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Life Arts    H4'ed 9/12/12

Two Thousand Thirteen Plus Seventy Four Equals Nineteen Eighty Four

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The world needs me as another web movie reviewer like the car market needs another new SUV.  But I have some thoughts about Hunger Games that I would like to share. Maybe the author herself has said this though I doubt it; this film says more about where we are headed and the dangers of continuing in that direction than any modern work of fiction or science fiction or drama or comedy that has been projected onto a screen since Brazil.  The only references to this movie I have heard on NPR radio state that Ms Collins is declining to characterize this thing as a commentary on our current election cycle or class warfare.  Watch it for two hours and ten minutes and tell me she is not hiding behind her microphone and typewriter for fear of a Tea Party lynch mob.
It has recently come to light which is a miracle in itself given the abrogation of duty on constant display by the main stream media that the republican hierarchy in control of the Romney Ryan puppet show is fully aware this is their last chance to swing the election and turn the tide using the power of white men.  Most of these are old or rich or young or ignorant or poor or MBAs or recently traumatized veterans who fear the oncoming revolution of color against white.  Or at least they fear Rush and Glenn and Sean's perception and prediction of an oncoming revolution which is by no means inevitable.  This could be the last time in modern times that a sliver of a mathematical majority of such people can jerk the lever just enough to alter the trajectory of history in favor of the rich privileged class.  Anyone saying this election is not about class warfare needs to see Hunger Games and study it frame by frame.  For it shows us in 4x UHD what we are becoming and what we are dooming ourselves to if we let the rich continue to exploit the poor.
Capitalism is at its most bankrupt since the Gilded Age of the Gay '90s.  But it does not know it, and there is no Teddy Roosevelt riding down from the hills with a big stick to beat back the bad robber barons.  They have more power than they ever have yet the illusion of  "control" or "restraint" or "regulation" is projected from TV and media and government as if it actually amounted to something.  Just as was the case during the Spanish American War, the media have themselves become the pigs rather than the vigilant guard dogs.  Instead of alerting us to the dangers we face, they are part of the danger we face.
You don't have to have seen this film to know what I am talking about.  Artifice, Brutality and Innocence are the three great stimulants of the exhausted ones; as Joni Mitchell paraphrased Friedrich Nietzsche thirty years ago in a pop song.  And to watch TV today and try to see past Dancing With the Stars,  the NFL and Biggest Loser for something other than that triad of staple fare that in one form or another is about all there is any more is an exercise in futility.  In Hunger Games, this is writ large and under the control of the government and its media and its technological agents.  The under class is so thoroughly exploited  and manipulated by the ruling class that one might think this is a parody or comic book style exaggeration.  Don't let the faux Marie Antionette grooming and styling fool you. This is not a comedy for laughs.  It is not Cesar Romero as the Joker to Adam West's Batman.  The Bastille will be stormed in a future sequel, rest assured.  Most of the people of color are in the lower class and pitted against their white brothers for the amusement of the viewers while the power controllers are nearly as triple white as a 1961 Cadillac Coupe de Ville might be.
This is a scary movie because it shows how real people can become such bad people.  It shows us how we are becoming those really bad people because of the way we treat each other.  I am going another step to say that if we are stupid and ignorant and evil enough to put some slimy slicked down religious imposter in charge of the free world, we deserve to end up at each other's throats like the people in Hunger Games.  We will have proven to the world and to ourselves that we are pigs.  That we are mongrels.  That we are crazed rabid hyenas devouring anything that moves that is perceived as a threat.  The rich can only continue to be rich in this world of shrinking and shrunk exhausted resources by oppressing the poor even more until such time as the poor have killed each other off.  But we won't have to worry about that for another couple of generations.  In the meantime, put Romney and Ryan in the White House to save yourself from the animals.  Oh wait, you already are one.  Now what are we going to do?
Our best chance to save ourselves from ourselves will be over on the morning of 7 November.  It took the characters in Hunger Games seventy four years to reach the cliff.  Tune in next year to see if they all jump off or turn back and build a world worth living in. 
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I worked as a broadcast TV engineer for twenty years after graduating from Indiana University. Later, I worked for Social Security as a Disability Examiner and then as a Research Coordinator at a HIV clinic. Nowadays, I repair, restore and collect (more...)
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