Monday, 6 February 2012

Stupid Cupid

For 2/3 of this world, the 14 of February is synonim of romantic dates, perhaps at sunset in the fanciest restaurant in town, with a box of chocolates and/or flowers in her hand, and love cards on their bed table. Little birds singing, a light breeze to play with her hair, and Minnie Riperton's "Lovin' You" in the air. He belongs in her arms, and she belongs in his.

Picture courtesy of Google Images
For the rest of people, people like me, this day's just bullshit. But it's not just one more day in the calendar. It's a torture, a laugh in the face to those individuals that are single. In Peru, February 14th is actually called "The day of love and friendship", so nobody really is left out from the celebration. This, my dear friends, is also what I call BULLSHIT. You can include what ever you want in the definition of that day, but it's not going to make single people stop feeling bad because they don't have a significant other.

I HATE Valentine's Day because people that never go out, or never show their love for their partners anymore try to compensate the whole year in one day.
I HATE Valentine's Day because couples fill restaurants, parks, movie theatres, clubs, hotels and what not to the max, and prices double up. If you happen to be a smart human being that sees 02/14 as another day and HAPPEN to go out that evening, you-are-screwed.
I HATE Valentine's Day because it makes single people feel bad for not being in a relationship (even those people that feel great about the single life any other day of the year). Just because your best friend happens to be in a relationship by that time, society makes you feel like a loser.
I HATE Valentine's Day because is a disgusting Marketing strategy to sell you that box of chocolates, that love card, those flowers, that Valentine's movie that you buy. An invention to take your money again. Like Christmas is not enough.
I HATE Valentine's Day because it's so-called the Day of Love, and in my opinion, there is not a higher insult to love than that. Love is not a DAY. Love is everyday. Love is not only to your boyfriend/girlfriend. It's also to yourself, and nowadays so many people don't truly know that. That you can't expect to be loved if you don't love who you are first.

So, where will I be on February 14th? At my boyfriend's, eating dinner that we made ourselves, celebrating that we found each other; but mostly celebrating because it IS an important day for him, and Love is also about making your better half happy. If it makes him smile, it's all what matters.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

My intimate gathering with The Hunger Games

A few weeks ago I finished reading The Hunger Games trilogy. I've heard of people reading the three books as little as 15 days! I read slowly, and finished them in a month and a half. Still a record for myself for three books! Back in the day, I remember finishing reading Harry Potter 4 in four days!

It took me a while to start reading The Hunger Games series because I considered them "teenager books". Probably as cheesy and desperate-for-surreal-love as the Twilight series (can you guess I'm not a big fan?). But my younger sister had been reading them for school, and told me how awesome they were and made me promise her I was going to read them. A promise is a debt, so after a year of dragging the subject, I finally picked up the first book. The first 3 chapters were a bit boring for my taste, but after I kept reading, it became better and it grew on me as an obsession. Before I could take a moment to reflect the first book I had already grabbed "Catching Fire", the second one. I needed to know what happens later! By the time I finished the last book, "Mockingjay", I had cried my eyes out so many times, laughed like somebody just told me the funniest joke, started grabbing my blanket on my bed really hard as consequence of the suspense, even screamed when something absolutely surprising happened. I lived the book like I was right there. Even to this day, I can't stop thinking about it.

I have to confess that I sank into a mild depression after the first book. There is a developing romance between the principal characters (yes, it has romance in it, shame on me). Katniss and Peeta are both sixteen years old, and when Peeta confesses his love for Katniss the whole story changes. Later in the first book you will discover that Peeta had been in love with her since they were little kids. And I thought: "I don't remember when was the last time I felt like that". That need of holding on to something forced me into a introspection that I couldn't control. Luckily, the end of the series were higher than my expectations, so even though I still think about the book, there is no bitter taste of an unsatisfying finale.

So before I ruin the whole storyline for you, let me tell you in general lines what it is about.
Liam Hemsworth stars in The Hunger Games. Girls, first row!!
In a post-war Earth, there is a country called Panem, which it used to be North America. Panem, which main city is the Capitol, is divided by 12 districts: District 1, District 2, District 3, and so on... 74 years ago, the population of Panem decided to rebel against the hostility and tyranny of the Capitol. They lost, resulting in the extinction of District 13 and the creation of the Hunger Games, a reminder to the fallen of the omnipotent power of the Capitol. These games consist on picking randomly a boy and a girl between the ages 12 and 18 from each district, called tributes, and send them to the Capitol where they will be thrown into an arena and will have to fight for their lives. The only way to get out of there is to kill everybody else. There is only one victor. The whole event is, by the way, televised and viewed by all Panem. Pretty much as what we know nowadays as a "reality show" (Hello "Big Brother", "The Biggest Loser"?) It doensn't sound so bad, but the trick is this: the Games Makers, creators of every Hunger Games arena, have deadly strategies to force the tributes to kill each other and not hide until God knows when. The longer the games take, the less sponsors the event obtains (they even have sponsors for kids killing kids!!), and the Capitol doesn't want that.

I've heard of another Japanese book/movie that has a similar concept, called Battle Royale. It has been made a movie as well as the Hunger Games (premier March 23rd, 2012). If you are curious, check it out and tell me about it LOL But personally, the Hunger Games are amazing. Last book that made me feel this way was 'The Godfather' (by Mario Puzo), 7 years ago. I definitely recommend it! =)