So what I gather is this: the premise really revolves around the fact that the rich, lazy people of the future force “tributes” (12-18 year-old adolescents) to fight to the death in a televised event called “the Hunger Games”. Apparently they get their kicks by watching people suffer, and actually end up sponsoring the “tributes” they take a liking to be sending gifts such as food and tools in order to help them make it further in the contest.
Various other sources I’ve interacted with on the Hunger Games have noted that this is the inevitable course of things, given a world awash in original sin. To some it’s a stern warning about what we could become. Where our proclivities could take us.
Well, (and I can hardly be the first to notice this and point it out) we are already there.
What do I mean? Simply this: we thrive on spectacle. It captivates us.
We thrive on scandal. It draws us in.
We thrive on violence. It’s a sport to us.
No, we don’t have a televised bloodbath in the sense of the Hunger Games, but think of some of the shows America watches for crying out loud. Maury Povich, Jerry Springer, Swift Justice, etc… shows where we get to feast on human grief and anguish, get our fix of offense, and soak in the hatred and revenge that is manipulated out of the featured people like juice is squeezed from a lemon.
I’m no less guilty than anyone else of imbibing this stuff. The whole idea for this post came as I happened to see a news story online regarding a certain actress with a trouble-streak earlier this evening and clicked on it. About halfway through I realized what I was reading, and asked why. Apparently, if I’m brutally honest, I love to watch hurting people as much as the next guy – may the Lord have mercy on this sinner!
It’s not quite the physical violence of the hunger games, but one could certainly argue that the emotional and spiritual violence manufactured by elements of our culture is even worse for being… well… less obvious it its appearance and appeal.