Just a snippet from my Flies essay.
I think a lot of commentary on the book focuses on this depressing aspect—humans can enter paradise and make it hell for no good reason at all—but there’s another, less-commented on aspect, and it’s the latter that interests me.
It’s simple: It is not a story about Jack Merridew.
Sure, Jack’s a force of (human) nature, and his actions drive the story, but the story is, in the end, about the bewildered, good-natured Ralph, who starts out not terribly different from Jack, but instead of allowing himself to be led into wildness, he adopts the mystical, wise Simon and the stubbornly rational Piggy as his advisors. He watches helplessly as the boys’ society falls apart around him, and he is partially corrupted, but at a crucial moment, he understands this.
That is the central message of the book, the bit of hope that lies in it. While Piggy is a sympathetic character, he is, in the end, blind (symbolized by his need for glasses, which should come off as trite, but somehow doesn’t). But the two characters who truly escape the utter degradation are Simon, who is never tempted, and Ralph, who repents. What they have in common is a willingness to see what’s real.
So, I exercised. I cleaned the cat box. I'm going to try and go to bed on time. And I've challenged myself to a drabble-fest at Patreon (fiction tier, if you're interested in playing the home game). 100 words a day. I managed NaPo last April. I think I can do this better than NaNo, where I was supposed to be doing a coherent novel. I just used a generator to list 31 random words, which I will attempt to drabble about.
Also, I will get back to "Call Me A Fool." I just feel like I took a wrong turn. (And that no one really cares that I took a wrong turn, making me pull a little melodramatic sigh of anguish. ;p)
So, on one of my closed Facebook groups, someone shared a meme that boiled down to "girls don't want boys, they want to have adventures and be good at things." (And, just to get it out of that realm, I'm pretty sure it means "don't want romantic relationships," so I'm sure it applies to relationships with girls as well.) And it's been irking me, because... why are these two things put in opposition? Why shouldn't you want both? I feel like I grew up my whole life being told, "Don't want a relationship... you need to want an adventure and to find yourself!" Well, here I am at almost fifty. I never had time for an adventure because, you know, bills and rent and student loans and stuff. AND I never bothered putting effort into the thing I was told not to want, because smart girls don't want to waste their time on that. This just seems, in retrospect, like it might not have been the healthiest worldview ever. How about, "Girls should want what's important to them to want"?
I've just been feeling like I wasted most of my youth trying to get to some insane idea of independence that does not exist in the human species, because people told me that women who sought relationships were wasting their lives somehow, and I believed that if I was going to be anyone who mattered, I had to prove I could stand up with no one at all to help. This is... just so harmful. Why did we decide to do this?
So, I was over at YT, clicking through recommended videos just starting randomly in Disney (princesses re-imagined as modern girls). There was a whole vid of artists reimagining Disney animals as human. AND NO DANTE!!!!!!
I mean, really. I liked Frozen and thought Tangled was awright, but I was obsessed with Coco from ten minutes in. Where's the wacky fan art of Dante as a human? What about Héctor and Imelda in the modern world? (I mean, I'm sure it exists, but why isn't it in the videos? Where are all the listicles? The only listicle was one listing the "hidden" meanings of the various endings which... gave the actual overt meaning of the text as presented so, seriously, huh?) There aren't even many proper Funko pops. This movie beat Avengers in a very large country. There must be a toy market! And art! And... :sniff: Why doesn't everyone love what I love? It's not right.
(J/K, I know, I know. Their bread and butter is princesses, and no one can wear Miguel's signature outfit without appropriation, and his other outfit is... you know, clothes. So nothing sparkly. But the guitar! THERE COULD BE LOTS OF TOY GUITARS. I mean, yes, they exist, but no one is talking about them. Why isn't anyone talking? They're talking about older movies. And Dante as a human would be adorbs. And I want Imelda's dress, dammit.) Almost no one is Disneybounding these guys. WHY????? It's not FAAAAAAIIIIIIR! ;p There's more stuff about @)#&$&*$# WRECK IT RALPH.
Waah-waah-waah. Poor Fern. The movie she likes will have to settle for being a box office juggernaut and and Oscar winner.
(The thing is, I know lots of people like it. When we put up the ofrenda at the library this year, lots of people whispered--in an embarrassed sort of way--that they finally understood the holiday because of, "Well, um... you know. There was a movie." (Look around, make sure no one is watching.) "You know, a Disney...")
I'm not abashed. I even told a teenager that I write Coco-fic. (Response: "Yeah, yeah, it's a mood." Which, translated to my generation, seems to mean, "I feel ya.")