The Hunger Games
I clicked on Google News and found the top Entertainment story today to be "The Hunger Games", raking in over $155 million on its opening weekend. I glanced at other news. The shooting of tribute Trayvon Williams by tribute George Zimmerman was up at the top of the list, followed by the shooting of at least 16 civilians by a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan. Also, fourteen members of the rebellion, err, Occupy Wall Street, were arrested in New York. (Would that be in the 13th district?)
No, I have not read the books or seen the movie. I've just read enough of the reviews and heard enough discussions to mix things up a little bit. Yet this gets to the bigger question, why is The Hunger Games resonating in our society the way that it is? Likewise, as I mentioned in a previous blog post, why is the book being banned by some teachers?
Is it gratuitous violence that is desensitizing tweens to violence, or is there something more pernicious, a strong woman (what Limbaugh would call a slut), coming to recognize oppression and seeking to find ways of beating the oppressors at their own game?
Is it really like the reality television shows that some have compared it to, a twenty first century version of the panopticon? Or, is there something bigger going on, akin to social media where we all become both the watchers and the watched, where our status updates, tweets and blog posts become a performance in which we seek to outwit the oppressors the way Katniss seeks to outmaneuver her oppressors?