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Back to Blogging After a Hellish Hiatus.

I peek my head around the corner, and sheepishly enter this blog post.  My head hangs heavy with shame for the time I’ve spent away, leaving your inquiring minds to wonder what has become of this Treasure Trove.  I know I have a lot of catching up to do, but my mind runs like a river with ideas, if that is any consolation.  But it’s not, though… any consolation, that is.  Because I’m such a slow blogger.
So, where have I been, you ask?  The seventh circle of Hell, thank you very much, but I am back now. The hell known as EXAMS. I had my 4th semester exams and practicals at my Uni. The whole of last month and a half. SOOOO tiresome. But they are finally over so I promise that I will post regularly from now on.
Sorry for make you lot wait. Thank you for holding on for sooooo long.
Lots of love,
ZEEBEE.

What your favorite book tells about YOU?

I always go about recommending my favorite books to people. Forcing and enticing them to read it. This is a habit, I believe, I share with most bookworms in the world. But have you ever thought what this favorite book of yours tells about you?

There’s this saying by Sigmund Freud. He said a lot of crazy things, but one of my personal favorites among his insights, is that the mind is like the city of Rome. Each age has its own architecture, its own monuments, built on top of those from the previous ages. But instead of knocking down those monuments to an older time and replacing them, the mind preserves each landmark. Some, like the Colosseum, are more obvious, while others are hidden in the shadows of Palatine Hill. Even more completely than Rome, each adult keeps the landscape of her childhood intact. If you want to understand that childhood landscape, the foundations on which a person’s life is built, ask her what her favourite books were as a child.

I don’t have the figures to prove it, but I would guess that the most popular children’s story in the world is Cinderella. If I tried to list its adaptions in film and literature just over the past decade, I might just break the internet. Lol. giphy

This should come as no surprise. The story of Cinderella is basically that of a child
unnoticed and undervalued by peers and parent-figures. Her fairy godmother shows up and enables her to unlock her true worth, proving the naysayers wrong and allowing her to achieve the greatness she deserves.

Most children feel undervalued sometimes. And plenty believe that, if only they were seen clearly, or if only they had an opportunity, they could prove that they are more valuable, worthwhile, beautiful, talented or strong than anyone knew. Everyone, at some point in her life, has felt like Cinderella. So, some people will identify Cinderella as their favourite story. But many people won’t. Instead, they’ll mention Harry Potter, or Star Wars, or any of the dozens and dozens of Cinderella stories that dominate our bestseller lists and box offices.

I mean, look at Harry Potter, for instance. We know from the outset that he is ‘the boy who lived’, who survived an attack of the darkest magic from Voldemort and somehow managed, as an infant, to vanquish the greatest dark wizard of all time. So he’s special. Very special. But no one knows it, because he’s being raised by an ignorant aunt and uncle, along with their brutish son (stepmother and stepsisters). But soon, someone comes to rescue him, to take him to the place he’s always meant to be – Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

There is a wonderful passage in which Hagrid, who is rescuing Harry from his horrible aunt Petunia and uncle Vernon Dursley, educates Harry about himself:

‘Do you mean ter tell me,’ [Hagrid] growled at the Dursleys, ‘that this boy – this boy! – knows nothin’ abou’ – about ANYTHING?’
Harry thought this was going a bit far. He had been to school, after all, and his marks weren’t bad.
‘I know some things,’ he said. ‘I can, you know, do maths and stuff.’
But Hagrid simply waved his hand and said: ‘About our world, I mean. Your world. My world. Yer’ parents world.’
‘What world?’
Hagrid looked as though he was about to explode.
‘DURSLEY!’ he boomed.
Uncle Vernon, who had gone very pale, whispered something that sounded like ‘Mimblewimble.’
Hagrid stared wildly at Harry.
‘But yeh must know about yer mum and dad,’ he said. ‘I mean, they’re famous. You’re famous.’
‘What? My – my mum and dad weren’t famous, were they?’
‘Yeh don’ know… yeh don’ know…’ Hagrid ran his fingers through his hair, fixing Harry with a bewildered stare.
‘Yeh don’ know what yeh are?’ he said finally.
Uncle Vernon suddenly found his voice.
‘Stop!’ he commanded, ‘stop right there, sir! I forbid you to tell the boy anything!’
A braver man than Vernon Dursley would have quailed under the furious look Hagrid now gave him; when Hagrid spoke, his every syllable trembled with rage.
‘You never told him? … You kept it from him all these years?’
‘Kept what from me?’ said Harry eagerly.
‘STOP! I FORBID YOU!’ yelled Uncle Vernon in panic.
Aunt Petunia gave a gasp of horror.
‘Ah, go boil yer heads, both of yeh,’ said Hagrid. ‘Harry – yer a wizard.’

whtDc-bmxb_xWhen I first read Harry Potter, I was 11. And when I got to this passage, I had this strong heart wrenching feeling in my heart. The passage still gives me intense feels. This is J.K Rowling at her best, confirming the promise of Cinderella, confirming the unrecognised (but subconsciously felt) greatness inside the child. Rowling is a genius, and her books will one day be in the ‘perennial bestseller’ class with the Bible, because she tells the Cinderella story so well.

When you see an adult who adores Harry Potter, you are likely speaking to someone whose Cinderella fantasy is to transform from a social outsider into a wizard.

In the Dursley house, Harry is oppressed by his aunt, uncle and cousin’s cruelty, just as Cinderella is by the cruelty of her stepmother and stepsisters. But in a brilliant adaptation of the Cinderella trope, Harry is also oppressed by the Dursleys’ normality. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone opens with the line: ‘Mr and Mrs Dursley, of Number Four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.’ It is the Dursleys’ devotion to all things normal that makes them hate Harry so much. He is unable to conform because he is special – his magical powers keep manifesting, inadvertently, driving Vernon and Petunia crazy, and prompting them to punish him with increasingly harsh measures.

Failure to conform is hated. Specialness is hated. Failure to conform and specialness become one. This is the magical adaptation of Harry Potter to the modern world. When you see an adult who adores Harry Potter (me), who proudly tells you what Hogwarts house she is in (also me!), and explains to you the method for determining your own, you are likely speaking to someone who has felt oppressed by the conventionality of her world, and whose Cinderella fantasy is not transforming from an overlooked child into a princess, but rather transforming from a social outsider into a wizard. This is part of the deep psychic appeal of Harry Potter.

So when a child asks for the same book three hundred times, she is telling what she needs to learn, what she needs to come to terms with. Adults do the same thing. Books are psychologists, using imagination therapy to elicit secrets that their readers did not know they kept. We don’t tend to realise what we are revealing about ourselves when we push a book into the hands of three friends. Maybe the bestseller lists, stripped of the fly-by-night entries and dopamine drips, is a snapshot of the national psyche. It might be telling us what we need to learn, what we are coming to terms with.giphy (1)

Yours-in-deep-thought,

ZEEBEE.

P.S. What’s your favorite book then? What does it tell about you? Comment down below. And dont forget to give this a thumbs-up if you liked it. Please subscribe to see more insight into the brain of this dreamer. Byieee!

 

Why I Love Scarlett O’Hara.

Ladies and gentlemen, today I present to y’all the case of the most celebrated and vilified Southern belle to ever grace the silver screen.

 

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I will cut you.

Now, depending upon where you fall in that camp–whether you revere the young woman in question, or cringe at the sound of her name–generally determines your opinion of the film that features her. I have met many a person who cannot bring him/herself to watch Gone With the Wind in full because they so detest the character of Scarlett O’Hara. And this is, to an extent, understandable. I recognize that an alienating character can contribute to one’s perception of the work in which he/she is featured.

But don’t let that stop you from enjoying one of the most entertaining spectacles in all of moviedom.

 

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Insert heart-stirring music here.

My personal history with GWTW starts at the age of twelve, when my parents bought a copy of the Margaret Mitchell book at a book sale. Yes, I was a precocious child (at least, that’s my word for it … though Ma and Dad would probably term me “the biggest know-it-all English-kaku bookworm to ever walk the planet”). I sat down and read it over the course of the next week. I fell head over heels in love with the story, the characters (especially that delicious Rhett Butler), the setting … to me, at the age of twelve, it was the romantic thing in the world, to have men falling all over you, declaring their undying love, sharing a secret passion for one another as Scarlett and Ashley do. And as an unrepentant smart-ass, I adored Scarlett and her tart tongue and sarcastic asides.

Now, there were, of course, things that I did not understand at that age. But over the course of the next several years, in which I read the book probably twice a year(I told you I loved it), I began to understand that Scarlett was not the ideal of womanhood that I had built up in my head. She was not even really an ideal of humanity, if you want to get right down to it. There are things about her that are so morally reprehensible that you wonder why people like to label her a heroine.

And yet, who are we to judge? But I’ll get back to this in a moment.

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When I finally saw the movie at the age of fifteen, I was bowled over by the grandeur that had been brought to life on the screen, and I marvelled at how almost perfectly cast the film was. In general, at fifteen, I thought everything about the story was perfect. I did not then understand the undercurrents of the “happy slave” motif perpetuated by the book and I did not realize that Scarlett’s happy trilling in bed the morning after Rhett sweeps her up the grand staircase is little more than a disturbing acceptance of her rape at the hands of her husband.

In these instances, and several others, the perspective brought by the passage of many years has made me realize that there are elements of the story that are far from perfect. But it is still one of my favorite stories of all time, and one of the ten best ever put on the big screen. I firmly believe this, and I doubt I will ever change my mind. And to me, Scarlett is one of the most fascinating characters ever conceived.

The thing that I appreciate the most about the film version of GWTW is that the filmmakers did not shy away from putting some of Scarlett’s least venerable characteristics on screen. So many times, a film adaptation falls apart because the characters are whitewashed and made “prettier” (at least from a moral standpoint) so as not to offend the general viewing audience. But not in this case. Scarlett’s jealously, her pettiness, her utter derision for her fellow man, her coquettish determination to claim Ashley for her own … all of it is shown, and rather unapologetically so. And for that, as I stated at the beginning of this post, some celebrate her fight to survive despite its costs to others, and some condemn her for her selfish disregard.

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Fiddle-dee-dee.

I lean more toward the first camp myself. I enjoy watching Scarlett toy with the affections of men she does not love; she is, after all, the “belle of the ball,” and that has its privileges. To take the attentions of men who view her as nothing more than a plaything, a beautiful trophy to take to their beds, and become the puppet-master, dangling those same, ultimately helpless men by their strings … she is, as second-wave American feminists would claim, simply asserting her power. She is, in the end, smarter than those men, and she’s smart enough not to let them know it. And it is interesting to watch this kind of behavior through the concept of the Civil War-era, when women were bound by the rules of society into home-and-hearth roles that became virtually inescapable. Scarlett, determined to enjoy life in the manner in which she sees fit, flouts those society restrictions, which most modern audiences would find admirable.

Yes, Scarlett is a bitch-with-a-capital-B. But she’s just so honest about her overall bitchery. She recognizes her own flaws and agonizes over going to Hell, but in the end is not particularly bothered by the lies she tells or the manipulative behavior in which she engages on a regular basis. Her obstinance leads her to marry her first husband simply out of spite and to inadvertently cause the death of her second husband. And she never ceases her pursuit of Ashley despite the bone-deep frustration she feels toward his passivity, unwilling to admit that she’s in it for the competition more so than actual love. At least when she finally understands this about herself, Scarlett tries to correct her mistakes, rather than allowing pride to continue to thwart her better judgement. There’s growth to her character–though not much, all things considered; the film (much like the book) tries to cram Scarlett’s redemption into the last ten minutes, leaving viewers with the sense that Scarlett has not “grown up” so much as she has finally “wised up” (and yes, there is a difference between the two).

In the end, at least in my mind, the fact that she allows the worse parts of her nature to override her one chance at happiness with Rhett is something to be pitied rather than to be celebrated. Who hasn’t lost love or friendship for the sake of pride? Who hasn’t stood in Scarlett’s shoes, staring at someone walking away from you, wondering how things would have been if you (or they) had done things differently? Who doesn’t have regrets? When Scarlett collapses on the staircase, sobbing as Rhett strides away in the mist, I’m taken back to points in my own history when I felt the world crumbling around me, when “resilience” felt like a dirty word. But as Scarlett exclaims, there’s always tomorrow. You know, as the story ends, that Scarlett will redouble her efforts to win Rhett back, and that she will ultimately be successful.

This, I think, is why I identify with Scarlett. She’s only human. She’s not a caricature of Southern gentility, the stereotypical fragile blossom whose bloom fades the moment she dons her wedding gown. As Rhett laughingly tells her, “And you, miss, are no lady!” Instead, she’s a nineteenth-century steel magnolia. The character is, in essence, a flawed, natural, thriving, and searingly honest depiction of a woman who was never meant to fill the mold. She may not cherish life, judging by her somewhat cavalier attitude toward the deaths of her first two husbands, but she sure as hell relishes it.

She also protects what’s hers, and that includes the family she does not even particularlygwtw-hungry like. She detests Melanie (her favorite descriptive term for poor Melanie is “mealy-mouthed”), but she does her duty to her sister-in-law, ensuring her survival and providing a roof over her head and food to eat. She commits murder without flinching, shooting a Yankee deserter who attempts to steal the family’s meagre remaining possessions in the final days of the war. She even accepts the possibility that she will have to prostitute herself to Rhett, offering him a place in her bed in exchange for the money to pay the taxes on Tara. For all the supposed “evil” that Scarlett does, she makes certain that her people are provided for and her beloved plantation remains in O’Hara hands. Now, such ruthlessness and self-serving determined would hardly be cause for concern were she not a woman. But because she is, Scarlett is untoward, unladylike, a lesser human being?

I don’t effing think so.

She’s a survivor; in fact, when Margaret Mitchell was asked to basically define the theme of her novel, she said it was simply about “survival.” And Scarlett is the ultimate survivor. She thrashes against fate to stay alive, and then she sticks it to everyone who doubted her in the most delicious way possible.

So I admit it. I like Scarlett O’Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler. I really do. I even feel a sort of kinship with her. Does that make me seem odd? [Well, if you’ve only now figured that out, where have you been?]

The only thing I don’t understand about the character? Why, on God’s green earth, she’d prefer this …

 

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Ummm….

….over THIS.

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<wolf-whistles> Helloooooo, handsome.

Are you for real? Leslie Howard as Ashley Wilkes is the very definition of “milquetoast”. <snorts derisively> Clark Gable as Rhett Butler just radiates sex. I don’t care if rumor has it that Vivien Leigh did not want to kiss him because his dentures smelled bad. If Carole Lombard could kiss that every night and be fine with it, then make room for me. <wink wink>

Yours-frankly,

ZEEBEE.
P.S. Gone With The Wind is the epic to beat all epics. If you have never read it or seen it, I urge you to do so. It’s a long investment, but I truly feel it to be worth it. It’s one of those stories everyone must read or watch at least once, if only to marvel at the spectacle of it all.

P.P.S. Now that I have spoken my piece, tell me: are you a Scarlett fan, or do you wish she would have accidentally strangled herself with that green curtain dress?

For You.

Are you really so far away
That I cannot touch you,
And feel the crinkles of your sleeve
Underneath my fingers upon your arm?

Would you simply look around
And turn away again,
Not knowing that I talk
To you all by myself?

Even if you could listen,
And not hear a word;
Would you know that I’m
Just a little bit crazy?

Just a little bit crazy
With longing for you.

-ZEEBEE.

Its my B’day and I’ll Blog If I want to!

Goodbye 19, Hello 20! Is it me, or is time going faster? Is this a sign? Am I getting older? I am pretty sure the days and hours are just the same. However, I still feel as though there is NEVER ENOUGH TIME in a day or week to do what I need to do! (Rant Over) All joking aside 19 hasn’t been one of the best years of my life. However, it had its moments. I took a leap of faith this year, in blogging and sharing my weird thoughts with the world and ya know what? I am so glad I did.

Being that this Monday was my BIRTHDAY, I have been playing a memory wheel of the past year in my head. It’s amazing how many things can change in 365 days. I have learned so much about myself this year, not to mention how important it is to truly keep yourself first in all you do.

Since it was my b’day ( HEY FELLOW PISCEANS! ), I figured I’d compile a little list of some of the most important things I’ve learned thus far.

So here’s what I’ve got:

1.) YOU ARE GOING TO GET CRITICIZED NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO, SO DO YOUR THANG.

images (2).jpgHonestly, this is number one for a reason. No matter where I’ve been in life, people have criticized me. If I had listened to every piece of negative feedback, I’d be like sitting in a dark cellar counting flies on the wall, drooling. We’ve all been criticized at one time or another. ‘You do you’ has become my new mantra. You gotta do what you gotta do, & either way someone, somewhere will have something to say. If you don’t want to be criticized, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.

2.) START WITH A SMALL IDEA, ZONE IN ON IT, & BECOME REALLY, REALLY AWESOME AT THAT IDEA…TO LEAD TO BIGGER OPPORTUNITIES.

Instead of thinking big/BIG/BIGGGG, think small & grow outward like an upside down triangle. ‘If you chase two rabbits, you won’t catch either one.’ I always try to focus in on the niche & expand outward. Having 6 million ideas (Ahem…look who’s talking…but I’ve learnt from it) is scattered & doesn’t allow you to be a full-on PROFESSIONAL at one thing. I’d rather be a genius in one area, than average in twenty.

3.) BEING AN ASSHOLE GETS YOU NOWHERE. BE NICE.

We’ve all been there. Even always chillax me had such a moment a few months back. I was grumpy and irritable and annoyed and basically, all over bothered. My benchmate was gossiping with me about something or the other and I snapped at her because she was stretching the tale out long. Immediately I regretted it and guilt consumed my whole body…so I apologized sincerely. Nevertheless, she had been hurt by that and I take care never to hurt her again.

Lets face it, being a bitch is nasty. For one thing, you feel bad about it later and it hurts your emotional well-being as well.

Smile, be gracious, be kind, & be humble.

4.) YOU NEVER KNOW…

download.jpgOh geez. Don’t judge until you’ve walked in someone’s shoes. People assume they know everything about me because I am an open slash friendly person. They don’t. In fact, they don’t know 80% of my past or my life. I have had MANY bumps in the road. MANY. No one has seen my struggles, & that’s OK with me but to judge without knowing isn’t logical. Life online looks flawless, #blessed, & glamorous. Don’t judge a book by its cover because you never know. No one likes a Judge Judy anyway.


5.) YOU CANNOT CHANGE PEOPLE.

This is PROBABLY THE HARDEST THING EVER FOR ME. For years I would try to control the outcome of family drama, friendships, work, etc. This year I’ve realized that ‘it is, what it is’. Me trying to control the situation & change people into something they’re not is counterproductive & fucking pointless. It’s a waste of breath. People are who they are. This year I’ve become more accepting…especially because you never know the whole story. People are set in their ways for their own reasons.

6.) NO ONE IS GOING TO DO ANYTHING FOR YOU.

If you want something to happen, get off your ass & make it happen. Ok if we’re being honest, this is one of my Dad’s life tips, so this was his addition. A fairy godmother isn’t going to come create a dream career for you because you are getting an amazing degree… Life is what you make of it. If you want to be a successful woman, go for it. It’s not going to fall into your lap. If you want to do good in the world, then do good. Opportunities don’t just fall from the sky, you gotta make it happen.

7.) WORRYING IS LIKE A ROCKING CHAIR, IT GETS YOU NOWHERE.


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I MEAN IF SOMEONE WOULD HAVE TOLD ME THIS AT 16, I WOULD HAVE HAD SO MUCH LESS STRESS. Worrying is pointless. Pointless. What’s the point of worrying? Whenever I start worrying about something I cannot control, I shift my focus. Life is going to flow how it flows.

And lastly,

8.) THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS FAIR OR UNFAIR.

Things are what they are. I keep the words ‘fair’ and ‘unfair’ out of my vocabulary. You make your own life, your own destiny, & your own future. You can get what you can get, or you don’t. Life isn’t fair or unfair, unless you cultivate that— focus on moving forward & don’t worry about what other people are doing…remember as Bethenny Frankel said “stay in your own lane!”

Obviously this is a list of things that I need to work on daily because I’m not perfect by any means & need daily reminders. Really, it just kind of helps to write these reminders down! I’m not preaching, just sharing…again, do what works for you!

Cheers to 20 years of me! Two whole decades of this crazy, dreamer self. Wow.

Now, I must go pack! For the best….is yet to come.

Yours forever-a-dreamer,

ZEEBEE.
P.S. What would you add to this? What have been your life lessons the past year?? Let me know in the comments below. Also please don’t forget to press that Star button if you liked this. And follow me for more such content. As always, don’t forget to bring your Imagination….wherever you go!  download (1)

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#Friends For Life???

Best friends make the good times better and the hard times easier.

Friends are the family that we choose ourselves.

Good friends are like stars, you don’t always see them but you know they are there.

True friendship isn’t being inseparable. It is being separated and nothing changes.

There are probably more than a million other quotes about friends and friendship. Instagram and Twitter feeds are literally over-flooded with pics of people posting ‘#Friends For Life!’. It gets annoying after a while, don’t you think? I mean, I understand you are friends, but no need to shove it into everyone’s face. Or is it just me? 

As for me, I’m happy to say that I have a small bunch of people that I call “friends”. Some of ’em are just friends, some close friends, some school friends, some college friends and some online friends. However I’m not sure I can say that I have “friends for life”. I’m not being depressive or thinking way too much. I’m just stating the obvious. It’s not that I don’t have friends who can be a part of my future life, they’re all awesome. The issue probably lies in me. I outgrow people really easily. One day I will be dying to talk to them and the other day, ignored texts, ignored talks and stuff. It took me actually a lot of “self talking” to come to this fact, that I do outgrow people really easily. And I do pay the consequences. I have lost a bunch of people who could have been my “forever”, if I would not have the habit of outgrowing. I honestly don’t know if I can call myself a good friend. It’s not that I don’t want to have friends for life, but I can’t help it. It may sound creepy but I get a feeling from the starting, knowing if this person is gonna be my long term friend or not. I know I know, I am still in college and I have my whoooole life left, I can make a lot of friends, but still. I do want some of my current friends with me in future.

But my suddenly not talking to my “friends” does not mean that I don’t care about ’em. I can proudly say that I’m a person someone can rely to. I may not be the funniest or that friend who’s always wanted but I’ll always be there. I may not talk but I’ll be there when someone needs me. I honestly don’t know if this “out growing” stuff only happens with me. And I really feel guilty. I swear. I do not want to lose people because of this. I have already lost a lot of ’em. But I’m happy to have these amazing people called as my “friends” who make life easier and more fun.5a7c0f1afa599052f01d1757e3f18e38

Is there anyone of you who outgrow people too? Is there such thing as “friends for life”?

Yours-in-deep-thought,

ZEEBEE.

 

Blood, Gore and….Romance?

It is currently late Saturday night and I really really have to write about this. I have feels, people! And I dont know what they are. 😦  This is the most confused I have been about a story. I had been planning to read this for the past 2 days. So I figured I couldn’t wait anymore so I read all 16.5 chapters of this manhwa (it’s Korean so it’s not a manga) online and now I have to tell you all about it. I found out about “Killing Stalking” from Tumblr (it was actually a YouTuber, akidearest who recently posted about this, here, who managed to really evoke my interest) and basically all I knew was that the people who liked “Yuri on Ice!” had now turned their attention towards this gay Korean horror manhwa for whatever reason.(dat description tho…)

It’s not a romance. Let’s get that out of the way right now. Killing Stalking, a manga created by the artist Koogi, is a tale best described as a psychological horror. One cannot call this story of two deeply troubled individuals, one with severely obsessive tendencies, and another who is a sadistic lunatic, a romance. There is a special, codependent bond between the two characters, complete with plenty of great sexual contact, but there is no love. It’s all so incredibly unhealthy and wrong.

My thoughts on this are really reeeeeeeeeeaaaaally a mess. It’s horrible and has even me gagging at the horror. But I am obsessed.

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We begin our increasingly bloody and suspenseful journey with Yoon Bum, a skinny, non-threatening guy who chats us up about his secret crush. He speaks of how he follows his crush, a hot guy by the name of Sangwoo (with dreamy, tousled two-toned hair and cool ear plugs) on social media. And then that shit goes past being a typical millennial with an infatuation and internet access right into “What the fuck are you doing?” territory. Yoon Bum is stalking his Sangwoo. As in physically tracking him and using some CSI style ks1moves to gain access into Sangwoo’s home eventually. It turns out that the cause of Yoon Bum’s obsession was that Sangwoo happened to intervene during the would-be rape of Yoon Bum, thwarting the rapist’s plans. It makes one pity him, you know. Stalking is bad. I know it but still can’t help but feel sympathy for him. Despite never having spoken to him, Yoon Bum builds up Sangwoo as this perfect, unattainable deity of light and goodness and masturbatory material. It’s quite disturbing to behold, and the whole time I couldn’t help feeling sorry for Yoon Bum, even as I was cringing at his creepiness. Koogi does a decent job of evoking the right amounts sympathy, empathy, and morbid curiosity in how Yoon Bum’s thoughts and actions are presented. As utterly pitiful as he is, he seems real. I sometimes found myself thinking that Yoon Bum is not a bad guy, just a lost, pathetic one, even as I watched him do things I would undoubtedly categorize as bad.

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And then we meet Sangwoo. He is, inevitably, not nearly as perfect Yoon Bum had imagined. Yeah, he’s still kind of sexy up close, but he’s no god. He’s a flawed human being. And I mean fucking flawed. He literally has an insatiable bloodlust large enough to rival an entire coven of horny psychotic vampires. Yes, he is still really hot. Yes, he can tumblr_static_tumblr_static_c33f7xbytbwc4ocwsswc4sc8g_640.jpgbe quite charismatic. And yes, that is blood on his shirt.
Sangwoo is a great antagonist, according to me. I love villains like him. His evil is appalling and stomach churning, yet he is still entirely human. His moods are ever changing, and his motive is not clear. You know how typical archetypal villains have a clear goal, lurking in the shadows and twirling their moustaches diabolically? Sangwoo is not that guy. We don’t know what his goal is, and his disposition changes often enough to create suspense and breathe life into what could have been just another boring bad guy. He is not consistent in his cruelty, but he is still very very bad. And there are these subtle hints as to why he’s like this. A bad childhood….But it brings further angst in me. How far can we blame a bad childhood for a messed up personality? What about all those people who have had messed up childhoods IRL and still managed to grow up normal?

I love that ‘Killing Stalking’ makes me ask these questions. I like that that it keeps me on my toes. I like the creator’s ability to make me feel brief sympathy for Sangwoo, although he makes my skin crawl. I’m also a sucker for stories with attractive antagonists. Most societies place such emphasis on looks that we are more willing to accept shitty things from beautiful people. Having a “beautiful” villain plays into the whole theme of making allowances for things we shouldn’t, only to end up being brutally reminded of exactly why we shouldn’t. It’s the definition of a psychological thriller. It’s a mindfuck, and I couldn’t stop reading until I’d poured over every currently available chapter.

While it’s obvious that I’m hooked, I would not go as far to say that ‘Killing Stalking’ is a tumblr_static_tumblr_static__640.jpgmust read for everyone. The subject matter alone is enough to put anyone off rightfully, and then there’s the way it handles the issue of homosexuality thus far. There’s also the growing fandom, a good chunk of which seems hellbent on trying to “ship” Sangwoo and Yoon Bum. Rooting for two characters to be together based solely on sexual chemistry is one thing. Everyone wants to see hot people be together, no big deal. It’s another when that relationship is a graphic illustration of blatant mental, emotional, and physical abuse. These characters aren’t meant to be admired or exulted.

From a storytelling standpoint, “Killing Stalking” excels at suspenseful moments. There were times when Yoon Bum01ae5a6d1dd7022abe5f1cc3f5e36e64 would try to escape (or even the first time he tries to break into Sangwoo’s house) that had me freaking out because I was so anxious and needed to know what was going to happen. And god, Sangwoo sings! That is soooooooo creepy!!! ‘Killing me Softly with his Song’…..it’s such a romantic song but it takes a whole new creepy bone-chilling meaning with this. Gawd! This manga….sorry manhwa is soooo messed up. I cant find the words to express this. You need to read it to understand. It literally send shivers down my spine. Just this picture. Imagine! It is a very gory manhwa and it being in full color doesn’t really lessen the effect of it at all. (Although I do really enjoy reading something in color for once!)

All that said, do I recommend it?

tumblr_static_tumblr_static_9aw0csx5qu4gsssgok4wkookk_focused_v3.pngPossibly. The subject matter can be too much for some. As I said, it had me scrunching up my eyes and cringing and looking away at some moments. There’s no shortage of gore, depictions of sex and sexual violence, examples of psychological trauma and abuse, and unpleasant things. I don’t celebrate or applaud any of these things; they’re scary. So no, I don’t “ship” Yoon and Sangwoo. I don’t find their relationship to be good or sweet or otherwise beneficial to either party; it’s unarguably wrong. Killing Stalking can best be described as a good read about bad things. It doesn’t glorify or romanticize these things but presents them for what they are as we swipe to the next page, feeling equal parts anxiousness and dread.

For my final comments on it, I would say that I do enjoy it as a whole because it is really effective as a psychological horror and the art is really nice. It probably goes without saying, but this is not light reading. If any of the themes and subject matter are things you cannot deal with, I suggest staying away for your well-being. If you enjoy disturbing (yet thought-provoking) psychological thrillers with a healthy dose of gore, and nail-biting suspense, then it’s worth a read. I would never recommend it to anyone. Simply out of fear they might never speak to me again. But since I had to talk about this, I decided to recommend it to you guys! Go ahead and read it!

Yours-absolutely-hooked,

ZEEBEE.

P.S. I have been obsessing over psychopaths this month, haven’t I? First Moriarty then Sangwoo……sigh. Go read about my love for Moriarty here.

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