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[personal profile] deeplyunhip
I'm feeling like I'm not terribly behind on everything today, which is an unusual feeling for me lately. In any case, this means it's poll time. :D

[Poll #1730409]

I have one more class on Saturday morning and then I will be finally be able to enjoy a much-needed Spring Break from classes as well as from tutoring. I'll be using most of the break time to finish all schoolwork possible and go wild on the job search, of course, but it's still needed, especially because rehearsals start going into overtime next week. Hard to believe this show opens in just three weeks.

Date: 2011-04-15 05:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
BRAVE NEW WORLD! My favorite dystopian narrative ever. I can talk about it for ages, but I won't, unprovoked.

I also read Zamyatin's We, which I think is considered the first dystopian narrative.

My favorites of the ones included are A Clockwork Orange (I LOVED puzzling out nadsat, language geekery yay! and, OK the dysopia was pretty good too), and Lord of the Flies, and Blade Runner (the director's cut). I also really liked The Handmaid's Tale, and The Minority Report (the movie) kind of stuck with me for life with the eyeballs scene. I'm pretty sure you know the one!

And I love that you have Wall-E on the list. I mean, it totally should be, but, you know, in a "one of these things is not like the others" way, which is great.

My first English class in college was actually focused on dystopian narratives, and was taught via a combination of novels, film, and the occasional poem and play, paired together in some but not all cases. Of the ones listed, we read The Handmaid's Tale and watched Blade Runner, and A Clockwork Orange was on the list of backup texts that we had to read outside of class and write an essay on. We also read The Illuminati by Larry Burkett, which is the absolute worst book I've ever read. It was paired with The Handmaid's Tale as an example of didactic dystopian fiction from opposing narratives (Burkett's envisioned future is -- warning for highly offensive content one where a weak female president allows a half-Jewish, half-Arab Antichrist -- he is literally the Antichrist -- to come to power in the US, and they start putting Christians in concentration camps and encouraging the birth of crack babies so they can be harvested for organs. I might be mixing some things up, but I am not exaggerating one bit. /offensiveness It was also abysmally written from a character, prose, and everything else standpoint.) We also watched the movie Tank Girl, Pink Floyd's The Wall -- which I think was paired with "The Waste Land" -- and both read Richard III and saw the movie adaptation of it with the WWII-ish setting, the one with Ian McKellen. It was an awesome class!

Have a great spring break! (even if it sounds like it'll be a pretty busy one anyway)

Date: 2011-04-15 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
if you people played Rune Factory you would not pick Raven. Kim forgot to write down the fact that she is a Grade A asshole. She doesn't want people to get close to her so she treats everyone like shit. Not attractive quality.

Also, she doesn't mention how amazingly sweet Karina (the lazy one) is. She also trusts you and your opinions more than the others and 'accidentally hilarious'. Still though... I love my sadistic little witch Marian. <3

As far as bad news goes. I get more upset at tragedies I can control (Ouch, I cut myself or dropped the jam). I tend to accept everything that life throws at me very quickly and am fast-acting in the face of disaster... and to be perfectly honest, excel to the point of feeling bad that I excel so well.

That being said, if Kim died, I'd probably just lay down and never get back up.

Date: 2011-04-22 05:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, it's hard to describe everything about all the Rune Factory ladies perfectly in something like a poll. I definitely didn't do Pia's awesomeness justice, though I guess to be fair a lot of it has to do with her infectious sing-song voice.

Hahah, I must admit that I was initially surprised to see the "acceptance" option picked by you, thinking of things like the Super Marios Bros. game we had to stop playing...:P

I don't know even know how I'd react if you died. Let's make a concentrated to effort to avoid not being alive, okay?

Date: 2011-04-15 10:10 pm (UTC)
chacusha: (Default)
From: [personal profile] chacusha
+1 on Brave New World. Well, actually, I'm not sure I liked the book very much (dystopian stories in general just... aren't my thing). But heck it's one of the few I've actually read, and it is pretty fun to talk about.

And... that really disturbing dystopia example you gave is exactly why I tend to dislike the genre -- I don't like books that are really just bashing you over the head with the author's politics, made worse by the fact that the author is using scare tactics in order to make you panic about the direction society is headed. :|

Edit: And actually, even WALL-E made me go ":|" for that reason. I know this wasn't the intention but the portrayal of future!America as consisting of giant obese people dependent on a fictional Wal-mart and too plugged into advertisements to even pay attention to each other, just sort of jarred me out of the story.
Edited Date: 2011-04-15 10:14 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-04-15 10:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't like books that are really just bashing you over the head with the author's politics, made worse by the fact that the author is using scare tactics in order to make you panic about the direction society is headed. :|

I agree with that, actually -- and that aspect of Wall-E bugged me a fair bit and lessened my enjoyment of the movie -- but I think a really good dystopian narrative is one that's more complex than that.

Actually, the reason I like Brave New World best is that I feel like it's one of the few "sustainable" dystopias -- ones in which the majority of the population is happy and I could see it as a functional society, rather than just the horrors that would happen if we continue on our current trajectory or Those People come to power -- and also because it's not a unilateral political treatise/attack.

Personal story time! I actually read BNW first in Russian translation, and it seemed like a pretty straightforward indictment of the rottennest of capitalist lifestyle of consumerist excess and moral decay and imerialist oppression. Then I read the book in the original -- and realized that the Russian translation had SERIOUSLY downplayed the parts of BNW that made references to/criticized the communist/socialist aspects of the background worldbuilding while playing up the consumerist excess and moral decay and imperialist oppression. Like, Lenina? The way her name was transliterated in Russian had as little to do with Lenin as possible. Bernard's last name (which is Marx) was mentioned ONCE in the Russian translation and never again. And other stuff like that, too. All this sensitized me in my rereading of the book, so I paid close attention to both original and translation, it's one of the things I find neatest about BNW is that the dystopian society depicted therein is clearly rooted in both Western capitalism and in socialism.

I don't know, for some reason the "Future's going to suck regardless" message is one I find a lot more palatable than the "Future's going to suck if They get their way" message of a lot of other dystopias.

Date: 2011-04-18 04:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was about to shout "Brave New World!!" until I saw two others had already told you. And Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang is another one I love, but it's a lot more obscure. Those two, plus Fahrenheit 451 and The Giver are just about my favorite books. Oh, and I think multiple Kurt Vonnegut books would count as dysutopias..Galapagos is great, and Cat's Cradle. I'm a big fan of the genre, as you can see. I sickeningly like depressing stuff.
I've seen the movie The Road and have slooooowly been reading the book, but I can't seem to get myself to just finish it already. I think it has to do with knowing little actually happens. And knowing what does. Oh, and I checked Children of Men, but I don't think it left me with too much of an impression. Minority Report and The Matrix, however, are both great.

As for the animal one, I guess as a vegetarian it's strange to say I wouldn't not eat any animal, but I don't think I'd so much discriminate. I find it weird that there are these taboos against eating certain animals, but others are fine. Though something like an ape would be harder, knowing they're so close to humans and so intelligent. In any case, I see nothing wrong with eating an animal for necessity, in a humane way. Though it would be tough for me to do.

Date: 2011-04-22 04:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love Cat's Cradle and Galapagos as well - I have no idea why they didn't come to mind when thinking of dystopias. :X Though I think it has something to do with the general ideas of the books sticking with me more than specifics of any "society" or similar thing.

I find it weird that there are these taboos against eating certain animals, but others are fine.

I find this weird, as well. Especially with how widely the taboos vary across different cultures. I would also have more difficulty eating other primates than other animals, I think, though, for the reasons you mention.

Date: 2011-04-21 03:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, I think that's one of the main factors behind Minority Report sticking with me, as well. And as for WALL-E, I agree - it's definitely the outlier. XD

The Illuminati sounds like it's a book that would only BE published in a

Thanks for the good spring break wishes!

Oh and, P.S. I give you full permission to give me a (spoiler-free) pitch for why I should read Brave New World (after I finally have time for checking out the Discworld books you suggested, naturally ;).

Edited Date: 2011-04-21 03:49 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-04-15 06:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know I should say I would eat anything to live, but I figure I could make it one more day on sheer willpower, and...I just don't think I could kill certain things, I really don't.

Date: 2011-04-22 06:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There's no "should" answer. I'm just interested to see everyone's different thoughts. :) I'm sure there are plenty of people who feel the exact same way.

Date: 2011-04-15 06:47 pm (UTC)
ext_92749: Lina Inverse of The Slayers (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Eek, this poll makes me realize just how poorly-read I am in the dystopian genre. I recognize all of those titles but have read hardly any. XD

Date: 2011-04-22 06:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, wow, I'm really surprised that you haven't read The Handmaid's Tale especially. And The Giver is like the original YA dystopia! Please feel free to take anything up there as a suggestion for an awesome reading time. ;)

Date: 2011-04-15 08:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This reminds me that I think the word westeroast should be used in a brillaint way someday.

Date: 2011-04-22 06:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Also, your answers in the poll have convinced me that we should roast each other some time in our lives (maybe as bachelorette parties?? or retirement parties?? or something??) because it would be beyond hilarious and beyond great. :D
Edited Date: 2011-04-22 06:58 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-04-15 10:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
As for dystopian fiction (ugh, 1984 and Farenheit are always in my "should really read this" but I never got around to do that :|), my write in candiates are - off the top of my head - Gattaca and V for Vendetta. Oh, and also Watchmen! But mainly V, I love it something fierce, it's one of my favorite comics ever if not THE favorite - so I guess that's why I can't bring myself to care much for the movie, though it's not bad per se.

Date: 2011-04-22 07:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What are some of the differences between the comic and the movie version of V for Vendetta? I thought the movie was interesting/entertaining enough, but I never read it, sooo, yeah.

As for Gattaca...never heard of it. Care to share what's awesome about it? :D

From: [identity profile]
Gattaca is a movie starring Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman and Jude Law. Basically it's set in a future where genetic engineering has made the birth of "perfect" people possible. This basically creates a class divide between people born the natural way and those who are the result of eugenics. Hawke's character is natural-born and has a heart condition that is likely going to kill him before he hits 30, and makes him unsuited for the space program he dreams of joining. So he buys the identity of Jude Law's character (blood and urine tests included), who is genetically flawless but became disabled after an accident. Then there's Uma Thurman who befriends/falls in love with Ethan Hawke at the space program. Her genetic profile is considered "valid" but only barely so, so in a way she is right in the middle of the genetic class divide. This is the premise, then other things happen :) I haven't seen this movie in ages but I still recommend it, I found it fascinating - not to mention visually very pretty.

As for VfV... well, aside from the usual problems with adaptations - compressed storylines, secondary characters being cut, etc., which is understandable - the comic was more radical, in a way that probably wouldn't have been acceptable in a post-9/11 film, so again, I can see the reason for the change, but I can't help but feel the movie is a bit bland in comparison. But most of all I guess I was bothered by V and Evie's characterizations. Comic!Evie is little more than a child, poor, scared and kept ignorant by the regime. Meeting V is less about her gaining political awareness than it is about her coming of age story. I'm not saying that's entirely missing from the movie, but film!Evie just feels like a different character to me most of the time. She's an adult with a respectable job and her "issue" is that she tries to fly under the radar and live her life instead of directly opposing the regime, but that's pretty much it. Again: it's a valid choice in the context of the movie, and I think that such a character represents the majority of people living under oppressive regimes, so it's an interesting POV to explore. But with the comic in mind, to me it feels like movie!Evie just had to climb a few steps to get to her final evolution, while her comic counterpart had to climb - if not crawl, in the beginning - up the whole staircase. It just goes straight to your guts, in a way that the movie never quite achieved for me (though the Valerie letter scene is appropriately heartwrenching even in film form).

V himself is more ambiguous and less nice in the comic, and his relationship with Evie reflects this... while I feel in the movie it was more distinctly romanticized, telling too many things about V when he is supposed to remain kind of an enigma. Etc. etc. haha, I have So Many Feelings about this book, I read it first at an impressionable age and it shows, I guess!
From: [identity profile]
What you call "tl;dr" I call "answering the question(s) in an awesomely thorough manner". ;)

Gattaca does indeed sound fascinating, as hard as it is to believe that someone as gorgeous as Ethan Hawke is not one of the genetically superior elite. :X I'm putting it on my mental "things to see" list, for sure. :)

And yeah, changing the entire personalities of the two main characters - I can see why you have issues!

Date: 2011-04-16 12:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I just finished Margaret Atwood's "Oryx & Crake" - I highly recommend it!

I love dystopia. Must. Read. Moar!

Date: 2011-04-22 11:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Okay! I absolutely adore The Handmaid's Tale, so I'm definitely putting that on my mental to-read list.

I tend to like them as well. :)

Date: 2011-04-16 02:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love dystopias probably more than is entirely healthy. Although I cracked up at the end of Soylent Green, which I still feel a little bit bad about.

Ooh, I kind of want to play Rune Factory now. *adds to birthday list*

Date: 2011-04-22 11:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aw, I love them too, whatever. If they're well done, the experience can be quite a fun mix of thoughts, emotions, and (some sort of distorted) wonder.

Rune Factory is awesome, so yes, great idea! :D I already married Pia but I'm still playing every now and then cause you can apparently have kids after a (game-time) month of being married, as well. :P


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