Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Confessions of a Book Worm #3

Yesterday, I heard someone on a podcast (I'm not going to name names here, 'cause I don't think that's cool) talk about how they thought Hunger Games was a 'soft' dystopia, for those who didn't have the guts to read the 'real stuff', i.e. Battle Royale, etc. They went on to say how ridiculous it was that 40-year-olds were taking Hunger Games seriously.

Listening to that, I wanted to punch something. It reminded me of why I don't usually listen to podcasts, because stuff like this gets spewed out without real thought of what is being said. First of all, Hunger Games is dystopia, yes. Whether you think children being forced to kill each other brutally due to the government's power is 'soft' or not is, I suppose, up to you, so I'm going to hold judgment on that one. However, saying that it's ridiculous that people (even adults) take the story seriously is a whole new level of ridiculous in and of itself.
The world we live in is in chaos right now. Sure, the news channels are trying to downplay it to stop worldwide fear from coming through, but we have protests in Brazil, Greece, Texas, UK, Russia, Australia... We have people fighting for better education and welfare, and living in fear that their protests will result in a military dictatorship. We have women fighting for the right to own their bodies. It's a continuation of the fight for feminism, yes, but just as serious as the fight for the vote, or for equal rights, because guess what - we're still not equal. No one tells a rapist he needs to become an eunuch because he raped a girl and got her pregnant. And yet men want to tell women what to do with the result of the rape. We have have communities fighting for the right to love who they want to, without being called sinners, or being imprisoned for it.
This is a turning point in so many ways. And Hunger Games tells us all about a turning point that went south. We don't see too much of anti-feminism or anti-LGBT in Hunger Games, but the message about conforming to those in power comes through loud and clear. We see mothers being told what to with their children, wit no options. We see couples being broken up because of the government. We see unfair imprisonment. We see a young girl fighting with all she has for her life, her freedom, and her ability to marry who she wants, when she wants, and not be told she has to by the president.
Sound familiar?
So don't come and tell me that Hunger Games shouldn't be taken seriously. It should be taken very, very seriously. Not only because of the message the books sends about standing up for your individual rights as a human being, but also because what happens if this turning point we're at right now turns south too?
Don't even try telling me that no one would ever think of killing kids as coercion. It's been done before, thousands of times, throughout history, so what's to stop it from happening again? Because if this shit goes bad, it's going to be a free-for-all. Then, my friends, 'may the odds be ever in your favour'.

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