"It's a metaphor" I have no doubt that you completely understand and stand by this statement that the act of putting an unlit cigarette in Augustus Waters' mouth is in fact a metaphor. But for some folks, we don't see it asa metaphor, we see it as situational irony, or a simple statement. Please explain how it is a metaphor.
Well, a character in a novel saying that something is a metaphor is not the same thing as the author of the novel saying that it’s a metaphor. Gus’s intellectual grasp often exceeds his reach (he calls a monologue a soliloquy, and misuses quite a few of the bigger words in his vocabulary). But I do think the cigarette is a metaphor, albeit a different one for us than it is for him.
Gus’s idea is that the cigarette is a metaphor for illness, and he keeps it unlit and in his mouth as an expression of his power over illness. “You put the killing thing between your teeth but you don’t give it the power to do its killing.” Gus’s thinking here is that HE has the power. This is why he tends to use the cigarette when he’s feeling nervous or powerless. (He’s also using the most famous commercially available carcinogen to make this statement, so obviously there’s a connection there in his mind: Humans can prevent cancer by not smoking; cancer is something we can have power over; your job is not to give cancer the power to kill you; etc.)
But of course Gus is wrong about all of this, or at least almost all of it. You may have SOME control over whether you die of cancer (you can choose not to smoke), but in most cases humans don’t have control over illness. “You don’t give it the power to do its killing” imagines more agency over illness than we actually have, because in the end much of the fault is in the stars, not in ourselves. So to us, the unlit cigarette is a metaphor for our false perception of control, and our urgent need to feel in control. It’s no coincidence, then, that when Gus’s life is spiraling out of control and he finds himself powerless before fate, he tries (and fails) to buy cigarettes.
It’s a bit miraculous how much more relatable people are when you think of them this way. I can’t speak for everyone who decides not to have kids, but I know it’s the best decision I could have made for myself. Those of us who opt out of having children often do so not because we take parenthood lightly, but because we take it so seriously.
As you may know, YouTube gives channels the capability of uploading caption tracks to their videos, and these tracks are invaluable to all kinds of people. Captions allow deaf and hard of hearing YouTube users the ability to enjoy videos to the fullest…
“"If it doesn’t feel really deep down in the core of the beautiful person who is asking me these questions right then I’m giving you permission to hold off and wait until you have some more information that will allow you to make that decision safely".”—Dr. Lindsey Doe—one of my favourite YouTubers. This is my favourite piece of advice from her (or anyone in general) as it can be applied to multiple areas in life.
I’ve been wondering this a lot lately, it might be the sociologist in me or it might be the humanitarian. But are we in agreement that following someone around, taking pictures of them, and tweeting what they had for lunch, and who we saw them having dinner with is wrong? Stalkerish?—is that even a word? I’m sure you’re nodding your head in agreement. Ok, so why is it that once that person is a celebrity of some kind it’s ok? When did fame come to mean that every detail of their lives is to be public knowledge and privacy was something that was to be fought for? I’m just curious?
Today, a friend of mine and I while discussing our favourite show, she pointed out that while the actor that plays the lead is (in her opinion, I’m sure there are a few people across the internet that would disagree) not very good looking, he’s interesting. I’ll admit that he isn’t exactly good looking in the rather A-typical definition that the media has constructed, it could be argued that he is (as my friend said) interesting and albeit “sexy”.
This got me thinking, in our ever changing world that is latching onto things that past generations wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole for fear of being labeled a “geek” or “nerd”, we are now not only embracing these things, we we are embracing these labels! With the Nerdfighter community created by the vlogbrothers, John and Hank Green, to the success of shows like the Big Bang Theory, and the Avengers Franchise! So with that being said, in our every changing world, is “nerdy” the new sexy? If so, they were right when they told us on 90’s television shows that the nerds would have their day, so you should be nice to them now.
LGBTQ rights supporters rejoiced on Thursday with news that homosexuality is no longer illegal in Lebanon. A court ruling abolished a case against an unna
Western onlookers have a very firm notion of the trajectory along which LGBTQ rights should advance. That trajectory places trans rights as a clear “next step,” something that can only be achieved once the groundwork has been laid by the advancement of the “L,” “G,” and perhaps “B” contingencies (representing lesbian, gay, and bisexual, respectively). But the Lebanese courts are not following that trajectory. The same ruling that decriminalized homosexuality also formally recognized gender variation and codified principles of self-identification. This nuanced view of the interplay between sexuality and gender identification doesn’t fit with the traditional (Western) “gay rights” narrative, and has resulted in Western media coverage that almost completely silences the critical role a transwoman played in achieving this landmark ruling.
Proclaiming Lebanon’s ruling as merely a “victory for gays” is not only an insult to the trans issues underpinning the ruling, but also whitewashes the Lebanese LGBTQ movement, painting it with strokes more easily digestible by Western consumers. The Lebanese case was not and is not merely a “victories for gays” – it is a nuanced and praise-worthy assessment of gender variance. While critics have commented that the ruling falls short of tangible “rights” for gays, in many ways it also far surpasses mainstream Western understandings of gender identity. And this deserves some press.