“The Fox is telling you to shut up” – Emara Fletcher

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“The Fox is tel…

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Why is being feminine lesser than?

Before I go any further, yes I am perfectly straight. Now that we’ve got that cleared up, lets talk about what really matters here.

Game of Thrones is one of my favorite TV shows because of all the amazingly complex characters involved. I love how nobody is black or white and I love how the grey area is something that TV and film is looking at more and more these days. But, the fandom of GOT,in my opinion, doesn’t seem to grasp this concept. The biggest example of this I can find is the way the fandom treats Sansa and Arya Stark. G.R.R Martin wrote Sansa and Arya to be like two sides of the same coin, much like Cersei and Catelyn were written. Sansa is the feminine character, brought up on fairy tales, and Arya is more interested in living the life of her brothers. Arya’s tomboy nature makes her ‘cool’ whereas Sansa’s feminine traits makes her lesser than. People consider Sansa passive and useless. Well, first of all, let me make one thing clear – Arya wouldn’t survive a day in Sansa’s shoes. Why? because she simply isn’t as politically savvy as Sansa is. Sansa manipulated everyone into thinking that her loyalties lie with Joffrey. Right now, between Arya and Sansa, I would like to think Sansa has a much higher chance of actually killing him.

The fandom’s hate for Sansa makes me wonder if you guys would’ve still hated her if she preferred wearing pants instead of dresses. Probably not. Because, in today’s society, you need to be a tomboy to be a strong female character. To be considered equivalent to a man, you need to be more like a man, and to be honest, that is one of the most convoluted mindsets I’ve ever come across. Stop looking at choice of dressing as a testament to how strong a woman is. If a woman can go through everything Sansa has gone through and still have the will to survive and the thought that one day, things will get better, she is the strongest woman I know.

Please stop judging a book by its cover. I, for one, know a certain female who dresses in the girliest of clothes and yet, if you go and tell her that she’s ‘passive’ because of it, she’ll have you crying in your sleep. Be warned.

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Hey guys! Hope you’re having an incredible weekend! I for one, wanted to spend today sleeping, but, Emara decided we should go to Dave and Busters over at Philly because that’s the coolest under age place there (her words not mine). So I did go and it was…..fun? OK, it might’ve been a bit too loud and crazy (I am a ninety year old at heart), but, I made lots of new friends and people watched like crazy!

Weekend Fun!

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Why be positive?

Emara, one of my friends from college , read my first blog post and was fine with it until she got to the part where I said I liked positive thinking. She, a self proclaimed ‘realist’ began quizzing me about why I wanted to take the trouble of thinking positive, why I wanted to tell myself a stylized version of the truth. 

The answer is simple – I have no choice.

“But Charlie”, I can practically hear you guys say, “you can be a pessimist or worse, a realist.” That’s true also. Sure, I can be a pessimist or a realist, but the thing is, I choose not to. I know I’m contradicting myself, but hear me out. I was born in a lower middle class family. I have two loving parents and one awesome younger brother , but, my extended family was intense to put it mildly. Almost all of them were drug addicts or alcoholics. Some of them even count going to jail as a rite of passage.  Why? Because they couldn’t see beyond their income. They couldn’t see beyond the fact that they couldn’t afford the best cars or clothes and that they couldn’t walk through Melrose Place without feeling like an outsider. The felt that their life was never going to go anywhere satisfactory, so, they succumbed to depression and inevitably to drugs and alcohol.

I’ve been exposed to the addiction sub culture ever since I was a kid. I still have vivid memories of my uncle coming home late at night, eyes dilated and speech slurred, demanding for more money from my mom. He would try and hit her sometimes too. Once my brother and I got old enough, we would stay up late to make sure my uncle wouldn’t come through the door and ruin what little peace we had. I had to grow up fast and if I’d chosen to become a pessimist or a realist, I knew I had a huge chance of becoming my uncle. If I started noticing the fact that any major authority narrowed their eyes when I said my last name or looked at me suspiciously due to the fact that I looked like my uncle, I would’ve been miserable. If I would’ve acknowledged the fact that I was denied opportunities in LA because of my family, I would’ve started hating my life. Positive thinking almost became a defense mechanism for me. Positive thinking keeps me away from the life of drugs and alcohol.

Sure, being optimistic is hard most of the time. Its hard to see the bright side of things. As a famous interaction in Avatar:The Last Airbender goes:

Katara: Are you calling me a liar?

Sokka: No, an optimist, same thing basically.

And yeah, it does feel like I’m lying to myself sometimes and it is hard to go on thinking like that. But, at times like that, I try to think of how optimism has helped me. I mean, here I am, the first person in my family to go to college. I wouldn’t have been here if it weren’t for my annoying optimism. So lets just say, I’m too far down a road to turn back.

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Hi there!

Or because I am now a resident of Philadelphia, yo! (Is that even right?)

And to be perfectly honest, I’m not actually living in Philadelphia, more a college town that’s ridiculously close by. That doesn’t mean though, that Philly’s culture hasn’t penetrated every pore if this seemingly normal town. In the past few days, I have been offered more peanut chews than humanly possible to eat, been harassed over my lack of knowledge of Philly slang (who calls a sewer ‘culver’ anymore?) and been given looks of sympathy and horror when my vegetarian-ness forces me to decline a Philly cheese steak. And the drinking. Never forget the drinking (what do under age kids do in here anyway?)

I’m under age too, for the record, so I am not engaging in Philly’s vast beer culture. I’m studying Psychology in the University in aforementioned college town. My name is Charlie Hartman and I’m originally from Los Angeles. So why am I in a small University in a small town and not in some UCLA or USC you ask? I can’t really answer that to be honest. I guess I was looking for a change of scenery. I’d like to think I’m a small town guy at heart. Big cities leave me feeling emotionally and physically  drained . I like living in places where the community feeling is strong and where I can get to know people and not just see blurs of them as they speed walk by me, with cell phones in their hands. Also, there’s the fact that I’m studying Psychology and small town people are usually messed up ( according to cable TV), so I can practically see the dollars in my bank account.

I chose Philadelphia because I’ve always been intrigued by this place. I’ve loved the culture ever since I saw a state profile in my eighth grade geography class. It also seemed like a great way to people watch. So, does the place live up to my expectations of both small towns and Philadelphia? So far, yes. I love this place! I love how nice all the people are, I love visiting the art museums on the weekends, I love the food (even though my vegetarian-ness limits my options as illustrated above) and I love how loud the place is. I think I’ve found where I belong and I couldn’t be happier.

Some of my interests include positive thinking, being a gentleman (why does a guy have to give his jacket only to a girl he likes, he should be giving it to anyone who’s cold dammit), listening to people and rock climbing (one of these is not like the other). After I’ve come to Uni, I’ve really begun to enjoy studying too!

I guess Philly is a new adventure, a new landscape to conquer and I am so ready and so excited.

Keep positive,

Charlie

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