IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

“Hunger” shouldn’t be a “game”

I am just coming to the end of my annual fasting period (which explains, at least in part, my lack of blog posts–sorry).   Fasting (in whatever form) has a number of benefits I think.  Many focus on the purely material aspect, but I think the inward, spiritual if you will, aspects are the most important (though, admittedly, the physical can certainly occupy most of your attention from time to time 🙂 ).  In my case, among other things, my ability to think abstractly seems to improve (or maybe I just get a bit vague due to low blood sugar, who knows), and my subjective “impressions” of things intensify.  This often gives me what seems to be a new perspective on certain things.

This is the case with the book/film, “The Hunger Games”, which is “hot” right now, I guess.  I have only read the first book, and have certainly not seen the film, however, I wanted to share my fast-heightened impression.  I find the premise of the first book absolutely appalling…frankly, beyond the limits of decency (rather like, if you saw that post, using pre-adolescents beating each other up in the re-make of karate kid).  If you are unfamiliar with the story (good for you–but you probably won’t be for long, given the media blitz), here is the basic idea.  To punish, and control, once rebellious provinces the central authority of an empire requires that each year every province send one child/adolescent to the capitol for a battle to the death called The Hunger Games.  Of course, the plucky and resourceful main character finds a way to survive and even subvert the system to the extent of actually getting her partner to survive with her.  Though I have deliberately not looked at plot summaries of the later volumes, I am guessing that she goes on to foster a successful rebellion against the central authority etc…

OK…so maybe there is a “happy ending”…but that is not my point.  I just find the initial premise so horrendous as to be completely off putting and unacceptable.    This again raises the question of how far authors have to go to excite the feelings of our jaded and emotionally dulled age.    Good grief:   every year, you have to make a sacrifice of children (whose deaths are described in some cases in lurid detail)?  What is all this supposed to tell us about the contemporary human condition?  Anything? … or is it just to sell books?  I guess you could say that an empire that has to ‘eat” its own children to survive is doomed to fall; and that is certainly presaged in the first book by the effeteness and superficial luxury in the capitol as contrasted with the misery of the provinces.

I suppose this is all just further evidence of how our culture has become “violencized”:  a word I just made up meaning infused with and accustomed to very violent acts and practices…and there is nothing very new about that.  Still, from a purely subjective perspective, this one “hit” me harder than many of the (many) others; probably because I am a parent.

I am certainly not saying the book/movie should be banned or boycotted, or anything like that.  I am only saying that if you too have the feeling that this is rather awful, you are not alone.  It is awful.

IGbarb says:   “Fighting to the death is a losing proposition for everybody:  all those who died, and the last one standing who had to kill to get there!”

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March 19, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

Metta WP

I’m probably the last person on the planet to learn about this (actually I think I heard something a while ago and forgot, but never mind).  But the other day watching a Los Angeles Lakers basketball game on TV, I suddenly realized that the announcer kept saying “World Peace this…” and “World Peace that…”, as in “World Peace is fouled and will shoot two three throws”.  That was certainly something you don’t hear every day about peace!  After a while I figured out it was Ron Artest.  If you know who he is/was you will appreciate even more what’s below.  To make a long story short he was suspended an entire season a few years ago for brawling with fans.  I saw it live:  he was provoked, but even so….Anyhow, he had anger management issues as we say today, and is apparently trying to do something about it (with some success).  So, I had a google and found this article from the L.A. Times.

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We have World Peace: Ron Artest gets name change

September 16, 2011|By Ben Bolch

The most ballyhooed name change of the year became official Friday morning when a Los Angeles County Superior Court commissioner approved the former Ron Artest’s request to become Metta World Peace.

Amid labor discord that threatens to delay, if not wipe out, the NBA season, there is World Peace.

He is 6 feet 7, wears No. 15 for the Lakers and once participated in the infamous “Palace brawl.”

Anyone now making his acquaintance will be meeting Metta World Peace. Those on a first-name basis can call him Metta, while those a little further removed can buy jerseys with his last name of World Peace stretched across the back.

The most ballyhooed name change of the year became official Friday morning when a Los Angeles County Superior Court commissioner approved the former Ron Artest’s request.

World Peace was expected to attend the hearing, but about an hour after the court doors opened, his attorney, Nahla Rajan, announced that the Lakers forward was not coming. A few minutes later, Commissioner Matthew C. St. George approved the name change in a hearing that lasted about 30 seconds.

St. George: “Mr. Artest has requested a name change to Metta World Peace?”

Rajan: “Yes, your honor.”

St. George: “And it’s for personal reasons, he said?”

Rajan: “Yes, your honor.”

St. George: “OK. All right. He’ll now be known as Metta World Peace. Thank you.”

World Peace’s publicist, Courtney Barnes, said his client had been contemplating the switch for years, “but it took many years of research and soul-searching to find a first name that was both personally meaningful and inspirational.” Metta is a Buddhist term that means loving kindness and friendliness toward others.

“Changing my name was meant to inspire and bring youth together all around the world,” World Peace said in a statement. “I’m glad that it is now official.”

World Peace had hoped to adopt his new moniker last month but was rebuffed because of an outstanding traffic ticket. He was cited for driving without a license and faced an additional charge after missing a court date, Rajan said.

Ticket paid, World Peace can now reign.

And it may be spreading fast. Barnes confirmed reports that World Peace’s 8-year-old daughter, Diamond, wants to adopt her father’s new surname.

“They wanted to wait until this was fully done before” starting the process, Barnes said.

Rajan said changing the name of a child requires the consent of both parents.

World Peace must now obtain a new driver’s license and passport. Barnes said his client would more fully explain his name change Monday when he appears on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.”

Though World Peace was not required to attend Friday’s hearing, Barnes said his client was on his way a few minutes before the court session was scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Artest’s name was listed first on the docket.

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IGbarb says:  “World Peace on the back of an NBA jersey?  Why the heck not!”

 

March 6, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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