Friday, March 23, 2012

Hunger Gloating Games

The much-anticipated movie The Hunger Games has just been released, and everyone who loved the book is hoping that the movie does it justice. That would include my entire family, who shoved a copy of the book into my hands earlier this week with the not-to-be-ignored instructions to make sure I'd read the whole thing before this weekend. (Which I've done, just so it's been said.)

The book is a quick, entertaining read, and the social commentary -- on wealth/power/poverty and Western society's delight in being entertained by the misery of others -- is something I also hope comes across loud and clear in the movie version.

Also in the news this week was the very disturbing public meltdown of Jason Russell, the director of the viral sensation Kony2012. The Twitterverse lit up like a 4rth of July fireworks display, and the word "gloat" doesn't even begin to describe the gorge-fest of acrimonious delight that resulted from the news of his breakdown.
(Disclaimer: I am not commenting on any concerns surrounding the Kony2012 phenomena itself. That's a separate issue entirely.)
Regardless of where you stand on the Kony2012 film itself, I can't help but wonder how many people will flock to see The Hunger Games over this weekend, and yet not see any parallels between the movie's message -- the grotesqueness of being entertained by the degradation and dehumanization of others -- and the vicious glee exhibited over Jason Russell's meltdown.

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