin Sheen, Barbra Streisand, and Jane Fonda with you.
P. S. S. And you won’t have to press 1 for English when you call our country.
“Give the children what they need, not what is left over. Treat the young children of developing countries the same way you would treat your own children.”—Dr. Susan Shepherd, MSF, quoted in an Inter Press Service article, June 5th 2010. (via doctorswithoutborders)