Let us talk, for a second, about the holidays. I barely even noticed they were approaching. My Christmas shopping consisted of buying books for a handful of people. I had neither the time nor the money to do much else. I worked on Christmas Eve and work again tomorrow. This job doesn’t allow for much vacation time. Since I was so broke when I went Christmas shopping, I had to charge everything for my credit card, and since my father pays the bill for that, he essentially bought his own Christmas present. At this time last year, I had five weeks off of school. I spent it sitting around working on my resume and cover letter. I also watched lots of movies. Netflix has an annoying tendency to make stuff unavailable for streaming with very short notice. A few months ago, they made every episode of Columbo available after inexplicably making on select episodes available for years. So there’s that.
Let us now talk about The Hunger Games. It’s a pretty good series. I saw the second movie and finished the first book not too long ago. The second movie is definitely better than the first, although I have no idea about the books. Suzanne Collins is not a brilliant writer, nor is she a terrible one. The second movie essentially does everything the first did, except better. Haymitch was my favorite character in the first movie, because I wish I could work up the courage to stop giving a fuck. In the second, it’s Johanna, who is played by Jena Malone as a woman so fed up with being told to dance by the government that she’s not even trying to hide her contempt. Since the whole movie is about a totalitarian system that is slowly crumbling, the most relatable characters are the ones who see right through the whole thing.
I was starting to like New York, you know. It takes a long time to adjust to the rhythms of a different city, but New York is certainly more interesting than California. I’ve often wondered what it would be like to live in a rural area, but maybe that would just be really boring. Maybe I’m just tired of living on one side of the country or another. Keeping in touch with friends at that distance is difficult, but then again, it’s not like I have any friends. From the looks of things, I’m stuck here for a while. It could take close to a year to save up enough money to move back, especially with what I’m making. And I don’t particularly like California; it’s just hard to escape. So I think I’ll just keep moping about for the time being if you don’t mind. I don’t even seem to be getting much reading done these days. I know people who read, like, three books a week. How do they do that? I have only a part-time job, yet I still don’t have all that much free time.
Science fiction, to make a generalization, is a little bit more idea-driven than “literary” fiction. Suzanne Collins has been accused of stealing her premise from the Japanese book/film Battle Royale, but that really isn’t fair. The idea of teenagers being forced to kill each other until only one remains is essentially the same, but in Battle Royale, it’s part of a military experiment. The whole reality show/dystopian future aspect is completely missing. Anyway, there aren’t very many truly original storylines to begin with. The Matrix was great, but the question as to whether our world is nothing more than virtual reality has been around since Plato’s Cave. Sci-fi seems to lend itself more to accusations of stealing ideas than any other genre. (Harlan Ellison sues people left and right, but that’s because he just can’t help himself.) And of course, Shakespeare ripped off half of his plays from commedia dell’arte. So at a certain point, we have to call the whole thing off.
Could Katniss Everdeen be the first female action hero since Sarah Connor? (The Bride doesn’t count. She was more of an antihero.) She’s tough and feminine at the same time. (That her weapon of choice is a bow says something, but I’m not quite sure what.) I like Ellen Ripley a lot, and I feel that movies need more badass women in general, so if Katniss is to become a role model for young women, I’m okay with that. She’s no Mary Tyler Moore, but she doesn’t need to be. Cinema is not about realism, but escapism, so anyone who thinks that it’s harmful that so many teen girls are eating up a story in which one of their own shoots arrows through people can bugger off. Why do you even go to the movies?
I am, as usual, rather miserable these days. I just don’t have much going on, that’s all. I see movies on my own a lot, which is fine, but annoying, because it also reminds me that most of my friends don’t live close by. If I want to hang out with anyone, I usually have to go way out of my way to do it, provided that they can even find the time to see me. So it’s not entirely by choice that I spend so much time by myself. It’s just that when I am by myself, I like to be able to decide what to do. And when I go out, I like to have at least some agency in what I’m doing. Got it?
By the way, if Jennifer Lawrence is the new It Girl, I can live with that. She’s a good actress and, by all appearances, a very charming lady.