Games by Another Name

I jumped on the hype-wagon,  and am currently reading The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. I figure, if the movie is making such a big splash in the box office, and the debates about what the story is actually about are so hot, the book might be worth checking out. Usually a lot is lost in translation, and by lost in translation, I mean stifled by action scenes. I could be wrong though. We’ll find out when I finish Games and read Princess of Mars.

I’ll bet Disney removed a lot of the Marxist aliens, and replaced them with terrorists, removing the subtext of a population fighting amongst itself finding peace in democracy. I am completely making this up.

Back to the Hunger Games. It is a decent read, so far. I haven’t finished it, so I don’t know everything that is presented (or maybe I do, but I don’t know that either).

Apparently there is a lot of subtext behind it, or so I am told. The oppression of the weak by the strong. Oppression of the poor by the rich. Except every time I read this analogy, it is from the viewpoint of people from one political or social group claiming the victims in the book represents them, and their political and social enemies represent the oppressors.

Democrats, liberals, and others of their ilk claim they are the poor, the oppressed; the average citizen crushed by the oppressive boot of a government beholden to big money, and that the poor districts represent what will become of all but the wealthiest in America of the other guys win. On the other hand, the Republicans, the conservatives, and those that oppose government interference claim it is the academic elite the Capitol represents, reveling in snobbery and excess government, while the working man suffers.

I see it differently. I see the story as being about people being people in general.

What really dooms us as a species is twofold, our inability to really look beyond ourselves and our immediate families, friends and allies, and our refusal to act on what we know is right, or wrong, except in the most extreme circumstances. These problems scale to population. We could barely handle ourselves in tribes. Now the entire population of the planet is entwined into the big, fat web of globalization. Do the math.

Of course, I got to thinking; could something like the Hunger Games actually happen? Well, based on what I just wrote, I would have to say, yes.

It probably won’t be  the whole 24 kids being sacrificed in a display of centralized power masquerading as entertainment, but it might be similar. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I think there is something that has been going on for a while now in which the youth are put into a game of survival, both physically, and mentally. It, too, is televised, but not strictly for entertainment. Regardless, it is for most of us, not much but something to watch on T.V.

But I am not here to talk about the continued occupation of foreign countries for some reason or another by the United States of America, I am here to talk about The Hunger Games.

I’m changing my answer. Do I think something like The Hunger Games could actually happen?

Hell yes.

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One comment on “Games by Another Name

  1. jason says:

    I prefer the movie Battle Royale which could very well be a seminal influence for the PG version of Hunger Games.

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