Episode 198: Academy of Police

The Overthinkers tackle bullying and the documentary Bully.

Overthinking It PodcastMatthew Wrather hosts with Peter Fenzel and, eventually, Mark Lee to overthink the recent documentary Bully, their favorite NC-17 movies, and why Game of Thrones is called Game of Thrones when they’res only one throne.

Update 2012-04-15T20:41:25: Apparently, I went through a time-warp when I recorded the intro for this episode. I guess I was imagining I had an extra month for my taxes.


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10 Comments on “Episode 198: Academy of Police”

  1. Lea #

    On the genitive Latin/Germanic of/’s divide, wouldn’t it make the most sense for the Hunger Games to be “the Games of Hunger” since Panem is clearly a transplanted Rome, with Capitol residents having Roman names, etc. On that note, while I’ve only seen one episode of GoT, it seems to be more “Germanic” in terms of setting and clothing?

    I don’t happen to know German, but the use of “hunger” grammatically would be a noun acting as an adjective. It is not Hunger’s Game or Hungry Games in way that “girl of Rome” would be translated as Roman girl or “girl of great beauty” would be “a greatly beautiful girl”. I don’t think it’s a true genitive (of possession? I have long since forgotten the others, so I’m probably setting myself up for a huge Well Actually).There seems to be a clear difference in meaning between “Hunger’s Game” (true genitive), “Hungry Games” (adjective form of a noun), and “Hunger Games” (noun-adjective) since the first one is “games that belong to hunger”, the second one is “games that are hungry”, and the last one is “games that are characterized by/over hunger”, none of which are particularly accurate. “Throne Games” though would be “games that are characterized by/over throne(s)”.

    I’m not sure if any of that will stand up to any scrutiny (given it’s 2 AM here and my general lack of grammar skills)


    • joseph #

      Not really on the grammatical point but my understanding from the books is that the name refers to the fact that food rations are distributed based on the number of times a teen enters themselves into the lottery for the Games beyond the required once per year. The more hungry & desperate for food you are, the less the odds are in your favor.


  2. Emil #

    Pete, I love you. In a way one overthinker can love another one. But I have to beat you with “well, actually”. It’s because I love you not because I’m a The Simpson bully.

    Calling Nelson Muntz “smelly” is great disservice to show writers. His character is complex, he seems to be an adult traped in a child’s body. You could go with Jimbo, but noooo!

    Let me quote you The All-Knowing Wikipedia, and I quote:

    By the eighth season of The Simpsons, the writers had begun to explore the secondary characters of the show. “Lisa’s Date with Density” (season eighth, 1996) was the first episode to center around Nelson and was used to explain why he acts the way he does. The idea of Nelson dating Lisa Simpson had already been around for a while but this was the first time that the staff worked it into the show.[4] Cartwright said in 2012 that she thinks Nelson “has evolved the most out of all the characters I do. There’s a soft spot in him that the writers have found. He’s got this special attraction to Marge, and he sings these songs, and he’s got a crush on Lisa. There’s something about this poor kid – his mother works at Hooters, his dad went out to buy milk and never came back. I wouldn’t want him to come over for dinner, but I really love doing his voice.”

    No, I didn’t rush from supermarket right into coffee place (heh, it’s called Boston, for real, http://g.co/maps/89pzd) just to type that angry.


    • Emil #

      Angrily. Gosh darn it, I type like male burro.


    • Chris #

      I agree. While Nelson is a bully, he isn’t defined by that characteristic like he was in early episodes when he was THE bully. Sometimes he is even friendly with Bart. Jimbo, Kearney, and Dolph are the bullies of the show. Fittingly, the newest episode of the show was actually about them. Apt timing. Apt, I say.


  3. Redem #

    Yea I want something from the POV of the bully as well.

    I’ve just completed the video game Bully and I think it would go nicely with Overthinking it sensibility since Jimmy Hopskin goal is to unify all the gangs of the school under his banners. He manage to have every clique leader to pledge loyalty to him in order to pacify Bullworth academy.


  4. Tulse #

    Perhaps it comes from living in a country with two official languages, but “Academy of Police” sounds very French to me — I picture a existential thriller with a world-weary cop who has a jaded prostitute for a girlfriend, fighting against corruption and the drug trade in a demimondaine Paris.

    One event that also sometimes uses the construction under discussion are “the Games of the [ordinal number] Olympiad”, aka “the Olympic Games”. The former sounds far more formal and ceremonial to me than the latter. (One sometimes also sees this construction in other sports events, such as “World Championship of Bowling”.)


  5. Leigh #

    One of the unspoken troubles with bullying, which Mark sorta touches on, is that there are actually facets of society which reward bullying behavior. Not necessarily the violence, but the skills of the human predator in manipulating power are very useful to salesmen and politicians. Not to say that people in these professions are bullies, but that they rely on similar skillsets in order to manipulate customers/voters.


  6. Aaron #

    Pete, I still have that board game. As a kid, just convincing my parents to play it with me was a victory in its own right. If you’re ever in Alberta, we should play, and then follow it up with the Clue VCR Mystery Game.


  7. Gab #

    My uncle had that game, Pete, and I made him let me watch him play a lot when I was a kid. To the point that the tape got a little worn out. You, sir, are not alone.

    De facto bullying can’t be obliterated by de jur anti-bullying. I agree that all the rules and regulations we want can be tossed at kids, and there will still be insults and beatings and the like. Maybe I’m being naive, but I feel like anti-bullying needs to start at home with parents teaching their kids about acceptance and empathy. We don’t need to raise a bunch of softies, no, but it would be nice if kids didn’t snigger because someone’s hair isn’t styled right. Less judging, more hugging? I used to work in an elementary school. And I remember being picked on severely as a kid. I wonder how many of these parents and adults that give the vague non-answers were ever picked on, or if they’ve ever really seen this crap take place.

    And Wrather, it was a throwaway line for comedic purposes, but when you said that the actual things thirteen year olds say are too graphic for them to see in a movie or however you phrased it- I think that says a LOT about how much the “adults” are really missing the point. Further, the solution was to allow it to be released UN-rated, but unlike other unrated films, it was still in theaters as such- it’s not a fancy extra on a DVD labeled “Director’s Cut,” it’s at the cineplex. So the kids could see it anyway, right? I know that would be up to the theater’s individual policy, but this also shows how the ratings system is an utter crock. Don’t get me started on the Blue Valentine crap.*

    I believe The Hunger Games are called as such because of the food rewards the winning district gets. Also, an eligible kid can put their name in extra times to get extra food for their parents (a certain allotment per extra time their name is put in the pot). And in the arena, tributes die not just from being killed by other tributes, but because of the elements- including starvation. Food plays an integral part to the overarching story of the book in indirect ways, too, leading to the meta-titling of the book- as in the title isn’t just the name of the games themselves, but the name of the struggles taking place in the whole series because of systemic power relations that lead to, among other things, hunger. Katniss and Gale bond over hunting; Katniss calls Peeta “the boy with the bread” because he tossed a loaf at her when she was ten or so; she insists on keeping her sister’s annoying goat because they can make cheese out of its milk (I can’t remember if they drink the milk, too, but I don’t see why not); the food on the train is described and dwelled upon in an almost fetish-like way. I think food is a central element to the story, beyond just controlling it in the arena.

    *Totally unrelated, Ryan Gosling is a boss. Dude stopped a fight, yanked a woman out of the way of an oncoming car… He’s more of a living meme than Chuck Norris.


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