What The Hunger Games Is Really About?

by Colette Moran

The author of The Hunger Games trilogy is not tipping her hand on her political leanings. Susan Collins merely says she came up with the idea of the first book while switching channels one night and seeing a reality show and Iraq War coverage. But many liberals seem to think that the type of oppression portrayed in these books and movies points to the GOP. Apparently the commentary on the DVD for the first film has many references by the actors et al to”the Bush regime.” Seriously? Does that refer to the military methods and the increase in the invasion of privacy thanks to the War on Terror – that the current administration has taken to a whole new level?  Gee, do you think we will hear about the “Obama regime” in the second movie’s commentary?

And it seems there is also a group calling themselves “The Harry Potter Alliance” that is insisting that The Hunger Games reflects income inequality in the U.S.

[T]he Harry Potter Alliance [is] a group that aims to push a progressive agenda by politicizing popular young-adult novels and their fans.

For the New York-based nonprofit, “The Hunger Games” trilogy is more than the gripping tale of a brave teenage girl fighting for her life in a dystopian society — it’s a call for progressive social change.

The alliance launched its “Odds in Our Favor” campaign Nov. 21, the day before the release of the second “Hunger Games” movie… The drive is aimed at pushing what the organization calls the movie’s central theme: income inequality.

Hoo boy. 

       photo credit: Lionsgate

It’s interesting to watch the likes of Slate, when reporting on the meaning of the films, try to play both sides.

I have no idea whether Collins understood, while writing her best-selling trilogy of novels, that this would allow Tea Party libertarians to embrace Katniss Everdeen’s incipient rebellion against the tyranny of the effete, aestheticized and affluent Capital as easily as could Obama liberals or left-wing anarchists. Is this a story of the 99 percent rising against their corporate overlords, or of real Americans “taking their country back” from the cultural elite? 

Corporate overlords? Yeah, I’m sure Americans feel the oppression of corporations on a daily basis.

The Bush administration didn’t exactly try to control every aspect of Americans’ lives. But there actually are countries where citizens are given a test at a young age so that the government can choose which career path those children are “allowed” to pursue — or where they may live, or if they are allowed to step outside a certain border.

And viewers of The Hunger Games movies may have noticed something missing amongst the citizens’ possessions. Why does Katniss hunt with a bow? But it’s not the GOP that’s trying to disarm everyone — or even cracking down on “imaginary weapons.”

Though conservatives certainly have their own lavish parties, they are not the ones who dress up in outrageous fashion, making themselves vomit so they can eat more, with the cameras broadcasting their swanky soirees while the masses sit in their humble homes and watch.

And are conservatives the ones creating the reality shows that reward questionable behavior with instant fame?

Kids are smart, and hopefully will draw the right conclusions themselves. But it doesn’t hurt to ask them what they think The Hunger Games is really about.