I’ve just finished reading the first book of The Hunger Games series. I’ve seen the movie, but as a novelist realize I really need to read this series and some others that are supposedly young adult novels (they appeal to me and I’m far from a “young” adult).
This dystopian novel is about a United States taken over by corporate greed. The powers-that-be (referred to as the “Capital”) control the outer Districts by setting up a competition to the death between two children of each district, chosen by lottery, in a wild terrain called the arena. The competition is called the “Hunger Games.”
I thought about what the “Hunger Games” did to keep the “Capital” in power. By setting up the competition between the Districts they not only terrorize the Districts, but they divide them – turning them against each other.
Except for the blatant violence, Roman circus atmosphere of the Hunger Games, this is not too different from what is happening in this country today. Using racism as the tool, the one percent is tearing apart any unity the rest of us might have by setting us against each other. Trump, of course, is having a lot of fun playing into this.
“It must be those immigrants that are stealing our jobs,” — not the corporations that have sent the jobs overseas, or who are hoarding their money in tax havens so that they don’t have to pay their fair share of taxes.
“Those Muslims are terrorists and out to kill us,” — despite the fact that far more Muslims are being killed than people of any other religion by the violent extremists in the Middle East. Extremists who are armed to the teeth with weapons sold by American corporations and those from other wealthy countries. (I wonder just what the weapons industry has to do with this promotion of endless war?)
“That black man walking down the street must be casing my house because we know all black men are criminals. Look how many are in jail,” – even though we know that the war on drugs was used as a way to imprison black men, destroy families, giving them huge sentences despite the nonviolence of their crimes which then made it very difficult for them to get jobs. This and so much more had the intent to dampen the success of the civil rights movement.
I’m hoping, as I start on the second and third novels of The Hunger Games series, to find that the “districts” find a way to unite against the corporate interests. I’m hoping, too, that we will stop this racist nonsense here in our real world and begin to pull together for the good of all humanity and the earth.
This is the story that goes with the picture above (from http://www.outfromtheshadows.ca/unity/):
At the Festival of Peace in Brazil, journalist and philosopher, Lia Diskin, shared the story about an anthropologist who was studying the habits and customs of an African tribe referred to as ‘Ubuntu’. The anthropologist asked some children from this tribe to participate in a game. He placed a basket full of candy at the base of a nearby tree, and told the children that whoever got to the basket first was the recipient of all the candy.
After organizing the children behind a line that he had drawn on the ground, the anthropologist announced ‘Go!’ To his surprise, he observed all of the children join hands and run together towards the prize. One they reached the candy they all sat down together to enjoy their winnings.
The anthropologist was intrigued and asked them why they had run together when one could have had all the treats. One of the children responded by saying, “How can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?”
Yes. How can any of us be happy when so many of us are sad, hungry, discriminated against, warred upon, dying, being pushed out of our homes…