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  1. PixieJane commented on Calvin and Hobbes about 1 month ago

    Sorry, no. I was tired yesterday and got mixed up reading your comment and I think I mixed it up with other stuff that I shouldn’t try to explain this early in the morning. (If you’re being “cute” then stop it.)
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    Hunger Games is similar to Battle Royale but made into a chick flick (focused on Katniss with her relationship with her sister, mother, and special boys). Both are easily googled (save time, just google Hunger Games). But a super simple (TOO simple, it’s much more complicated than this) explanation is that society is divided into districts impoverished by an oppressive government and to gain food, meds, etc, then one has to enter the name of kids of a certain age into a lotto for a death match.
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    In addition to the “usual elements” that appeal to its target audience I think it’s popular because it proves such an effective metaphor for the extreme competitiveness that many kids are pushed into by parents and schools or their life will be over, and they’re even to compete against friends for the college spots or what have you. Contrary to popular belief (of EVERY generation yelling at the kids to get off their lawn) the kids aren’t being coddled and spoiled, there are high expectations put on them and in the USA many go to schools that are more like juvenile detention centers (and you can also fail Kindergarten) than what most of us older people had to put up with (and yet despite this they still have the same problems with bullies and other dangers plus school shootings so common that schools now have workshops at the schools on what to do should it happen to them) plus their budgets are slashed (while still paying for extra security plus administrators), and meanwhile kids are pretty much treated with contempt by most adults (just as they are in the Hunger Games). Boys seem to like it somewhat as well (but they prefer movies like the Avengers), though perhaps they’re simply glad to not be dragged to more Twilight movies. ;-)

  2. PixieJane commented on Calvin and Hobbes about 1 month ago

    I suppose it is. But the relevant part is that Katniss wins Peeta/Josh through her skills, particularly her skill at archery. The princess in Brave was a remarkable archer as well. Archery has popped up in other shows and movies for some reason (plus Hawkeye in the Avengers, but the rest of the archers I can recall offhand were female).

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    It just occurs to me that I saw The Crow when I was 11 and wanted a skateboard like Sarah had in the movie. At 14 my grandmother got me one which was a sweet surprise and very fond memory that I associate with her love despite that she disapproved of my tomboy ways. And as it was such a powerful present to me I refused to give up and was tenacious at mastering it until even some boys took to calling me “Thrasher” (the only girl I knew of back then to have such a nickname), and my confidence and pride didn’t come from the skill I developed so much as the tenaciousness and determination it took to develop it (that is, the climb itself more than being on the top of the mountain) and in the words of Calvin’s dad it helped me develop character that served me well…even if I did allow myself to be whimsically manipulated by a movie character when I was 11 (on the plus side, at least I wasn’t inspired to use profanity as Sarah did, or worse, be inspired by the more violent characters of the movie).

  3. PixieJane commented on Calvin and Hobbes about 1 month ago

    A lawyer told me more people tried to become lawyers after Law & Order became so popular. And my girl got interested in archery (I’d taken her before but she wasn’t interested in going back) and when I took her back I saw many girls her age suddenly interested in it. Though the kids deny it I don’t believe it’s just a coincidence that movies like Hunger Games (and so many girls crushing on Peeta/Josh Hutcherson, including my girl who had gotten a poster of him) and Brave came out along with some less popular shows and movies they were watching.
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    But it gets really ridiculous as well, like one very extreme case was I heard a couple of Wiccans talking about their “magic addiction” which made no sense to me (and sounded bizarre) until someone told me that was the current storyline of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 6 (I know of an even more extreme example). But most are usually just irksome such as mistaking what happens on TV for real life experience (but they many also mistake all the glurge they get in emails for real life when they should know better, too).
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    The Plug-In Drug by Marie Winn had some very interesting things to say though I didn’t find her convincing on everything (nor am I a “TV is evil” type of person though I am “too much of anything is bad”) but I became a believer on her claim about how TV induced a semi-hypnotic state (especially if watching after exhausted and then drinking or popping pills) after I had a surreal experience where no one remembered the original reason the White House gave for something (won’t say what it was or which POTUS said it as it’s beside the point) so that I wondered if I’d somehow imagined it. Luckily I was able to find the original reason in a TIME Magazine about 6 months back (at the library) and even the librarian hadn’t remembered until she saw the cover. Then I realized that as the reason was very unpopular the White House kept changing it and after a few weeks it came to a reason that the American people accepted and then the news just went with that repeating it over and over while many were in an altered state (or not paying full attention)…and since I didn’t have a TV back then (I read the papers and magazines plus internet at the library then) I hadn’t been lulled into a semi-hypnotic state and therefore I remembered while everyone else had forgotten! It was a creepy experience.

  4. PixieJane commented on Calvin and Hobbes 4 months ago

    Of course they can and they’ve got plenty of other ways to make life miserable for kids when they feel so inclined both legal and shady (subtly letting the bullies know which kids are safe to pick on, for example, though one teacher went way too far and got caught on a phone cam—which, btw, is the real reason phones have been banned from schools after they were costing schools too much in abusive behavior). Though plenty would rather have school security or even the cops deal with even the most trivial problems (even kids as young as Calvin), sometimes I wonder why the cops don’t have a talk or even charge whoever called them to the school for wasting their time or frivolous use of 911. Bringing in drug dogs and pointing guns at kids (and sometimes worse) isn’t entirely unknown because a principal merely suspected pot on the ground (such as the raid at a school in Goose Creek, and despite the draconian measures and school cameras they found nothing).
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    About the only thing they’ll get in trouble for is blatant discrimination but many schools solve that by treating everyone like crap on a general principle, save the jocks of course. Btw, for real fun look into schools using RFID to track students (one in California didn’t even tell parents) and where the FBI investigated a Pennsylvania school because they gave out laptops and then started spying on kids right in their homes (the FBI investigated for possible child porn given what plenty of kids will do in front of a computer) and the school faculty was dumb enough to call one kid’s parents to report unhealthy eating habits in a boy’s own room!
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    (Not meaning to demonize teachers, I sympathize with them as much as the kids, generally speaking, the point is they can do all sorts of things and Calvin got off very light, at least by today’s standards).

  5. PixieJane commented on Calvin and Hobbes 8 months ago

    This reminds me of a guy who told me that he once told his little nephew (about Calvin’s age) that Christmas was canceled because terrorists hijacked Santa’s sleight and crashed it (this was before 9/11) and his nephew ran off screaming and crying to his mom.

    At that moment the guy having a laugh at his nephew’s expense heard his sister (the child’s mother) yelling his name (just knowing he was behind whatever upset the boy) and found he could run from his sister, but not hide. (He wouldn’t tell me what she did when she caught him.)

  6. PixieJane commented on Calvin and Hobbes about 1 year ago

    For what it’s worth, I can share my experience that, for me, the punishment was irrelevant but rather if I respected the said authority figure or not. I never respected my alcoholic parents and the only regret I ever had when being punished even when I actually earned it was “I got caught” rather than “I shouldn’t have done that.” My granny, OTOH, was loving, fair, principled, and consistent, I DID respect her and a mere look of disapproval could make me cry, and with her I’d feel shame at doing wrong even if she didn’t catch me at it. And the very few spankings I got from Granny don’t bother me at all today.
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    Respect shouldn’t be confused with fear. Respect is maintained by walking the talk, living up to their own professed values, being able to give reasons and show fairness and consistency and about any type of discipline can work then. But parents who are “do as I say, not as I do” hypocrites, unfair, and who impose punishment (be it spanking or anything else) based on their own moods rather than the child’s behavior (so that it seems random to the child) aren’t going to have the respect, and though the fear might keep them somewhat in check it will generally only be while in reach (and once a teenager even that might not work, the teen might return violence for violence, too).

  7. PixieJane commented on Non Sequitur over 1 year ago

    If you think that’s bad you should look up when a father hacked his daughter’s Donkey Kong game to make it so the princess saved Mario because she asked him to. She was 3. So many insecure males went ballistic, one even wishing the toddler dead so there’d be one less “feminist” in the world (naturally they confused feminism with gender since technically it would be her father who was feminist, assuming he’d done so for political reasons than out of the love of a father for his little girl).

  8. PixieJane commented on FoxTrot Classics over 1 year ago

    I recall getting spammed with some really obnoxious political letters and magazine offers, fake charities, and worse, all of them very political and/or religious (the bad kind no decent Christian wants to be confused with). One was relentless phone calls to switch to a “charity” phone service (if you define charity as “fighting the gay agenda”) and I had to get EXCEEDINGLY rude (as not even “to the point bluntness” work with them) before they stopped calling me. Not sure if it was coincidence or others my name got sold to but I even got spammed with “prayer scams” (they give you blessed handkerchiefs or something if you send in a “donation”) which at least weren’t political, just sordid (and even a little amusing). But no one else was troubled with such things, and it all went to my PO Box, not my home address.
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    And then I got my friend signed up at the same gun range I’d gotten signed up before the spam started and she got the same exact thing (I’d given my PO Box rather than home address on my membership form to the range as well which is where all the insane spam was being sent). We both talked to the manager there who both denied the range had sold our names to anyone but also couldn’t understand why anyone “who cared about the 2nd amendment would mind.” That was the beginning of the end for both our memberships there.

  9. PixieJane commented on Calvin and Hobbes about 2 years ago

    Not an atheist myself but I do know that most atheists are simply skeptics (as one famous one said, there are many gods that are disbelieved and they just believe one less than than Christians), not that they’re trying to justify doing anything. Plenty of Christians sure have no problem doing the most horrid things and then saying Jesus forgives them so if they just wanted to “avoid responsibility” then they wouldn’t have to reject God, and by claiming to be religious people would trust them more which would make it easier for them to hurt or be forgive by a jury of their peers for “finding Jesus” (creating the true moral nihilism because morality no longer matter, but rather belief).
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    And while atheists have their share of sociopaths right along with the religious they still see actual consequences inherent in THIS life and therefore tend to adopt a “golden rule” of their own (just as nearly every religion has done, especially modern ones). Many such atheists would call themselves “secular humanists” which are run by enlightened values, and you can find such secular humanists helping in organizations like Amnesty International, Save the Children, and Doctors Without Borders (including in Africa where they try to cure the sociopathic evil inflicted on society inspired by religion, typically Christianity and Islam).

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    Therefore I see it as only fair to measure people by their actions and motivations rather than by what gods they believe or don’t believe in (as there are plenty of good people of all faiths & skepticism just as there are rotten apples).

  10. PixieJane commented on Calvin and Hobbes about 3 years ago

    Just out of curiosity, how did you get into C&H?

    I discovered the comic in the library when I was 17 (year 2000) and loved it. I put a copy of one strip in the break room which was really popular with the librarians. Since then I actually bought some copies, though all but one has been stolen. :-(