April 3, 2012

Hey guys......

Bear with me for a minute. I have a rant that's been simmering in my overactive, going-crazy brain.

Can we please STOP with bashing the Hunger Games? I'm sick of hearing: Peeta's too short; I don't like Gale; They left out this and that; I was bored..... Yadda yadda yadda.

If the movie's just not your cup of tea, I get it.

But if you're a fan of the books, then chill the heck out.

While we can all agree that Suzanne Collins is a fantastic writer, and good writing exists as a form of entertainment, these books are different.

Yes, as a culture, we all love a good story. But The Hunger Games is more than just a story. It's a commentary on our current culture and a warning for our future.

 There are so many opinions and views about what the book is about, and on what such a horrific and violent story comments. Among them--a support for the Occupy Wall Street movements, religion, or a searing indictment of the state of our current government.

"While the cinematic version of The Hunger Games may be more politically ambiguous than the novels, the time period in which the books were published is anything but ambiguous. One could view the ritualized 'killing as entertainment' of the tributes in The Hunger Games as an allegory about cashing in on the next generation's future hopes and dreams"  -Russell C. Smith, The Hunger Games and the Death of Winner-Take-All Capitalism

Even Jennifer Lawrence has chimed in with her opinions on the polarizing book: "I was watching the Kardashian girl getting divorced, and that's a tragedy for anyone," she said. "But they're using it for entertainment, and we're watching it. The books hold up a terrible kind of mirror: This is what our society could be like if we became desensitized to trauma and to each other's pain."

I don't care what you see in the book. I don't care what parallels you draw and whether they relate to your life or to society as a whole. We all have different experiences, different priorities, different concerns, and different ideas.

Just, please, think.

It doesn't matter what conclusion you come to. Just don't let Suzanne Collins' work and the vision she created fade into the background or become another Twilight. It's too important for that.

If we watch the movie with only entertainment in mind, and remark that the wolf/dog things were all wrong, or that Rue shouldn't have been black (I shouldn't get started on that fiasco), we become no better than those in the Capitol we so love to hate, that cheer at the blast of the cannon that signals the death of a tribute.

P.S. Can we please stop adding Panem to our map creations of fantasy worlds we would love to live in (see here)? The idea is cute. Sign me up for the next train to Hogwarts. And where is Alagaesia? But think about it. Do you actually want to live in Panem? Do you actually want to be a part of that horrible world? We should thank our lucky stars every day that, despite the ills of our world, we haven't stooped to that level. Yet. And we should make every effort we can to ensure that this does not happen, to us, our children, or our grandchildren.

P.P.S. This is by no means an indictment of the book. I love these books with all my heart. And I'm an avid reader.


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