Even The Hunger Games make them froth.
You may have thought you were going to the movies to see a wildly successful film based on a novel called The Hunger Games published on Oct 1, 2008; one that warned of a brutal, totalitarian government using TV to control the people through terror, punishment and distraction.
But you were not. You went to see The Hunger Games to see a warning about how Obama wants to control all of our resources, including our livestock. Duh.
Watch the trailer here:
The Right brought their ideology to the theatre, and you had best agree with them even though the director and (one of several) screenwriter Gary Ross quite clearly was referencing the oligarchy of the 1%. A bit of background:
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the other districts in line by forcing them to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight-to-the-death on live TV. One boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and sixteen are selected by lottery to play.
The winner brings riches and favor to his or her district. But that is nothing compared to what the Capitol wins: one more year of fearful compliance with its rule. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her impoverished district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before – and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
The Hunger Games warns us about an evil government of wealthy, callous, pampered sociopaths who enjoy inflicting pain and terror on the people in order to maintain their power. They are very pro-war and get off on limiting the people’s access to resources in order to keep them docile and willing to kill for survival.
The key to survival in The Hunger Games is to, “Get people to like you!” Or so says the heroine’s mentor. Even if you have to lie to them, invent a love story and act like you don’t care. Play the game right and you’ll survive. The one thing the government doesn’t allow is for humanity to win, so when the heroine battles with her compassion and desire to nurture other “Tributes”, she is supposed to lose because she’s not callous enough.
However, The Hunger Games is Hollywood, and in Hollywood, only the moral can win in a blockbuster. In that sense, the film advocates for humanity and against devouring our own. The evolved win; compassion wins.
In Right wing, this translates to Obama’s horrible dystopian government is giving us all welfare in order to distract us from their theft of our liberty.
The right claims The Hunger Games’ warning about Obama should be heeded. You see, state subsidized birth control is a way to distract us from the government stealing our liberty! Obama is the bread and circuses (panem et circenses; or superficial means of appeasement) upon which the fictitious nation is named! Panem! Bread!
For example, Raven Clabough writes for New American, “One need not be a genius to draw parallels between the governing regime of Panem and that of the United States, adding a frightening layer of depth to the film. One need not look past the recent executive order signed by President Obama to discover that our own federal government has a desire to control our resources, nor does one need to look past the recent congressional debate over subsidized birth control (let alone all of the other government promises to take care of us from cradle to grave), in order to understand that the government is always looking for the next distraction to keep the American people in the dark about its tyrannical and liberty-threatening measures.”
Also, one need not be a genius to know that this executive order does not expand the President’s authority and it is based on a decades old law. This Executive Order is based on Defense Production Act of 1950 which gave the Government powers to mobilize national resources in the event of national emergency. It has been in effect since the Truman Administration.
But back to the fear. Executive order!
Surely I thought they might recognize themselves in the Randian crowds cheering for the death of innocents because they “deserve it” according to the state. But no. The Right’s debate cheers may have demonstrated their propensity to be entertained by violence and suffering of others, but the liberty!
Real liberty is, apparently, allowing yourself to get jacked up over a decades old law. After all, one need not be a genius to know how yummy fear is with tea.
Also, too, Obama’s coming for our livestock!
Just how expansive are the claimed powers and what resources are included in their scope? Livestock? Yes. All food “resources” and “resource facilities?” Yes. Veterinary clinics? Yes. All forms of energy? Yes. Will the President control the water supply? Yes.
Well, it’s been a week and my water is still running, but I question my cable, which goes out every evening at midnight. Obama is hoarding my cable! Oh, wait, that’s the state allowing a corporation to dictate policy. Well, still. Liberty!
My only question is as women, do we now qualify legally as livestock, after Republicans have been likening our reproductive abilities and their right to regulate our property to our being livestock? Moo.
But panem! We all recall when President Obama told us the best thing we could do for our country would be to go shopping, right after he sent us all a 2k refund.
Oh, I kid the conservatives.
The New American doesn’t make mention of the lottery/draft war parable or the to fight until your likely death sold as “noble sacrifice” for your country. No mention of the wealthy sponsorship that the Tributes must win in order to survive. No mention of a government where no dissent is allowed. No mention that the games are a punishment for an uprising of the people. No mention of a government that breeds callousness and divides the people by pitting them against one another for survival. No mention of the use of fear to control and manipulate the people, via the TV, by showing them what happens to bad, undeserving people.
When we watch the scene of the wealthy, privileged few in the Capitol watching the games on big screens and placing bets on who will die as they laugh and gorge themselves, are we thinking gee, there are the 99% or are we thinking gee, there are the 1%?
Donald Sutherland, who plays the evil President Snow, said the film was a unique way to talk about the Occupy Wall Street movement’s message. He tells Entertainment Weekly he hopes the movie will mobilize a generation of people. Sutherland spoke of the poignancy of the film being about the oligarchy controlling the 99%, “Gary Ross wrote a script of such elegance and wit, but he wrote those two scenes in the Rose Garden for me, that so brilliantly encapsulated what it was with the oligarchy controlling the 99% and that is what made me so desperately enthusiastic about being a part of these films.”
The Right is trying to co-opt a universal theme in science fiction, a world of Randian, authoritative brutality in which the government manages to remove humanity from the people by pitting them against one another in a fight for resources. They know the movie is powerful and successful, and so they want to be sure their values are associated with its message in a positive way, lest any “geniuses” out there get any “ideas”.
We know what happens to people with ideas. They engage in uprisings and uprisings must be silenced and shut down…. Individuality is discouraged and spirit is only allowable if the wealthy can be entertained or enriched or use it to distract the masses.
With themes similar to The Running Man, social commentary on a dystopian future with lethal reality TV sufficing for what used to be the Gladiator Games is hardly new, but somehow the Right came away from The Hunger Games believing a book published in October of 2008 was about how evil Obama is. They also assume that the film champions their values of wanting endless wars, hating and fearing gays, Muslims, African Americans, women, union members, poor, elderly, disabled, children, Hispanics, Hollywood elite, coastal elites, big city slickers, et al because they are “hogging all of the resources” that should belong to the white Christian wealthy male and his corporate sponsors. Now you know why they are so desperate to defund education.
As 1%er President Snow, played by Donald Sutherland, says in the film, “Hope. Hope is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective. A lot of hope is dangerous.”
Got it? Fear = good, hope is bad. Hope empowers the people, fear controls them.