This post was originally going to be automated, titled my name and the numbers: 1987-2015. It was also going to contain a long letter explaining the reasons for that. Instead in the last moments I had myself escorted to, and voluntary checked in to a psychiatric ward. This site is often therapy for me and I hope to return shortly- however my brain has been in no condition to deal with things right now. Humour helps, so I will say that it’s a shame that letter will never be made public, because apparently it’s eloquent and beautiful (according to various psychiatric staff). Just my luck; I write a true tour de force, and it’s a suicide note. – Jaydra
One of civilization’s most enduring practices is tattooing, originating over five-thousand years ago, it is curious then that tattooing is also one of society’s largest contradictions; a practice that has been both revered and stigmatized, even within the same culture. Tattoos are fascinating because they’re permanent markings that are always changing, their popularity and significance always in flux. ‘Modern tattoos’ (those ‘inked’ in the 21st century) especially stand in stark contrast with their counter-culture counterpart from the late 20th century. The catalyst for this change being that at the start of the 21st century, Western society experienced the death of its dominant narratives, leaving little in its place. A tattoo’s context shifts with each generation, and the only constant is that they become prevalent when society needs those bold, permanent markings; modern tattoos are bastions of stability and meaning in a society that has experienced a cataclysmic narrative collapse.
Our media is a moral battlefield. Throughout history people have taken all forms of media and altered/ adapted them to suit their means. The issue always at the forefront is: “What is acceptable for children?”, and throughout the last few centuries what is acceptable has excluded most of the human experience. Fairy tales have been censored, and young adult literature is altered in order to suit an always changing ideal of ‘age appropriateness’. This paper will focus on that process of adaptation and alteration, examining the evolution of Red Riding Hood and The Hunger Games. Specifically the historical context of censorship, the removal of key themes and ideas, and how doing so makes great works disposable.
We’ve hit mid-December and thus the ‘X of the Year’ lists are starting to trickle out. It’s likely you’ve asked and/ or will be asked “What’s your favourite X of the year?”, and after some thought you’ll give a top three or so. Games in particular seem to be the medium of choice for these sorts of questions, or at least the most visible to me. At which point point things start to get a little weird, and in more ways than one. I understand why these lists are made: as December is when we remember January-August happened, and like to look back at that far away time fondly. However these lists are made hastily, premature, and marketed in an absurd fashion. It’s not so much that I have a problem with these lists, but more that they’re a curiosity to me.
A large part of social psychology is the study of power, authority and obedience, within all aspects of our society. However, there is often an overlooked aspect/ lifestyle within society which is nevertheless important to many and a strong reflection of social psychologist’s concepts. BDSM can be a lifestyle, it can be the nature of a relationship or it can be a purely sexual experience. Within mainstream society it is largely portrayed as a type of extreme, dangerous sexuality involving whips, chains, leather and uniforms, and for many that is what it is. It is also a reflection of society and of our interactions.
Jane Eyre is about power, specifically the dynamics between an object and its beholder. Throughout Jane’s development both she and the men she meets will objectify her, and only at the end does she become a person. It is less a novel about romance, and more how Jane navigates the power dynamics in her life. Charlotte Brontë’s novel addresses this explicitly when addressing the Victorian taboo of idolatry, alongside subtle allusions. Power is the ability to define the situation/ reality for yourself and others, and throughout most of Jane Eyre Jane lacks the ability to define herself. When Jane does, she defines herself as a doll whose power is an illusion. The powerlessness Jane feels and her struggle to assert herself is a powerful theme, which readers over centuries have been able to relate to.
I recently had a good chat with a friend about how #GamerGate has forced those targeted to put aside their differences and present a united front against abuse. I have the utmost respect for this person and wish her well, even if our politics have drifted apart in some respects. I say this because today I published an article discussing BDSM in Kill la Kill, and mentioned I wanted to critique radical feminism, of which some friends are proponents of. However, after we talked last night and when I woke up to the news this morning I decided I will not write that article. Whatever my criticisms of radical feminism, now more than ever it’s important to underline the importance of discourse.
I haven’t been shy of admitting to my kinky side online, but it’s been something that I’ve grappled with in my life for years. To the point where I renounced it entirely earlier this year. Until I saw this anime called Kill la Kill, a show I really got into and I think I know why: it is pure joyous kink. It also got me thinking about why its fetish elements work, about depictions of rape in media, and of my own difficult history involving both. It’s a brilliant show well worth discussing that’s rekindled something within me.
Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games and its sequels are brilliant novels, that became tamed and defanged film adaptations. The Capitol was a truly threatening entity, dulled in order to attain a PG-13 Rating. This isn’t about the muted physical violence, either. It’s because the films do not understand what the Capitol is, what made it such a threat, and why made the novels matter.
On July 8th, 2014, Brazil lost by six points to Germany in a World Cup semi-final. At the same time, The International (a prestigious DOTA 2 tournament) began. One day prior, I read a very interesting article (that I will discuss later) and the day after, I read another one (ditto) which covered another aspect of competition. The GER v BRA game was the catalyst for this article, because it made me realize what the World Cup (and indeed all sports) really are: improvised drama. They’re TV dramas, they’re stage plays, and the difference between sport, e-sport, serial drama, even film and suddenly seemed non-existent. The World Cup is the Breaking Bad or Mad Men of sport. It is the top-tier entertainment that, if you’re not watching it, you at least know a dozen people who are.