Political Philosophy

I had gotten a gift card to a nail spa a week or two ago so I went and got a pedicure. The people grabbed me some tabloid magazines even though I had asked for the NStyle (I know, so much better, yes, I know People owns NStyle). I hate tabloid magazines – I cannot even remember the last time I read one. However, getting my toes done is a good excuse to waste some time and not be productive and just relax so I read them. One of the magazines was old, actually both were. So I’m reading them and I was thinking this isn’t even news. These aren’t real problems. These are distractions.

This past week I went to see The Hunger Games twice. Once with my hubby and once with my little sister. I’m not going to summarize what The Hunger Games is about so bear with me if you haven’t read them or seen the movies, but just know that The Hunger Games isn’t about romance or something like that. It is about the dangers of a totalitarian society a.k.a socialism, communism, fascism. There is this lovely scene in the movie where President Snow and game maker Plutarch are talking after watching footage about Katniss…

President Snow: She’s not who they think she is. She just wants to save her skin. It’s as simple as that. She has become a beacon of hope for them. She has to be eliminated. What do you think?
Plutarch Heavensbee: I agree she should die but in the right way. At the right time. Katniss Everdeen is a symbol. We don’t have to destroy her, just her image. Show them that she’s one of us now. Let them rally behind that. They’re gonna hate her so much they just might kill her for you.
Plutarch (who is apart of the rebellion (spoiler!)) then goes on to tell the President, because he is worried about rebellion, that to maintain control they should overrun the districts with fear. Floggings, executions. President Snow presses him because the problem, as he sees it, is that fear is pointless when they have hope – hope that Katniss is embodying. Plutarch explains that because Katniss is getting married make everything about that
Plutarch – “what does her dress look like? Floggings. Why type of cake are they having? Executions.” The government controls the media and all other forms of expression that they can pull that off. The point is floggings and executions are happening but the only thing on tv is wedding dresses and cake. Not real news.Distractions.

Earlier in the movie, when Peeta and Katniss are in district 11 on their tour, Katniss speaks to the crowd about Rue and Thrash – tributes from that district that were killed. She tells the crowd that she only met Thrash once, he could have killed her but instead he showed her mercy. Rue was her ally and friend in the arena but Rue got hurt and Katniss brokenly says, “I couldn’t save her.” Then, a man raises his hand and gives a symbol of camaraderie. Within a millisecond the Capitol guards that look like snow troopers from Star Wars (coincidence?) open their whips or bats or swords or whatever that black weapon was and flog the man that made the symbol of camaraderie. Katniss and Peeta are dragged by Capital guards back into the building behind them and as Katniss fights being dragged back, the doors are closed, the man in the crowd is thrown on the ground and a gun is pointed at his head. Just as the door shuts a gunshot is heard. Haymitch, Peeta and Katniss’ friend and mentor takes them upstairs yelling at them. Katniss, traumatized and in shock from seeing the man murdered and the crowd subjected to beatings begs to Haymitch,
Katniss Everdeen: Haymitch, please. Please, just help me get through this trip.
Haymitch Abernathy: This trip doesn’t end when you get back home.
Peeta Mellark: So what do we do?
Haymitch Abernathy: From now on, your job is to be a distraction so people forget what the real problems are.

There it is again! Distractions. That’s what celebrities are. In The Hunger Games the real problem is a totalitarian government. The people that are living in the capital are stuffing themselves with food, only to drink things that make them throw up so that they can eat more and the people in the districts are starving. Hunger – now there is a real problem. The government is the real problem. Everything else is a distraction from the real problem. Later in the movie, right before Katniss is in the arena, Haymitch tells her to, “Remember who the real enemy is.” The point of The Hunger Games being subjected on the districts, besides fear, is to keep the districts fighting with one another. Or not uniting and fighting the Capital. The Hunger Games are a distraction also. The real enemy is the Capital. So that’s what I thought about as I got a pedicure.

Stay fierce,


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