Sunday, March 18, 2012

Politicizing the Hunger Games

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I have to admit that the Suzanne Collin's penned Hunger Games is among one of my favorite books. It was written for teens but is not on a level that is seen in that genre. It's a brutal book but one that makes no real judgments and leaves politics alone forcing one to make their own decisions and observations. The third in the series was indeed more political but not overtly so.

While reading the book, one doesn't have to be political, only to cheer one conflicted girl as she battles to the death in a morbid reality show in the future.

The book is set in the future in a post-apocalyptic America renamed Penam. The different areas of the country are broken down into districts numbering 12 with each supplying raw materials to the Capitol--the ruling city. District 13 is supposedly the district where nuclear fallout still exists and no one is to enter. Katniss Everdeen, her mother and sister Prim live in District 12, which encompasses modern day West Virginia and possibly Kentucky and Ohio as well. They are the coal mining district.

Every year, an even occurs called The Reaping where one boy and one girl from each district aged 12-18 are selected to fight in a kill or be killed televised battle. Prim is selected, Katniss takes her place. That's a brief synopsis and if you haven't read the book, I highly recommend it.

Anyway, I knew upon reading the book that it would be a huge hit and also wondered how the media would spin it. Well, we have our first glimpse thanks to the hopelessly liberal Inquirer. Here's the headline and story by Steven Rea:
'The Hunger Games': A fantasy film reflecting reality
And what reality would that be? You guessed it:
Yes, it's kid-lit about the 1 percent vs. the 99, about the weird spectacle of reality TV, about kids killing kids.
Weird, Suzanne Collins was thinking of the occupiers back in 2008 when this book was published? Most of the occupiers were living in their parents basement back then or getting a degree in Advanced LGBT Studies or something. This is such a ridiculous tie-in that I just chuckled until I saw where Mr. Rea was going with this following the same tack liberals always take when writing.

You see, in Rea's eyes, the 1% are living in the big leading city while the 99% are out in the hinterlands supplying all the rich. That sounds exactly like America in 2012, doesn't it? The connection is such a stretch that Rea not only has be clowned himself but also shows that he never really understood the book in the first place. Sad that a feature writer in a large daily had trouble getting the gist of a teen book, but I digress.

If one wants to go down that road, let's take it to it's conclusion then. Let's see; numerous districts, a massive police state, execution or other punishment for those who don't obey, the rich living in luxury in the central city and a massive disinformation campaign about the nation's enemies. Not to mention constant oppression to keep the people in line and stop rebellion. Now what does that sound like to you Mr. Rea? Perhaps a political system that was dumped in the dustbin of history in the early 1990's hopefully never to be resurrected?

Our heroine was anything but a modern day liberal as seen in the occupy movement, she abhorred the government and wanted nothing more than to be left alone. She hated the state and blamed it for the death of her father. Instead of toeing the line and giving herself to the government, she fought them in her own ways. She hunted illegally and mastered a weapon, she believed in free thought and the the strength of her family. She sought to survive by her wits and not rely on the oppressive regime to take care of her. She believed in freedom and fought to bring down the leadership that ruled by force and death.

Does that sound like a liberal to you Mr. Rea? It sounds more like a libertarian-conservative to me. Reliant on yourself and not the government: check. Learning to use weapons to survive and defend yourself when threatened: check. Wishing only to be left to make ones way in the world without government interference: check. I could go on and on and none of what Katniss represents can be described as liberal.

It's funny, Rea only mentions the 1% in the headline and in a passing sentence but being biased, he needed to get something in there proving his lefty bona fides. Unfortunately for him and is so often the case, what Mr. Rea thinks liberals are versus the reality of the situation is as wide as the difference between a truck driver and Alec Baldwin or the 99% and the 1%.

1 comment:

John said...

Good post! I wish all these inqy writers would just be honest and quit so they can work for the Democrat party and not have to try to dance around every article making overt references to liberal causes.