Thursday, March 22, 2012

What Does it Mean?

Given that the movie you may have heard of based on that book you may have heard of opens now (probably, by the time you read this), there's been increasing discussion about what it means.  It's interesting.  I think my thoughts on dark YA are pretty clear, but it's interesting.  I have a friend who find the very discussion of it too much to bear, and that's fine.  It's also interesting given, that until it became a media sensation, several places were hiding 50 Shades of Grey on some of their bestseller lists so as not to offend anyone and yet Hunger Games is fine. (So, government sanctioned violence fine, consensual sex with mild erotic content, less fine.)  It's interesting that Bullied, a documentary about real kids facing real dangers gets rated R, while Hunger Games does not.  (The difference there appears to be fictional kids do not swear, and real kids do.)
I personally really hate the child in danger trope, you know where someone has to go do a bunch of ridiculously dangerous and violent things just so some little off-screen moppet can survive.  (Not saying you can't enjoy that, just saying, it does not generally appeal to me. Although I do enjoy some "Man on Fire".  So, there you go.) But Hunger Games is making some interesting points about this fictional society, it's not violence for the sake of violence (although, again, not that there's anything wrong with choosing to enjoy reading or watching that).  And one of the reasons I think some people like the third book less, is not that it's less interesting or less good, but two books worth of all this is taking it's toll on Katniss by book three, and much like New Moon in the Twilight series, you're viewpoint character is not functioning at top capacity, which fascinates me but is not a fast-paced read. 
But back to the first book/movie, I enjoyed this piece from HuffPo about why it matters and resonates with folks.