“My cousin Helen, who is in her 90s now, was in the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. She and a bunch of the girls in the ghetto had to do sewing each day. And if you were found with a book, it was an automatic death penalty. She had gotten hold of a copy of ‘Gone With the Wind’, and she would take three or four hours out of her sleeping time each night to read. And then, during the hour or so when they were sewing the next day, she would tell them all the story. These girls were risking certain death for a story. And when she told me that story herself, it actually made what I do feel more important. Because giving people stories is not a luxury. It’s actually one of the things that you live and die for.”— Neil Gaiman (via jaynestown)
Before John Green, his general category of realistic (non-fantasy) YA was rife with teen angst and “issues” fiction that you might have associated with the legendary Judy Blume, or with newer writers like Sarah Dessen or Laurie Halse Anderson. Anderson’s classic 1999 novel Speak, about a high schooler struggling to deal with the aftermath of sexual assault, was so influential that three years later Penguin launched an entire imprint named after it. One of the books launched under the behest of Speak was Green’s Looking for Alaska. But it’s Green whose name you’re more likely to know today, not Anderson’s, although Anderson has won more awards and written more books.
On Twitter, Green has 2 million followers. Compared to the rest of the leaders in Young Adult fiction, that number is staggering. To approach even half the Twitter influence of John Green all by himself, you need an entire army of YA women. Anderson, Blume, Dessen, Veronica Roth, Cassandra Clare, Richelle Mead, Margaret Stohl, Kami Garcia, Rainbow Rowell, Maureen Johnson, Malinda Lo, Holly Black, LJ Smith, Ellen Hopkins, Shannon Hale, Lauren Myracle, Libba Bray, Melissa Marr, and Leigh Bardugo: As a group these women only have about 1.2 million followers on Twitter. That’s the voice of one man outweighing several decades of women who have had major successes, critical acclaim, and cultural influence.
This is really interesting, but John Green is also an internet personality. Hank has over 300k Twitter followers, also more than the authors mentioned, but he isn’t an author. It’s because he’s an internet personality. The Vlogbrothers have 1.8 million subscribers….
So this brings up a good point how maybe because John is male, the media and the public is more likely to praise him as an author. But using his Twitter stats isn’t the way to go about proving that, because combine his readership and his online following, and I’d be surprised if he didn’t have more Twitter followers than other authors. Also, having such a large online following has exposed his books to HOARDS more people than the averagely successful author. People who watch the Vlogbrothers who maybe don’t even read much YA in general, are more likely to pick up a John Green book because they like him as the person they watch on the internet.
“I will love you forever; whatever happens. Until I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I’ll drift about forever, all my atoms, until I find you again.”—Phillip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass (via aristochronism)
Here’s my theory. The Harry Potter trio are actually representations of the other houses. Hermione is Ravenclaw. Ron is Hufflepuff. Harry is Slytheryn. They’re all in Gryffindor because they asked. In fact, everyone in that house could have been in another house if they hadn’t asked to be in Gryffindor. You have be ask to be in Gryffindor because their most defining feature is bravery and anyone can choose to be brave.
I came out as a queer during football practice when my coach was like “son, you’re having trouble throwing straight” and I replied “I’m also having trouble being straight”. It got very quiet and then coach just shook his head and said “throw the damn ball, Cooper”
HAHAHA HOLY SHIT WE WERE LOOKING AT PICTURES OF SURGERIES IN CLASS AND ALL THE GUYS WERE HOOTING AT THE SLICED BREAST ONES AND THEN THE TEACHER SWITCHED TO A PENIS PIC WHERE IT WAS CUT OPEN AND SOME 300LB JOCK DOUCHEBAG FAINTED RIGHT OUT OF HIS CHAIR BOYS ARE WEAK BOYS ARE FUCKING WEAK
you mean to tell me
that there was a god damn CUT OPEN BOOB
AND BOYS WERE STILL SEXUALISING IT
FUCKING MOTHERFUCKING FUCK DOES NO ONE SEE HOW FUCKED UP THIS IS
Dumbledore judges the people he works with based first and foremost on how loyal they are to him. Not because he thinks he’s all that, but because, as I said, he views people as game pieces, and you can’t have your game pieces acting up, can you? He values his pieces. He wants to advance and protect them. But he doesn’t want them running off beyond his sphere of influence and doing their own thing. I think there’s something very ambiguous about Dumbledore’s habit of seeking out desperate, socially outcast people and doing them one or two huge favors that leave them bound to him for life. Remus, Hagrid and Snape all fit that pattern, and Trelawney and Firenze appear to join the ranks in OOP. It kind of makes me wonder what Dumbledore has done for Fletcher, Moody and Shacklebolt.
The members of the Order appear to have pretty much internalized Dumbledore’s view of things. They view him not only as their leader, but as their conscience. Hagrid believes everything Dumbledore believes, and would never question or disobey him. Snape doesn’t seem to believe what Dumbledore believes, but still toes the line until the Occlumency lessons in OOP push him beyond his breaking point. In GoF, Snape’s most emotionally vulnerable moments are the ones where Fake!Moody suggests that Dumbledore may not trust him. Remus, confessing his sins in the Shrieking Shack in PoA, feels guilty not so much because he endangered lots of innocent people, but because he betrayed Dumbledore’s confidence. “Dumbledore says…” is the running refrain on pretty much everyone’s lips throughout OOP — except for Harry and Sirius, whom Dumbledore has effectively abandoned.
Speaking of Sirius, Dumbledore’s attitude towards him now begins to make more sense. (For an excellent discussion of Dumbledore’s treatment of Sirius, see this post by darkkitten1. No reason for me to rehash her arguments here.) The problem with Sirius is, he’s not loyal to Dumbledore at all; he’s loyal to Harry. From Dumbledore’s point of view, it’s as if he’s playing wizard chess, and one of the knights suddenly decides that he doesn’t care what happens to the king, he’s just going to take care of that little pawn on the left. So Dumbledore does the only thing he thinks he can do — he sticks his recalcitrant knight into a safe, isolated corner of the board and keeps him from making any moves. Perfectly sensible and strategically sound, as long as you don’t expect your game pieces to have any pesky emotions or psychological issue that need to be taken into account.
Okay, okay, I’m going to tell you what Hermione sees in Ron.
A trio is a balancing act, right? They’re equalizers of each other. Harry’s like the action, Hermione’s the brains, Ron’s the heart. Hermione has been assassinated in these movies, and I mean that genuinely—by giving her every single positive character trait that Ron has, they have assassinated her character in the movies. She’s been harmed by being made to be less human, because everything good Ron has, she’s been given.
So, for instance: “If you want to kill Harry, you’re going to have to kill me too”—RON, leg is broken, he’s in pain, gets up and stands in front of Harry and says this. Who gets that line in the movie? Hermione.
“Fear of a name increases the fear of the thing itself.” Hermione doesn’t say Voldemort’s name until well into the books—that’s Dumbledore’s line. When does Hermione say it in the movies? Beginning of Movie 2.
When the Devil’s Snare is curling itself around everybody, Hermione panics, and Ron is the one who keeps his head and says “Are you a witch or not?” In the movie, everybody else panics and Hermione keeps her head and does the biggest, brightest flare of sunlight spell there ever was.
So, Hermione—all her flaws were shaved away in the films. And that sounds like you’re making a kick-ass, amazing character, and what you’re doing is dehumanizing her. And it pisses me off. It really does.
In the books, they balance each other out, because where Hermione gets frazzled and maybe her rationality overtakes some of her instinct, Ron has that to back it up; Ron has a kind of emotional grounding that can keep Hermione’s hyper-rationalness in check. Sometimes Hermione’s super-logical nature grates Harry and bothers him, and isn’t the thing he needs even if it’s the right thing, like when she says “You have a saving people thing.” That is the thing that Harry needed to hear, she’s a hundred percent right, but the way she does it is wrong. That’s the classic “she’s super logical, she’s super brilliant, but she doesn’t know how to handle people emotionally,” at least Harry.
So in the books they are this balanced group, and in the movies, in the movies—hell, not even Harry is good enough for Hermione in the movies. No one’s good enough for Hermione in the movies—God isn’t good enough for Hermione in the movies! Hermione is everybody’s everything in the movies.
Harry’s idea to jump on the dragon in the books, who gets it in the movies? Hermione, who hates to fly. Hermione, who overcomes her withering fear of flying to take over Harry’s big idea to get out of the—like, why does Hermione get all these moments?
[John: Because we need to market the movie to girls.]
I think girls like the books, period. And like the Hermione in the books, and like the Hermione in the books just fine before Hollywood made her idealized and perfect. And if they would have trusted that, they would have been just fine.
Would the movies have been bad if she was as awesome as she was in the books, and as human as she was in the books? Would the movies get worse?
She IS a strong girl character. This is the thing that pisses me off. They are equating “strong” with superhuman. To me, the Hermione in the book is twelve times stronger than the completely unreachable ideal of Hermione in the movies. Give me the Hermione in the book who’s human and has flaws any single day of the week.
Here’s a classic example: When Snape in the first book yells at Hermione for being an insufferable know-it-all, do you want to know what Ron says in the book? “Well, you’re asking the questions, and she has to answer. Why ask if you don’t want to be told?” What does he say in the movie? “He’s got a point, you know.” Ron? Would never do that. Would NEVER do that, even before he liked Hermione. Ron would never do that.
”—Melissa Anelli THROWS IT DOWN about the way Ron and Hermione have been adapted in the movies on the latest episode of PotterCast. Listen here. This glorious rant starts at about 49:00. (via karakamos)