Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Hunger Games and stupid posts on Facebook

I'm pretty happy to be writing one of my first Soapbox posts... I do apologize that I've been off the radar for so long, but I"m back because I have been so  irritated inspired in the past few days by all this hubbub about the Hunger Games and the imminent deterioration of the preteen age group associated. I've seen so many people on Facebook talking about these books now that the movie is out.  (The movie is fantastic in case you were wondering).  So what is it that's gotten under my skin?

I am not one to start drama on FB, I hate that.  But, sometimes those people (and we all know some), like to make drama over topics they know nothing about. I can't tell you the number of people I've seen talking down about books which they have NOT READ.  It really is humorous that they do this because it just makes them look silly annoying. I also heard that school districts are (just now) taking these books off of reading list due to the violence. This is, no doubt, in response to complaints from people who have not read the books and have only seen previews to the movie.   To this I say: "Quit your belly aching!"

Now, I am not a parent, which surely discredits me to most who have spoken out in the name of adolescent innocence stripped by reading the Hunger Games. But, I have read the books.  And if I had children middle school aged or above, I would let them read the books.  I would also let them watch the movie.  I can honestly say that the overall  message of the trilogy, literary and cinematic alike, is NOT children killing children is OK.  If the neigh-Sayers on Facebook and our local principals' offices had read the books, I would imagine this might not be such an issue. The overall messages of the trilogy, in my humble opinion, would be:

1. Killing is a horrible thing: These books do not celebrate murder of innocent lives.  The entire mood of the book is oppressed. The killing in the arena is the strongest display, but I think the author was intentional in this.  When I first heard the premise of the books, I though "That's appalling that that could happen"  and IF it were true, it would surely be appalling.  There are  many appalling things happening in the world, but I'm not going to bury my head in the sand and pretend it's not there and tell children all is well in the world. 

2. One person can make a difference.  In the face of terrible odds (no pun intended) and an oppressive overbearing controlling government, Katniss  inspires a whole country by being herself.  Loving and courageous.

3. Stay with me on this one... Our role in gov't (elections etc,) does matter. This may sound like a stretch, but I think this is one reason these books should be allowed to stay on school reading lists.  There are a lot of lessons that could be taught from the books in relation to culture, government, and possibilities of the future if we do not get involved in our communities and government. Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly no activists, I just think the books have some really good things to help us think about certain things.

My last point is that we need to be encouraging young people to read.  Especially in our state where literacy is such an issue.  These books have caught on like wildfire and if students want to read these in school, we should let them.  It's a really entertaining story, we should just let it be.

Again, I don't like to start drama, I just think some are ridiculous for making FB posts celebrating school districts decisions to take it away and complaining about violence in a book you've never read. 

That's all. I welcome your comments.  What did you think of the movie?

No comments:

Post a Comment