Hunger Games

I read these stories to screen them for my son. I’d read the second one on a hiatus from war in West Africa, sitting at a buffet table in a massive resort in Marrakech, anonymous and unbothered. But that was then, and now my little boy is getting old enough to start to wrestle with the ideas of good and bad, right and wrong and the epic struggles to be free.

That is what Hunger Games series is about. It is not about nonsense of ‘social justice’ or the stupidity of gender confusion or the inanity of all the things that mark our modern world. Our own ‘Capitol’, for those who also have read the books. Because we are not from the Capitol, we are from the districts – those of us who have been called ‘back row’. Those of us who know that life is to be lived not in acquisition of a fleeting utopia to be found in the transient satisfaction of wickedness but instead in a life lived well: hard work, time with family, an olden book on a rainy night, a good night sleep after a long day. Doing what is right, and good and true – that which lasts the test of time when all the ephemeral ideas of now have crusted over and blown away. They were not deep, they could not last, they did not answer the rawness, are not soothed by balms oh-so facile.

I’m amazed that Suzanne Collins wrote these books the way she did. They should not have been as they are; they are not in step with the modern world and the Gramscian control thereof. Simply put, these are books that would have sold well in the Districts, but not the Capitol – and the Districts have no money for simple pleasures and no time to read anyways.

Yet here we have them – books like Tolkien and Lewis, books that will instill in my little boy the courage for the fight which awaits him. Not yet, that is my conclusion as I put the books in his little library. He is not yet of age, Hunger Games is a rough story. In a few years, when he is ready. And I hold onto the books, for I’m sure the Capitol will try and find a way to ban them. The causes Katniss fights for are not the right ones, after all – are they? Mustn’t speak too loudly of such things…

About Joel D. Hirst

Joel D. Hirst is a novelist and a playwright. His most recently released work is "Dreams of the Defeated: A Play in Two Acts" about a political prisoner in a dystopian regime. His novels include "I, Charles, From the Camps" about the life of a young man in the African camps and "Lords of Misrule" about the making and unmaking of a jihadist in the Sahara. "The Lieutenant of San Porfirio" and its sequel "The Burning of San Porfirio" are about the rise and fall of socialist Venezuela (with magic).
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