Monthly Archives: March 2012

Dear People Who Are Complaining About Certain Hunger Games Actors’ Skin Color

Dear People Who Are Complaining About Certain Hunger Games Actors’ Skin Color,

You are entirely ignorant on several levels.

First off, since you had some preconceived notions about what the characters should look like before seeing the movie, I’m going to assume that you have read the book.  Considering this fact, I am shocked at some of the comments that have been made about the race of Rue, Thresh and Cinna in the movie.

Let me clear something up for you: Rue and Thresh were both black in the book.  No, really.  Here’s a quote from when Katniss is watching the reapings in other districts:

And most hauntingly, a twelve-year-old girl from District 11. She has dark brown skin and eyes, but other than that, she’s very like Prim in size and demeanor.

And, again, when Katniss is in training:

She’s the twelve-year-old, the one who reminded me so of Prim in stature.  Up close she looks about ten.  She has bright, dark eyes and satiny brown skin…

And about Thresh:

The boy tribute from District 11, Thresh, has the same dark skin as Rue, but the resemblance stops there.

Suzanne Collins wrote the above words in the very book upon which the movie you’ve been  complaining about is based.  If you are on the side of the few who thought “dark brown skin” meant “tan”, let’s not forget than Katniss and most of the people from the Seam have olive-toned skin.  She would have probably mentioned the similarity rather than emphasizing how dark the District 11 tributes’ skin is.

Also, Katniss explicitly states multiple times the Rue’s stature, her size and her demeanor remind her of Prim – not her actual appearance.  Nowhere is it stated that Rue is blonde, white, has blue eyes, or looks exactly like Prim.

As for Lenny Kravitz playing Cinna, I’ll admit it wasn’t my first choice.  But that had nothing to do with Kravitz’s skin color.

The book does say the Cinna has brown hair and green eyes.  But that’s all.  And, while it would be rare for Cinna to have dark skin and green eyes, it’s not out the realm of possibility, and it’s certainly nothing to complain about.

Quite frankly, I find your lack of critical reading skills appalling.  Beyond that, I can’t believe that this topic has become a springboard for such hateful words to be slung at actors because of their skin colors.  The fact that the actress who plays Amandla Sternberg is black did not affect her ability to act as a charming, adorable and convincing Rue.  Dayo Okeniyi was an excellent Thresh, and it had nothing to do with his skin color.  And Lenny Kravitz did a good job as kind, calm Cinna, even though ethnicity isn’t fully explored in the book.  The actors performed wonderfully and their skin color – whether it was what you had pictured or not – did not affect this.

I hope you all figure this out soon.

Sincerely,

Chelsea

 


Dear Music Hipsters

Dear Music Hipsters,

For years I have pretended to be one of you.  While I haven’t been the type to seek out new music often, I have been inclined to reject popular songs outright in favour of obscure songs sung by bearded, flanneled, guitar-weilding artists in order to appear as if I have a refined taste in music.  Any songs that I am partial to that have ever been played on a Top 40 radio station, I have usually quarantined to the section of my favorite music entitled Guilty Pleasure Songs.  But, no more.

You see, lately, I’ve noticed that my Guilty Pleasure Songs lists is getting longer.  It now has one musical artist’s entire career on it.  Frankly, it’s getting out of control, and recently I realized that it’s because I’m embarrassed to admit that I like certain songs/artists/genres.  This all stems from my life-long desire to be a woman of refined tastes, a woman whose interests include reading classic literature, who knows the difference between classical and baroque music and who has an opinion on which is superior, who routinely chooses Wagner over the Wallflowers, who others consider an intellectualist.

We all have to come to terms with the truth at some point.  As none of the above things apply to me, I suppose it’s best to admit it sooner rather than later.

So, dear Music Hipsters, I’m here to admit a few things about my music tastes.  While I enjoy Mumford and Sons, Slow Club and Florence in the Machine, I also enjoy songs by R.E.M., Duran Duran and Billy Joel.  My most listened to album is Bringing Down the Horse by The Wallflowers.  I have never heard a Taylor Swift song that I haven’t liked.  In fact, “Love Story” made me cry once.  I will unironically listen to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler (though, all music-video-watching is surely ironic for that song).  There is a song called “Simple and Clean” that I discovered (and subsequently loved) because it is played at the end of one my favorite video games.  I enjoy the occasional Pat Benatar hit.  I have listened to U2 for the majority of my life, I don’t dislike Alanis Morisette’s voice and I find “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion to be a vocal triumph that few can mirror.  The Fray, The Backstreet Boys and The Cranberries have all released songs that I thoroughly enjoy.  And, while I prefer Fleetwood Mac’s version of “Landslide”, I will admit that I was at one time in the past six years borderline obsessed with the Dixie Chick’s “Traveling Soldier”.  I even like some songs by P!nk.  There, I admitted it.

It feels good to get that off of my chest after all these years.  I do enjoy the deeper, more intellectual music available.  However, I’m tired of pretending as if I don’t enjoy listening to the shallow, ridiculous stuff too.

Hope you’re all still okay with being friends with me.

Sincerely,

Chelsea


Dear People Who Write/Say “Whip Cream”

Dear People Who Write/Say “Whip Cream,”

It may come as a shock to hear that you are wrong.  The term, friends, is “whipped cream.”  This substance is named in such a way as to describe its very essence.  You see, “whipped cream” is heavy cream that has had air beaten or whipped into it.  It is cream that has been whipped, hence the name.  “Whip cream” is a mondegreen at best and a horrendous abuse of the English language at worst.

Please refrain from using the term “whip cream” any more.  It doesn’t make any sense.

Sincerely,

Chelsea


Dear Health Food Bloggers

Dear Health Food Bloggers (Oh She Glows, in particular),

Slopping food and drink down the side of dishes does not make people want to run out to the store and buy all the necessary ingredients to make whatever recipe you’re hawking.

Seriously, it doesn’t make your food look attractive.

I know many of you have wonderful recipes.  And, yes, even some of the recipes that are represented by photographic proof of your inability to pour out of a pitcher are tasty.  And there is certainly some artistic license in food photography, but you have to make it clear that you’re being artistic.  Instead, many of your photos look like you have the motor skills of a preschool-aged child at nap time.

Maybe you should try taking a sloppy photo and a non-sloppy photo of one dish and asking your friends and family which they would rather eat.  I mean, maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather eat something that doesn’t make me think of a smoothie being smeared all over my hands and arms.

If asking your loved ones doesn’t help, maybe you should consider taking a food photography class.

Sincerely,

Chelsea

P.S. Seriously, Oh She Glows…every time I see a photo on Pinterest of a healthy smoothie and it’s pouring over the edge of the glass, I already know it’s yours.  You might want to invest in some dish towels.