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!”


March 19, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I don’t have time to read fiction books anymore but I do watch movies. You should try watching the first and second ones, which are already out. They aren’t meant merely to be “teen entertainment”. Actually they are serious, and probably better understood by adults. Like much good science fiction (or fiction period) they are really a comment about the world TODAY, dressed up as a story about the future. Metaphorical perhaps one might say. Also the films are extremely well done. It is a dark vision, but as far as being violencized”, or the competitive aspect–all one need do is listen to the national news any day and see that the films are not really worse than today’s reality; in fact they are a sober indictment of it.

    Comment by Karl Weaver | December 1, 2014 | Reply

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