Skip to main content



There are five factions everyone gets to choose to count part of. One of them dresses in modest clothing, and are deathly afraid of over-spicing their food for fear of sin -- Abnegation, of course. They look showered … which is about their only physical difference to what lies outside the factions -- the homeless, who've gone whole-hog destitute. When choosing day comes, they hope their children will choose their clan, even when they'll be baited with the Dauntless, who are totally bad-ass and own the streets, and Erudite, who are essentially the officer's club, absent the brandy. Since the parental bond is a nest of sympathy the society seems bent on showing it can rape, at the moment of choosing kids really do feel like they've got a choice -- and so of course flee their parents' pathetic asses left and right. Their parents pretend they're happy, which is hard to do, after being raped, and so just look like they've just been.

The main protagonist Tris chooses Dauntless. If she doesn't perform well in her initiation, she'll fall blow the bar and join the homeless. Half the recruits in every faction, that is, will quickly follow their enthusiastically being embraced by their faction at the moment of their choosing, by being dumped down the garbage shoot. Something about them shows that, if they'd been in on this, it wouldn't have daunted their pleasure and gratitude one bit. Tris starts poorly but gets better and is counted in. If I remember correctly, we're spared seeing the bottom half dumped down the shoot, and forced to work retail or something. Tris actually gets in barely, but actually she's the best there is: she's not aptituded for any particular class, but for all of them. She's got a lateral mind; she's divergent.

At this point you have to wonder how she could be friends with anyone but other divergents, because the way divergence is shown means everyone else is autistic -- great at mathematics, say, but completely dumb outside their genius. I mean this; in one of her tests a landscape is on fire and she's being attacked by birds, and she jumps deep into water -- this would be divergent for a Dauntless to do, for a reason that isn't entirely clear. In an other, her glass cage is filling up with water, and she contrives to break the glass, which is something, again -- divergent, even though it was more forthright than the pause-and-assess, make-your-clothing-into-counter-its-original-purpose, "divergent" problem-solving actually expected. Truth is being divergent looks an awful lot like not cooperating, something more childishly truculent than exceptional. But anyway, sex would for her be with the 4/5ths lobotomized, which should be more ucky than child-sex. Good thing the victim of child abuse she falls in love with is actually a divergent as well, or things would have compounded deep into the ghoulish. 

Last part of their training is that they need to show they can shoot their parents straight through the head. This will show they're undaunted. They all apparently are able to do this, with the most empathic of them needing only to look away when they nevertheless shoot bullets through their craniums -- they're equivalent to the more emphatic Nazis, that is. But it's okay, because the only parents we see shot are the ones from Abnegation, who, truth be told, probably are unconsciously pleading to be put out of their misery. They. are. afraid. to. spice. their. foods -- and they chose this! Of course they want to be put out of their misery.

But the reason all the members of Abnegation are actually on route to be slaughtered by some conniving Erudites and their legions of drugged Daunted stormtroopers, is because they look so damn vulnerable. It's foremost why all their kids fled them -- they join the two overly phallic groups, physical or mental "muscle," and feel like they've spurned all their own troubling child vulnerability for good. But just to be sure, it's best to dispatch Abnegation out of the faction system altogether, through death, which they get about doing, or by just dropping them down a slight notch and having them joining their fellow rags on the streets. 

Don't know about the film yet, but the book is apparently very popular. Ah, our glorious future!

Gee, I wonder if we should stay with this drab group of pathetic forlorn?

Or jump ship as fast as possible ...

And be this?
Or this?

Hmmm ...


Popular posts from this blog

Old Youth

You write about how poverty breeds creativity. You think about how scavenging for wild food gives you the perfect opportunity to slow down, to really appreciate your surroundings. You talk about how frugality is more environmentally sustainable. You pontificate on why creating meals from scratch is cheaper, healthier and deeply satisfying. Then you run out of cooking oil.You love fat. As a child you ate margarine by the spoonful. You didn't know any better. Now you've moved on to more delicious pastures. As a cook you can never resist sneaking in that extra bit of butter, that tablespoonful of olive oil, that dab of bacon grease. You believe that cake is a vessel for frosting, that salad dressing should be two parts oil to one part vinegar, and that packaged low-fat foods are a symptom of the decline of Western civilization. Fat makes food taste good.Under the best of circumstances, you have eight or nine varieties of fat on hand. In ascending order of importance: chicken drip…

Superimposing another "fourth-wall" Deadpool

I'd like to superimpose the fourth-wall breaking Deadpool that I'd like to have seen in the movie. In my version, he'd break out of the action at some point to discuss with us the following:
1) He'd point out that all the trouble the movie goes to to ensure that the lead actress is never seen completely naked—no nipples shown—in this R-rated movie was done so that later when we suddenly see enough strippers' completely bared breasts that we feel that someone was making up for lost time, we feel that a special, strenuous effort has been made to keep her from a certain fate—one the R-rating would even seemed to have called for, necessitated, even, to properly feed the audience expecting something extra for the movie being more dependent on their ticket purchases. That is, protecting the lead actress was done to legitimize thinking of those left casually unprotected as different kinds of women—not as worthy, not as human.   

2) When Wade/Deadpool and Vanessa are excha…

True Detective cont'd

Recently, Rachel Syme wrote this
As the dust settles on the “True Detective” finale, and the adventures of Rust Cohle and Marty Hart fade into the television firmament like the distant stars they found so meaningful, at least one thing is clear: it didn’t quite end the way we wanted it to. There is no doubt that the writer, Nic Pizzolatto, and director, Cary Fukunaga, pulled off a midseason coup, giving us a show in the January doldrums that caused temporary mass insanity. Like one of Rust’s intoxicating philosophical koans about sentient meat, “True Detective” cast a kind of spell over its viewers, convincing them that no matter what it was they were watching it was at the very least something worth the hours of debating, clicking, parsing, and comment-section feuding. Moreover, the gorgeous cinematography depicting Louisiana in the gloaming, the delectable short-anthology format, and the movie-star bona fides made us believe that we were watching something novelistic, even approachi…