Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Hunger Games - Liberals and Libertarians

I enjoyed reading "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins. It's a quick read, but she does a good job. Not too much detail to accommodate the quick pace of the story line. The characters develop quickly as well. One observation, not actually a complaint, is that the author spends a lot of time describing the food and the clothing. It's something I'm unused to.

But I wanted to write about the part that sticks with me. The character of Rue, the girl tribute from District 11. And the line that got me then and has stuck with me since: 'Rue holds up her extra pair of socks. “I have these for my hands.”'

I guess I can't talk too much about it without spoiling the book for someone. But if you haven't figured it out yet - the story is about a dystopian future (is there ever any other kind of future?) where gladiator-like games pit regular occupants of the various districts against each other in a fight to the death. The reasons for the Games and the outcome - I'll leave those for you to discover.

The girl, Rue, was chosen at random, and comes to the Games without many physical tools - she's not particularly strong, no special weapons skills. And while the strong or more physically able earned weapons, armour or provisions at the beginning, Rue came away more-or-less empty handed. But she did get an extra pair of socks. And she's happy about them.

It seems like a heavy handed play on emotions, but -son of a bitch- if that didn't hit me. The girl has almost nothing, and the strong are well-fed and warm and armed. She was happy when she got the socks. And the strong would probably just throw them away if they had found them. Yeah, I get it.

When I think about Liberals, I get that too. I can think of this story of Rue, and understand how they feel they have to help out people like her. Or the hungry or sick or otherwise needy. I GET IT!. But what I cannot condone is stealing from one person so you can give Rue something to eat. I know that they call it taxation, so they don't have to think about the theft they are committing. That just doesn't make it right.

Yeah, I too think that we should help out our fellow man. But never at the point of a gun, or the threat of other harm. It's up to each individual to make those choices for themselves... what is right and what is wrong, when to help and when to butt out.

The other thing I wanted to mention was that near the end, when there is the celebration in the big city, and the people are making themselves throw-up so that they can eat more- well, for whatever reason that caused me to think of Israel and the Palestinians - where Israel wants the Palestinians to go hungry, but not to starve. I don't imagine that Netanyahu is over there making himself puke, but I wonder how long it will take until someone else makes the connection between "The Hunger Games" and Palestine.

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