This is supposed to be the week I write about things I love and so I held off on writing a Hunger Games post. Besides, the rest of the Internet has covered the topic pretty well. I’m quite certain that somewhere out there another little family of mice has written what I’m thinking on the topic.
But, you know, I DID love the first book in spite of my huge reservations. A book where kids are killed?!? What could be fun about that?? I resisted for years, then read them to kick off last summer. I laughed, I cried, I breezed through the first two and clunked angrily through the third.
When I first heard about the movie I assumed I’d go. Not only did I enjoy the story, but it also had Lenny Kravitz whom I also enjoy. Then I started to see the previews, and I’m wondering if the movie really is for me. After all, what I loved about the book was the spirit of hope and perserverence in the face of insurmountable odds. When you’re reading you are as free to imagine the setting as you want. In a dystopian (and boy am I tired of that word) book like this one, you can dial back the imagination if the setting becomes too grim. I had to do that in several places, and I’m realising I won’t be able to do that while watching the movie. It will all be there and all be inescapable.
I’m leaning more and more toward waiting for video, when I can watch it surrounded by the comforts of home. Also, there’s the issue that whenever we see a movie in the theatre lately I find myself wanting to volunteer other audience members for a Hunger Games event of my own. If we ever start Hunger Games in my lifetime it will be as a way to punish kids for texting during movies and church.
As usual there are a lot of other Christians weighing in on What Hunger Games Says About Us As A Society, how Christianity is the answer to Hunger Games and other such things. Those articles tend to bug me a lot of times because they liken the Jews of Jesus’ time to the bloodthirsty mobs of this story. I get really uncomfortable when Christians start throwing Jews under the bus. It happens a lot, especially around Easter. With Sunday being Palm Sunday I’m expecting that we’ll get more than a few posts about The Jews Who Killed Christ, even if they are said obliquely. We’ve got this thing in Christianity where we like that we’ve seen the light and the Jews haven’t. Like we’re so much better than they are because we “get” Jesus. I cannot express how much this disturbs me. Because it’s like we have nominated the Jews as our own Hunger Games victims. Obviously throughout history we’ve had a grand time scapegoating them.
I suppose that’s what makes me the most uncomfortable about the Hunger Games story itself and the commentaries surrounding it. People talk about how awful, how dystopian the story is. Then they write a post about the Jews demanding Jesus’ blood that scapegoats the Jews. Or they write a post about Trayvon Martin that scapegoats young black men. Or about George Zimmerman that scapegoats gun enthusiasts. Or there’s something about Santorum or Obama or…. you see where I’m going, I guess. We love to create outsiders and pillory them, even now. We aren’t that much better, if we’re better at all.