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8/25/10

newsflash: collins isn't meyer, she's a quality writer.

This morning, I read someone blog about their love of Mockingjay, followed by a resounding "TEAM PEETA!"

And I resolved that my next blog would be a one-liner: "I hate it when stupid people like what I like."

I mean, I talked about it a little bit HERE. But I thought it was worth repeating.

Then my e-friend, and co-reader- of- online- Jack Weyland -books Ru wrote about it HERE, and I knew the discussion was over. That is some damn inspiring rage, and I mean that as a compliment.

My favorite part? Why Ru (and I) hate it when dumb people like awesome stuff:

"Because I can't help but suspect that the lame people don't truly get it. That they are laughing at the wrong things, or misinterpreting the symbolism, or whatever. "

This brings me back to Mockingjay. I really love the Hunger Games series. I think it is quality YA literature. By combining a killer plot, romance, and a very likable protagonist, I understand why the teens can't put it down. But more importantly, I think it is quality YA literature because it lets you think. Or, more specifically, it allows the reader to think without pushing an agenda (abstinence before your vampire wedding, for example.) There are some heavy issues in Hunger Games, including our society's obsession with voyeurism (admit it, you'd watch the Hunger Games every year if you could,) beauty standards, (I love the scene where Katniss and Peeta come out into the arena naked,) and wealth. Even more heavy are the issues of a powerful government versus an ethical one, the value of free will, and whether it is noble or just stupid to sacrifice your life for a nearly hopeless cause.

Yes. There is romance. There is a love triangle. But Gale is not Edward, and Jacob is not Peeta. Hunger Games is not Twilight, and the idiots that were not satisfied with 4 drivel-filled vampire lust shouldn't try and get their fix off a truly wonderful piece of fiction.

Or, they should just stop talking about it on the internet.



Upon further consideration: I thought I'd disclaimer myself, and say I see nothing wrong with enjoying drivel-filled vampire fantasy, on occasion. I watch Bachelor Pad every week, and I love it. I take issue with people who can't tell the difference between quality and quantity. Quality of writing versus quantity of poorly written similes. His skin was like shimmering marble.....







PS. I have not read Mockingjay yet. Please, no spoilers.

19 comments:

meagan said...

I tried finding Mockingjay today. No dice. Sometimes I hate London.

Also, in the spirit of full disclosure, I totally agree with you about this issue, but more often I disagree with some of your opinions, and don't comment in the fear of looking like one of those dumb people...

But, then I figure I'm the total rebel for not having become a Mormon Child Bride and feel okay (:

Kristine and Ryan said...

Amen

Stephanie said...

Meagan-

I like people who disagree more than I let on.

Alyosha said...

You've got to be kidding me.

Stephanie said...

Alyosha-

Kidding about what? My slow growing hatred of Twilight? No.

gurrbonzo said...

HAHAHA. I knew this post was coming like three billion miles away.

Ru said...

(Blush)

Uh, yeah, pretty sure we read the same blog. I tried to make mine not so directly on point with Mockingjay, but I was kind of stunned to see people boil down an AMAZING story (you will love it when you're done, and please email me if you feel like discussing) into Team Gale versus Team Peeta.

Uh, hello? Did you manage to miss the entire book? The entire TRILOGY?

And TEAMS? Gross.

Alyosha said...

No. Kidding about what a snob you are! You hate when "dumb" people like the same things you do? Did you not just recently confess to loving some of the dumbest shows on television? Aren't you always complaining about people judging you? Shouldn't we be happy people are reading good books? This is a new low for you.

I like you so much that I had hoped this post was ironic.

Stephanie said...

Alyosha

1. I hate having to make the choice between being liked, and speaking my mind. Especially when I like the person back. I do!

2. That said, I will usually go with speaking my mind.

3. I totally admit to liking crappy reality tv. I admitted in this post to reading Jack Weyland online. I hate it when people can't tell the difference between good literature, and crap. I think it makes them dumb. If that makes me a snob, so be it. I am a snob.

4. We should not be happy if people are ONLY reading bad books. We should be worried about the future. Since when is celebrating mediocrity the sign of a kind person?


5. Some people are dumb. Some people act dumb because they think it is cute or funny. They exist. We cope.

Alyosha said...

At least you added the disclaimer. :)

~j. said...

I finished Mockingjay today and I'm eager to read your review.

Sheans said...

I love the Hunger Games. I also loved the Twilight books. I'm sorry. But I loved the Hunger games for very different reasons. I loved that there was so so much left to think about when the stories were done, and how they stuck with me every single day. I loved twilight because it was easy to read and had a happy ending. I also watch the Real Housewives of New Jersey, so don't judge me. I've got problems.

Mrs. Clark said...

But isn't celebrating mediocrity something we Mormons DO? Come on: Jack Weyland, the Lund series, being able to buy a fake Sword of Laban and a phony Liahona in Deseret Book...

I once avoided walking through the BYU bookstore because Jack Weyland was there signing books.

And you really need to check out the Blackadder series starring Rowan Atkinson. You'll love it. (BBC TV production.)

SammyStewart said...

I'd have thought you'd like it that dumb people are reading higher quality stuff. Maybe it will help pare down some of that dumbness. I don't know about you, but I think a more intelligent world would be a happier world.

Maybe half the brilliance of Suzanne Collins is lost on some. Maybe some of it is lost on you and me. Why not take joy in the hope that for some "dumb people" books like Hunger Games could be a sort of catalyst...the beginning of higher levels of thinking?

Isn't that what being a teacher is all about?

Stephanie said...

No. No. No. No. Sammy Stewart, it is not what being a teacher is all about.

Being a teacher does not mean setting low expectations (I'm just glad they are reading! Even if it is crap! (or) I'm just glad they are reading! Even if they don't get it! Hopefully they will someday!)

It is about setting high expectations. And finding ways for your students to reach them. My goal for my students is that they read quality literature, and make the decision to understand the complex nasty themes, instead of reducing the literature to fit lower level thinking skills. (i.e., TEAM PEETA, TEAM GALE.)

I get grumpy when people moralize a passing opinion. Not you, personally, but in general.

It makes me uncomfortable when people ruin good books by refusing to utilize upper-level thinking skills. I dare say it makes me upset. That is who I am, and I don't think it makes me a bad person, (ps, Alyosha, what exactly were my previous lows?) or a bad teacher.

Katrina said...

Couldn't agree more. Enjoy the book :)

Julie said...

I disagree.

Not with your rant entirely, because I love the Hunger Games for all the reasons you mentioned... but I disagree with bashing the parts of the book that other "dumb" people like. It’s those "dumb" parts of the book--the silly romance (Team Gale, yes, I said it), the money, the fashion and whatever else you hate--that makes the book sell. It’s what turns incredibly profound and thought-provoking themes into fiction that will be marketable to SO many more audiences than it would be without. Face it, without an engaging story line, a book like this wouldn't sell HALF as well.

And before you rant about how it shouldn't be all about capitalism and making money off a book, remember that you can't influence an audience unless they embrace the book in the first place. Maybe some of the crazy hormonally driven teens will someday see the deeper meaning in the Hunger Games that they never would have discovered unless they had read it in the first place.

Until then, I see absolutely NO reason for reading a book for pure entertainment sake. Period.

Stephanie said...

Julie, I think in your hurry to defend your argument, you did not read mine very carefully. It is okay, the urge to rant about something, anything, is very over-poweting.

I never stated an objection to the love story, or the fashion. I agree that not only does it allow the reader to embrace the book, but it allows the reader to cope with the difficult aspects. It is a hard book to read. It would be impossible to read it without the mental breaks. Annie's wedding, for instance, or the descriptions of Katniss in her various outfits.

I simply said that I dislike/hate it when people focus SOLELY on the love story, because it devalues the book as a whole. It minimizes some truly quality writing, and minimizes the book as a whole.

And for as many people who may read the book thinking it IS a love story, I submit that there are just as many that would be put off by those who try and compare it to twilight. Best to just accept it for what it is, (a good book,) instead of what it is not (Twilight).

Stephanie said...

over-powering.