GET TO KNOW ME MEME: 1/5 female characters » Skyler White
"As an actress, I realize that viewers are entitled to have whatever feelings they want about the characters they watch. But as a human being, I’m concerned that so many people react to Skyler with such venom. Could it be that they can’t stand a woman who won’t suffer silently or “stand by her man”? That they despise her because she won’t back down or give up? Or because she is, in fact, Walter’s equal? But I finally realized that most people’s hatred of Skyler had little to do with me and a lot to do with their own perception of women and wives. Because Skyler didn’t conform to a comfortable ideal of the archetypical female, she had become a kind of Rorschach test for society, a measure of our attitudes toward gender.” -Anna Gunn
"And how hard is it to land even a minimum-wage job? This year, the Ivy League college admissions acceptance rate was 8.9%. Last year, when Walmart opened its first store in Washington, D.C., there were more than 23,000 applications for 600 jobs, which resulted in an acceptance rate of 2.6%, making the big box store about twice as selective as Harvard and five times as choosy as Cornell. Telling unemployed people to get off their couches (or out of the cars they live in or the shelters where they sleep) and get a job makes as much sense as telling them to go study at Harvard."- "Why Don’t the Unemployed Get Off Their Couches?" and Eight Other Critical Questions for Americans (via seriouslyamerica)
I think that Original Airbenders confirmed the suspicion I’ve had for a long time; that Kya and Bumi really do not understand what it means to be in Tenzin’s position.
Kya goes on about how there were “like a million guru’s, why would I even remember one of them like c’mon” and “that long, boring tale who the heck cares about that amirite”, while Tenzin is trying to teach his new students essential knowledge about his culture, stories he has studied and memorized years ago, probably. Meanwhile Bumi doesn’t concentrate or care to do the hard work, and even pokes fun at Tenzin’s teaching methods - yes, Bumi might be “a natural leader” while his brother isn’t, but Tenzin was never a leader by choice, he never had that choice.
Everything Bumi and Kya are off-offhandedly dismissing is something Tenzin grew up having to learn or would have taken upon himself to learn out of assumed responsibility. He was never a part time member of daddy’s culture, he could not neglect the boring stuff that didn’t suit his liking - because if he didn’t memorize each and every Guru, who on earth would?
Keep in mind that it was Kya and Bumi who last season went on and on about how they felt excluded from the air nation and wanted to be part of their father’s legacy. It seems suggested that neither of them have really done that much to be part of it, really be part of it, to the extent Tenzin had to. It might have something to do with not feeling welcome in their childhood, that’s a possibility, but regardless I don’t think they at all understand what being ‘the last airbender’ has meant to Tenzin his entire life.
Training with dad wasn’t just goofing around on fun vacations. It was long field trips to all the air temples, and learning everything about their culture and history including the boring stuff. It was realizing that your father bore the colossal grief that only a sole survivor of a genocide can understand, it was being included in that grief and understanding you alone had the responsibility, the ability to give dad hope for the future. It was studying and training endlessly. It was boredom and memorizing long stories and facts. It was worrying and stressing about whether you’d ever be good enough. It was anxiety and distress when you realized that there were some things you would never do sufficiently (and that there was no one else to have your back). It was sacrifices and end relationships and loneliness and trying to fit into a path in life thrust upon you, not making a life that suited you.
That is perhaps my favorite thing about Bumi gaining airbending, because while it is true that Tenzin idealized Aang and the legacy he left him, I don’t think he is alone in that. I think that Kya and Bumi have no idea what Tenzin has gone through, why Aang gave him ‘special attention’ and that both of them needs to get an insight into Tenzin’s reality before they can really say they want to be part of it.