Hunger Games

Moore's Watchmen was a response to the Oliver North trials, and to Reagan.

1.

I read The Hunger Games. So this is how America has chosen to process the power grab by the country’s richest 2%, I think, as I finish the novel. I buy it after I read that the author was inspired by seeing only reality shows and war coverage on her television.

That strikes me as honorable inspiration for a best-seller.

In case you somehow missed it (there’s over a million copies in print), in this novel a young woman named Katniss lives in a post-American state called Panem, in a poor coal-mining district. Each year each of the 12 districts has to send two of their children, a boy and a girl, to fight to the death in a broadcast reality show. She volunteers to replace her sister when her sister is chosen.

It’s a well-written and fun read, and there’s two more novels, a trilogy.

2.

Reading it I think of how this last year was the year of the so-called Health Care Reform debate, which was people telling the truth vs. people lying about it. This was also the year that I wasasked, every few months, to contribute to fundraisers for the healthcare of others, with cancer, usually. I participate. Because what else is there to do? Unlike my government, I believe a citizen deserves to live whether or not they can afford their care.

3.

I am still not really sure how I ended up living in a country I’d never agree to move to.

We have snow days, which gives me two days of cancelled class. I stay in and read and write. I read Mary Robison’s Why Did I Ever and want to quote every line of it. I consider putting it up on Twitter but that seems like a defacement, something she’d loathe (I studied with her). Also, for a class I’m teaching, I’ve been reading Orlando, Never Let Me Go. I’ll blog some responses to these in the coming weeks. Everything feels like it’s about the amnesiac rich, wealthy people who have no idea as to the human cost of their existence.

And then over that weekend, the Reagan centenary arrives.

4.

I remember Reagan as a senescent right wing apparition, evil with a grin. The smiley face button covered in blood on the cover of Moore’s The Watchmen. When I saw that cover I thought, Oh, Reagan. He was the grinning killer sending death squads into Latin America, funding the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden, ignoring AIDS while it became a full-fledged pandemic, lowering the poverty level and then declaring poverty diminished. “Trickle-Down Economics” is a rich person spilling something while he eats, and everyone else fighting over it on the floor underneath him. Good riddance. The day he was born is blackened forever. If he’d never been president, we might not have a novel like The Hunger Games. We might not have healthcare fundraisers for people who can’t afford to survive cancer. He is dead and we are all still trying to survive his presidency.

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10 thoughts on “Hunger Games

  1. Jeaux says:

    “the amnesiac rich, wealthy people who have no idea as to the human cost of their existence.” In addition to having no perception of the nation, society, or heritage from whence their wealth obtains… seems it emerges in solid gold bricks, all by itself, from their gold-plated behinds. What an infuriating link… the hypocracy is stunning. A healthy nation is a competive nation. What part of that don’t they get? The ‘nation’ part, I suspect, these great patriots.

    I saw Reagan pass in a motorcade in the Manhattan financial district years ago. Just a glimpse. Hair slicked blackly back, smiling, waving from the back seat of a limo, the impression was of a jazz era tycoon villain with the world on a string. Favorite quote: “We were willing to try anything…” commenting on why he and Nancy consulted astrologers on affairs of state in the declining years of his administration.

    “Why Did I Ever”, huh? OK.

  2. Chris says:

    Adding to what Jeaux said above, there was this article on Reagan’s acknowledgment of “space aliens” more than AIDS (might have seen it originally from your twitter actually-memory is two day fever fuzzy):
    http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/02/04/reagan_aides_ufos
    Born in 1983, Reagan was just the guy in charge of our country who talked funny to six year old me. That I’m reminded now of the X-Files cabal of government officials colluding with extraterrestrial life to insure select (theirs) immunity to an alien viral life form-should seem nonsensical and horrifying but just the later applies.

    1. koreanish says:

      Yeah. I saw that too. I loved that and hated it at the same time. Interesting that Churchill was also really concerned about UFOs. Maybe we should be? Who can say. I love the guy I saw on twitter when there was a UFO sighting last year who posted “Conquer us! Save us!”

  3. Chris says:

    hey, Octavia Butler had it all figured out! It may be wickedly weird, but symbiogenetic bonding with our alien overlords will ultimately lead to better dual species offspring!

  4. koreanish says:

    This morning one of the people I fundraised for, Jon Hickey, died of leukemia, less than a year after his diagnosis. I didn’t know him at all, but my heart goes out to his family and loved ones, who have struggled mightily.

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