Category Archives: On Media

Everything about media of all types.

Skills I Learned from House Hippos

I have a confession to make. It is a terrible confession. Sometimes, nay, often, I consume media which contains positive discussion of things I don’t believe in.

*shocked gasps*

*looks of horror*

*people fleeing in the streets*

How dare I watch something which contains hints of sinful behaviour or discussion of alternate worldviews? Well, the trick is to not be mindless.

Don’t be mindless. It seems simple enough. Just actually think about what you’re reading or what you’re watching. It’s like that commercial about house hippos (which you can find on YouTube, if you’ve never seen this work of art).  Media should provoke you to think and to form your worldview, even if you end up forming it in opposition. I have trouble turning off my brain, and I love to analyse people, so this is easy for me. I can pull out interesting tidbits or questions from almost anything I watch or read, and I enjoy it.

It’s not that there aren’t things I read or watch purely for enjoyment, like watching a clean comedian or reading kids’ books (which I enjoy on occasion). However, media has great purpose, and it just so happens that it is also a huge part of my life. I love to read. I love stories, both telling them and hearing them. I love seeing how people react to stories and how something like that can shape their life. And I will read, or watch, and often appreciate, something that does not fall directly in line with my own beliefs. There are three reasons for this, which also are three benefits, which also are three personal exercises and ways of looking at the media you take in.

#1: Cultural Understanding and Relationships

a) I live under a rock. For an example of this, I will provide you with an anecdote. I learned the difference between Chris Pratt, Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth in… December? January? Because my sister actually convinced me to start watching Marvel movies. Before that, we got a Chris Pratt action figure in at the store (from Guardians of the Galaxy? I think?) and my co-worker wanted to buy it. A couple weeks later, I, foolishly, asked her “hey, do you still have that Chris Evans figure in your bin?”. Her: “It’s Chris PRATT! How do you not know this?” Me: “There’s like at least three of them. How am I supposed to keep track? I live under a rock!”

That is my story. Point being, I really don’t know most celebrities, but if they play a character I like, or are in a movie or show I really enjoy, I will probably know their names and faces. Now I know parts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I have a greater cultural understanding with which to relate to, say, my co-workers, my sister, and people I know who really like superheros. I might be able to recognize someone in a magazine in waiting rooms, even if the magazine is dumb and/or full of lies and slander. This leads into sub-section

b) forming relationships can be hard, especially when you don’t have much common ground with a person. You build most of your relationships off of a common experience, like working together, or the fact that you both like skiing, or the fact that you both know the bride. A story, whether it’s Shakespeare or Supernatural, is like an artificial shared experience. We’ve never met, but we’ve both seen Jessica Jones, and now we can talk about that. It’s a beginning. Stories are a lot of my conversation starters. I don’t have to agree with a character to talk about them. In fact, if I don’t, maybe it’s a better discussion.

#2: Challenging Myself

Anyone who has ever done a sport knows that challenge makes you stronger. Say Lacey, our hypothetical friend, tells me that she wants to run a half-marathon. This is an excellent goal, Lacey. It’s certainly better than my fitness goals. However, Lacey isn’t much of a runner, so she’ll have to train. We set a smaller goal: run thrice around the track without stopping. Lacey begins. Now she has two options: remember, she’s really not in shape, so this could be difficult. Either she can stop, or she can finish it. If she stops running and gives up, then she wasn’t terribly invested in her half-marathon goal. If she finishes it, next time will be easier. And easier, and easier, and then she can run longer, and faster, and one day she can run a half-marathon, because her body is strong.

My body is not strong.

This idea of challenge applies to your ideas and beliefs, too. If we lived in a world where nothing we believed was ever challenged, we would still believe that the sun goes around the earth. My Mum likes to tell about how, when we were little, we all thought that pure cocoa would be the greatest thing, so she let us try some. Turns out pure cocoa isn’t that delicious. This is also a challenge: she set our idea against something tangible, and is turns out we were wrong.

Sometimes I watch something that I know beforehand I will disagree with, or I read a book because it will probably have an opposing viewpoint to my own. I just enjoy a challenge. My life, now that college classes are over, consists of working retail and sitting at home reading. Every once and awhile I go out and see people. But if it weren’t for the voracious way I consume books, TV shows, blog posts, and TED talks, I would be bored. Instead, I take something in, and then I take my time to process the opinions presented. I contrast them with my own. I do a bit of research, sometimes. Then I can find out if maybe, I was thinking about this one way and I would prefer to take another look. Sometimes, I decide I’m still right. In some situations, I live in the uneasy middle ground where I’m still looking for answers. But in any of these situations, my beliefs and ideas are stronger because I have investigated them. They aren’t based on ‘this is what I’ve always been told’ or ‘this is what I read in a Facebook opinion post with zero actual references’, and they start to be ‘this is what I learned reading source material’ and ‘after taking in multiple viewpoints on this matter, I find my values aligning with this perspective’.

This does not only happen with non-fiction. This can just as easily happen with fiction, where I might be forced to ask ‘is this a just war?’ or to say ‘I know Natasha Romanov is supposed to be a good guy but also she’s an assassin; what do I think about that?’. These are the hard questions of life.  

I spend a lot of time pacing around the kitchen, eating peanut butter toast and carefully forming arguments and counterarguments. Or, occasionally, angrily forming counterarguments, but I try to keep my anger to my lonesome pacing, and bring my calm, rational side into human discussion. Which leads to our last point.

#3: Dealing with Difference

[This sounds like a catchy title for the curriculum materials for a grade three conflict resolution class. This section may read like a grade three conflict resolution class.]

Look, there are two truths we need to acknowledge. One: The world will never be perfect. To anyone. Until the end, when the world has passed away and we’ve all settled into our eternal life, we will have to live (and probably die, too) in an imperfect world. Nobody will get to look at the world and say ‘this is perfect, I wouldn’t change a thing. Everyone agrees exactly with my way of thinking and the laws enforce it.’ I’m sorry, that’s just how it is. Two: you can’t just ignore or walk away from everyone that disagrees with you on something. You will find it very difficult to keep friends if you do. I’m a little bit socially inept, but I know that much. Sometimes you will disagree on little things, like whether Tangled is better than Frozen, and sometimes it will be bigger things, like religion or politics. But if you want to have healthy relationships, you have to figure out how to navigate these things.

So, the question becomes: ‘how do I live in this imperfect world? How do I interact with these people when they don’t accept everything I believe as the unquestionable truth?’ Well, my friends, it’s difficult. As a culture, as a group as well as as individuals, we are doing terribly at this. Look anywhere on the internet and you can see people behaving like elementary school children who aren’t getting their way, complete with name-calling, insulting people’s intelligence, and using the excuse ‘it was just a joke’. YouTube comments are renowned for this, but it also shows up in blog comments, and in comments sections on news sites, which presumably is where the adults are. These places are like a ‘what not to do’ manual for civilized discussion.

All these things said, I often practise my ‘Dealing with Difference’ skills when I’m consuming media. These skills do take practice, because we don’t like it when things don’t go our way, and – I was going to say we don’t like it when others are wrong, but perhaps I should rephrase. We do like it when other people recognize our superior knowledge. But they are necessary skills.

Skills like ‘How to not automatically walk out on someone when they express an opposing opinion’. When I’m reading blog posts or watching videos, this may mean that I read or watch to the end of an article without plotting what I would say in response. These are listening skills, the ability to believe that other people, who are different from you, might be valuable, and their thoughts and experiences are worth your time.

‘How to know when is an appropriate time to start a discussion and when you should let something lie.’ Especially online, many places are not a good forum for rational discussion. Some places are, but you have to find the right community, and you have to abide by their rules. Places with rules of engagement are much better for this, because they encourage you to follow the same rules you would in in-person interaction, like ‘be polite’. I play ‘know the difference between a video meant to spark debate and a video meant for a community to agree with’. Like music videos. A YouTube video that’s just a place to hear a song: not a place for argument. You don’t have to go to a concert if you don’t like the band’s message, and you don’t have to finish this video either.

‘How to find commonalities between yourself and others.’ For example, take the character Captain America. There are some things we disagree on. Cap is a fighter, and he kills people. I don’t think that’s right. Another of Cap’s well-known character traits is that he doesn’t like bullies. I, too, try to operate on the foundation that we should be kind to each other instead of tearing each other down. From that basis, we might be able to come to an understanding of each other, should I ever meet Captain America. This is closely related to

‘How to find reasons and ways to respect others even if you don’t always agree.’ Like Hank Green and I do not share religious beliefs, and sometimes I watch a video of his and find myself disagreeing. But I think he does a lot of great educational work online, and he encourages people to be curious and to pursue their passions, and he’s intelligent and funny and generally kind to the community formed around him and his brother. All of these are things that I respect, and I think he’s someone I would like to know.

So, I’ve given you three things. Three reasons for watching or reading something that expresses a different viewpoint, or even displays behaviours I don’t encourage in a positive light. If I am not a passive consumer, then my habits can not only not be harmful, but can be actively beneficial, encouraging me to think about what I believe and understand it, to learn how to deal with it or engage on the topic, and to go out and talk about it. I think that, for most people, the things that they object to in any given media are things that are real world issues, like violence, sexuality, and politics. Being a mindful consumer is a good way to learn, and developing the skills and knowledge to understand and navigate issues is essential. I highly recommend picking  up something difficult and/or controversial this summer.

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Posted by on June 16, 2016 in On Media


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A Letter to Jack

I have never before written a fan letter. But the Blogging 101 assignment today was to write with someone in mind. This may not be what they had in mind, but I do think it still reaches out to my target audience as it is about reading and writing. 

To Mr. Lewis,
It has been a long time since I first discovered your books. They were my introduction to the world of fantasy, the first books I wished I could stay in forever. I still remember coming to the end of The Last Battle and laughing with delight, doing a cartwheel across the living room. Yes, it made me cartwheel. I read that particular book over and over, finding myself quoting along with Lucy to repel Tash as he stood in the barn glaring down at Tirian.
And I just want to thank you. Thank you so much for setting out the story of Narnia for the world to see. I hear it all started with a picture of a faun with an umbrella – and Tumnus remains an iconic figure of Narnia, representative of all the brave creatures we can encounter there. The world would be much poorer has Tumnus never encountered Lucy in that snowy wood.
I would be very different. For when did I first learn that a story can be more than idle amusement, if not when I read the Chronicles of Narnia? It was Lucy who taught me faith, she who always trusted Aslan, and who knew Him well enough to see Him when nobody else could. Do I have the integrity of Tirian, to confess my sins, and to stand strong for what is right, until the bitter end? Am I as brave as Peter, to follow even when I know nothing of how to begin? And how better to understand redemption and unconditional love than through Edmund’s eyes? In Edmund our own selfishness and temptations are brought to light, and when he is saved we too feel the price of our rescue. How profound, how terrible and yet wonderful was it for me, as a child, to see this comparison for the first time!
Just last night, my sister and I sat down to a new experience of an old story. We put on the Focus on the Family Radio Play of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and listened to it straight through, for two and a half hours. All these things came rushing back to me as I listened. When Beaver first told of Aslan, a thrill of hope and light shot through me. When Aslan revealed Himself, alive again, to Susan and Lucy at the Stone Table, I got a feeling like a building, laughing roar, the kind I imagine Aslan gave as the girls chased Him around the table. Your friend Tolkien speaks of the word eucatastrophe, and I think the ones in your books are some of the best ever (if we don’t include their real life counterparts, obviously).
While we’re here, I would like to express my admiration and appreciation of your other works as well. Mere Christianity, which I read this past year, gives such a clear picture of things that I before struggled to explain. Screwtape forces us to consider the war we are in. The Space Trilogy, which I have not yet finished, intrigues me and I look forward to reading more of it.
Mr Lewis, you cannot know what an impact you have had on me as a writer myself. You have challenged me to know the Truth, and to ensure that in everything I do I reflect it well. I am sure that my writing will not do half so well as yours, but I can at least do well by the small gifts that are given me.
So, thank you, so very much.

P.S. I would like to know what happened to Susan, in the end.


Posted by on July 9, 2015 in Blogging 101, On Media


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I’m here today to show you something that is both awful and awesome. I know this blog isn’t seen by a ton of people and those who see it are mostly family and close friends. But I want you to see this. Go to tumblr or twitter or Instagram and search the tag #familydontendwithblood

Let me explain. First off, for those who don’t know, Supernatural is a much-loved tv show about two guys who hunt monsters and go through a lot of angst. It, like many other shows, movies and books, has a large group of fans known as the ‘fandom’. Some people who read this are going to be like ‘we know this’ but some aren’t so I’m doing my best to explain quickly.
Fandom nerds… we’re a bit strange. I’m not as big a fan as many people are- if you think you’ve seen fangirling from me, you’re wrong. But, as I said, we’re strange. Lots of us take refuge in the media we so avidly consume. We may not have a lot of friends or a solid family life. I’m very lucky in that I do have a family and friends who… put up with my strangeness. Many people find that in their fandom, but not in real life. They confide in their friends on the internet, and sometimes these people have things that they need support in -depression, self-harm and self-esteem issues (who wouldn’t feel a bit down about themselves when they can’t find somewhere to fit in? It’s a common feeling, not fitting in anywhere).
Now, I’ve always found it beautiful that people can do that. I rarely confide in my internet friends, but I’ve seen people receive immense support and encouragement from their fandom buddies and I’ve seen people use the media and stories that they love to encourage people and keep them going. But in the past few days I’ve seen that taken to a whole new level.

People who don’t use social media a lot are more familiar with the idea of cyber bullying than that of internet friends. It’s one of the things we were always warned about in school. And we’ve seen in in action before -we saw it take the life of Amanda Todd. This story is also a story about bullying.

I was going through my usual fandom tags (Supernatural, Doctor Who, and so on) on Boxing Day when I came across an unusual number of pictures of people writing on their arms, and also a few notices about bullying. I only use Instagram, so I had no idea what had been going on all day on tumblr. Curious, I followed the tag #familydontendwithblood. And, through a bit of tumblr-searching and reading, I found out what was happening. A small group of people were sending anonymous hate messages to vulnerable people in the Supernatural fandom. They used their own posts against them- things they had told their friends, issues they had asked for support for. People ended up in hospital because they hurt themselves or tried to kill themselves. From what I can see, people may have died. Whoever was sending these messages was encouraging them to harm themselves, was preying on their insecurities. It was horrifying to come to the realization that this was happening as I watched.
But something gorgeous was happening too. The writing on the arms that I had seen was the tip of the iceberg as to what people in the Supernatural fandom were doing to counter these attacks. “Family don’t end with blood” was what they were writing, on their wrists, some of them over their own self-harm scars. And they were sending each other messages, keeping each other updated about who was being attacked and then sending them a flood of encouragement and love. They were doing their best to keep track of each other and help each other protect themselves. I saw other fandoms jumping in, too- attack one, and you attack them all. People were leaving themselves open to talk online anytime, creating safe spaces. And they were calling each other ‘family’.
It gave me the chills, seeing something that epic (and by ‘epic’ I mean ‘huge’) come together. People from all over the world were reaching out to each other and lifting each other up, working to convince people to live. And it was focussed on themselves, not on their attackers. People were encouraging safety and sending love.

From what I can tell, this is still going on, smaller now but present, and with plans. Of course, with everyone jumping in and everybody trying to figure things out, it’s all a little confused. Still though, people are pulling together, trying to warn and protect each other, loving on each other however they can. The way I see it, this isn’t just a terrible example of cyber bullying or a wonderful example of the internet bringing us together and doing great things. I think it’s more an example of how the internet is real life. There are people who will try to hurt you, and there are people who love you. But now, both sides have some new tactics and weapons. The issues we see on the internet aren’t just something happening in an imaginary non-place, a ‘virtual reality’. They’re having a real-life impact on real-life people to the same degree that offscreen life does. It’s not all bad or all good, just like real life is. The important part is to try to be a part of the good, in any little way that you can.

Family doesn’t end with blood, and it doesn’t have to end at your computer screen, either. Are you communicating? There’s a living, breathing person at the other end.

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Posted by on December 30, 2014 in On Media


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On Celebrities and the Common People

My awesome friend and I often have some strange conversations at work, and we challenged each other to write on a couple for our blogs. The first thing we wanted to write about is how people act around celebrities. You can read her take on it at her blog:

Please picture in your mind that one famous person that you really want to meet (or, if you wish, those many people). Do you respect them? Are they someone whose opinions matter to you? Do you take into consideration their point of view on current world events and issues? Do you appreciate their work? Do you believe they have influence?

When it comes to our favoured celebrities, we tend to do all or most of these things. After all, we like them for a reason (the post about that reason is coming, soon). To us, they do great things. They are important, and we respect them. How do we show that respect? By yelling and stalking them.

Pause. For a moment please forget about the celebrity we were just discussing. It’s hard, I know, but it’s important, so do it. Think instead of someone you’re close to whom you love and respect. Maybe your grandparents or a close family friend. Make it someone you know well, who you would answer ‘yes’ to the second-paragraph questions about. Do you stalk them on the internet? Okay, maybe yes to that. Do you scream every time you see your grandparents? Do you stalk them in real life and take weird pictures every time you- never mind, that’s probably yes, too. Creepy pictures are everywhere.

That’s not the point. The point is, when we respect people, we take the time to listen to what they have to say and treat them like real people. Why, then, don’t we do that with celebrities that we respect? Because believe it or not, they are real people too. Yes, maybe they have talents we do not, but so do engineers and I’ve never heard of someone who fangirled over an engineer.

So this is what I wonder. Is it possible for us to meet a celebrity and have a conversation with them about any topic (maybe even the media they are involved in) without turning into the shrieking, clingy creature of death? I wonder sometimes if they would appreciate being treated like a normal person by someone who knows their work and cares about it. If I met a celebrity, I would like to shake their hand, maybe. If I met them at a convention, I would like to have a reasonable discussion about the character that they portray, or something else pertinent. If I met them in the way that you meet strangers who become your friend, or even those who don’t, I would like to talk about the world, or… other things that people talk about. Coffee? Food? Art? Books? The weather? Those things you talk about with people who aren’t famous.

Maybe it’s just me who prefers not to make a spectacle of myself. Maybe I’m the only one who isn’t immediately familiar to the point of weird pictures with strangers. But I challenge you, if you’re reading this and you meet famous people. Next time you do, don’t scream. Don’t attack them. Shake their hand, maybe. Talk about coffee. And may any pictures that involve groping never be posted to the internet. (Sidenote: for those of you who just went “groping? what? !!!!!!” *shock* , this is true. People take very weird and often inappropriate pictures with celebrities. Search a celebrity’s name on your social media of choice and take a look at their tag.)

Go on, be socially appropriate. Take ten minutes off. Give your vocal chords a rest, and treat a celebrity like a human being. I dare you.


Posted by on August 28, 2014 in On Media


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The Great Summer Reading Contest

Today, we’ll have a discussion with my youngest sister about our reading contest. 

*talk show host voice* Hello, everyone, and welcome to this On Media episode of This Door Leads to Elsewhere! It’s good to see you here on the show. In news right now: today is Canada’s birthday. Canada is 147 years old today. Yesterday in World Cup News, Germany beat Algeria and France beat Nigeria. At this very moment, according to Google, Belgium is playing the United States. There is no score there yet. But let’s get on to the topic of today’s show: summer reading!

Let’s introduce my little sister. Kind of. Smallest sister of mine, say hello to the people on the interweb, if they are there.

Hello people on the interweb. My name is Rachel and I like peanut butter and honey sandwiches.

Oookay, then. All together, now. Hello, Rachel. Thank you. So Rachel and I are doing a reading contest this summer. Contrary to what you may believe after reading the title, it probably won’t be that great. In all likelihood, it will only take us a few days. At first, I estimated a week but now I’m thinking five days. What say you, Rachel?

*clears her throat* First of all, you started out by saying you hoped I would be able to finish it by September. I say around 5 days.

No, no, no. That was when I was just making a list of things for you to read. It was a long list. But shall we explain the concept of this contest?

You can.

Okay. Basically, I chose five books and Rachel chose five books. We started reading yesterday, and the first person to finish all ten wins. Winner gets to choose another book for the loser to read. 

Correction, nonwinner. I think loser is very rude and mean.

Whatever, the non-winner, then. This means that Rachel is going to read L.M. Montgomery’s The Story Girl, because she’s almost as fast as me, but not quite.

I am only one book behind you, not even one book. There is still a possibility I might win!!! But Sarah was unhappy about the fact that we did not own the The Story Girl, and she ended up getting it for free on the kindle. So I assume it is quite a good book.

It’s a wonderful book. On par with Anne of Green Gables, which is on the contest list. Really, this is all a ploy to get Rachel to read classics.

I knew that. But I will kindly give you the full list. Pegasus 1, Pegasus 2, Dream of Night, Counting by 7s,  13 treasures, A Little Princess, Inkheart, Heidi, Anne of Green Gables and High Rhulain. That is all ten books and the eleventh for me is the Story Girl. And if I win… you’ll have to wait and find out. (Psst, I haven’t decided on one yet.)

Right now, I’ve finished the first four and Rachel the first three. Well, that is all. If you have any recommendations for my summer reading, please tell. Rachel, say goodbye to the nice people on the interweb.

I didn’t need you to tell me to say good-bye. I’m eleven years old, I know my manners as well as you do. Good-bye interweb. Perhaps I will talk to you again some time.

Thank you for joining me on the blog today.

You are very welcome!

And to all of you out there, have a great day. Hope to see you next time.

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Posted by on July 1, 2014 in Little Adventures, On Media


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The Fault in Our Stars

The first thing I post that will fall under the “On Media” category is about The Fault in Our Stars (henceforth to be referred to as TFIOS because life is easier that way).

Q&A time.

Q: Why? A: Because it’s wildly popular and also because it made me cry.

Q: The book or the movie? A: Both!

Q: But which is better? A: Oh… for once this is a hard question. The book, though, because as all books do it allows for more character development, and we get a bit of a better glimpse inside Hazel’s head. Also, the book allows even more of John Green’s wonderful humour to shine through.

Q: John Green? Are you a nerdfighter? A: Yes. Technically. According to their definition and also *checks just to make sure* according to Urban Dictionary. Although I don’t really do many nerdfighter things. But now I have a blog, which is a start. For more on this, see a later post on the Vlogbrothers, nerdfighters, and other things of that nature. Once I make it.

Okay, Q&A is over because if it isn’t we will get off topic. TFIOS, as I’m sure many people know, is a book about a girl named Hazel who has cancer in her lungs. Her mom makes her go to a cancer support group, where she meets a cancer survivor named Augustus, who only has one leg. The book is their story, and I won’t give away the ending without warning people. The title is from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, and I don’t really need to repeat the quote here as it’s all over the internet and can be found in seconds from your computer at home, if you don’t already know. Essentially, the title is meant to suggest that what happens to Hazel and Augustus is destiny, and there was nothing they could do about it: their misfortune is a “Fault in their Stars”.

I liked this book because not only is it about living with cancer, but it’s about the people who live with people with cancer. Hazel thinks a lot about what will happen to the people around her when she dies. Her greatest worry is about her parents: what will they do once she’s gone? Right now all they do is look after her. At one point she also tells Augustus that she just wants to minimize the damage that her death will cause, and that’s why she doesn’t go out and make friends, that’s why she doesn’t want to get close to people. This worry is also shown in her reaction to finding out about Augustus’ old girlfriend, who died of cancer, and in her preoccupation with what happens to the other characters in An Imperial Affliction after Anna dies. I love the fact that John Green manages to showcase the conflict of cancer patients and that of those of us who are left behind through one character, and it’s done beautifully.

Other great thing about the book: Augustus isn’t perfect. Yes, he’s good-looking and charming and kind and compliments Hazel really well. But he’s also really proud, and it’s this flaw that shows through every grand gesture. His life revolves around making an impression: making sure the world remembers him.  It makes him very human, more so than his cancer does, because we all want to be noticed in some way. Augustus Waters is a little reminder that it’s good enough to be important and remembered by a few, and that you don’t have to be noticed by the world to be a great in somebody’s life.

What about the movie? Very well done, that’s what I think. The actors chosen to play the characters did beautifully, and the directors did a really good job of getting all the important little things into the movie. In a book like that, which is full of little metaphors and is about treasuring life, the little details matter. My only real arguments (there are two) are a) the absence of Augustus’ dead girlfriend and b) the changing of the last few lines. Those were done with so much intention that to change them was very Not Good.

STOP RIGHT HERE! If you have not read or watched TFIOS, stop reading. Spoilers are coming.

The end. I love it. I cried when I read it and I cried when I saw the movie. You can’t change it. It’s so sad and yet it’s so important that Augustus dies when he does because that is real. Just like Hazel loves An Imperial Affliction because it so accurately describes her life with cancer, to the point where it ends in the middle of a sentence, I think that we would not love TFIOS so much unless it accurately reflected life. In life, death doesn’t come when it’s convenient. Death comes before we’re ready. That it’s Augustus that dies ties up Hazel’s loose end about what will happen to the people she’s going to leave behind. It shows her that life will continue without her. The symbolism in her last words (“I do, Augustus, I do.”) in response to Augustus’ hope that she liked her choice to be with him is beautiful and I love what it says about the way we choose to love someone. In our culture today we so often choose to love superficially but the allusion to a marriage in the last words shows that Hazel chose to love Augustus completely and to dedicate her short life to him. For me, this is an example of what love and marriage is supposed to be about.

All together, a great story. Funny, sad, insightful. Deep. It doesn’t just have some deep quotes, the entire book is like a well of human thought and emotion. Everything in it seems meaningful. You come out of it feeling like you’ve lived a bit more. John Green has made Hazel’s life so real and made Hazel so human, that you can’t help but relate to her. Well done, sir.



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Posted by on June 17, 2014 in On Media


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Fashion X Film

Spectrum Educational Services

Engaging Life Issues Autistically


revealing my inner narrator


Where I keep my knit hats, my mommy eyes, and my writing muse

Zounds, Alack, and By My Troth

A tragical-comical-historical-pastoral webcomic by Ben Sawyer