I Can’t help but get political over such a politically charged movie as The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire. Setting aside the plot which is disturbing enough the dystopian world where the story takes place, is familiar and alien at the same time. The things that are familiar are the social issues that are already evident in our second decade of the twenty-first century. I am referring to the widening gap in wealth between the rich and poor and the fast disappearing middle class, which is doomed to extinction. In the world of the Hunger games there are no unions, no minimum wage, no real upward mobility. You are born to a class and you die in that same class a virtual slave to the government.
I know that this makes me sound like some sort of tea party fruit cake, but let me assure you that I am for a strong centralized government. What I am against is a corporate controlled Oligarchy, where bought and paid for congressmen and senators do the bidding of their corporate masters. Although some people deny it and others either ignore it or are unaware of it, we are constantly manipulated by media pundits and politicians that have personal agendas, that are mostly motivated by greed and ambition. Even our highest most sacrosanct legal institution, the Supreme court is under suspicion. When they make decisions like Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 it makes me wonder if this is not the private agenda of a conservative good old boys club. If corporations are people too then why aren’t they subject to prosecution like individuals when they commit crimes against humanity, like dumping carcinogens into our lakes and streams. If I did what they do I’d be in jail.
There are enough uninformed or misinformed people out there to make a difference in crucial elections. We are at a critical junction in our history where unions are weakened, social programs are being stripped and voting rights and women’s rights, are being taken away at an alarming rate in local elections. The attitude of those like Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Governors, Rick perry, Scott(divide and conquer)Walker and Rick Scott, is that of take from the poor and give to the rich, while vilifying the poor. These people excluding Romney have won elections by heavily Gerrymandering districts, creating restrictive voter ID laws and reducing the numbers of voting places and cutting early voting schedules. They talk about takers and getting free stuff and not wanting to work; use wedge issues like same sex marriage, immigration reform and abortion and spread lies and half truths like jam on toast.
So what does all of this have to do with the Hunger games? Simply put this dystopian future of the poor versus the rich is closer than you think. The NSA intrudes on our privacy under the guise of national security; the CIA wages wars, pulls off political coups and conducts extraordinary renditions, a polite term for torture; these thing are happening now. The Patriot act, and not the affordable care act should be repealed but it demonstrates just how corrupted the right has become; although President Obama is not completely blameless nor are Democrats. The drone strikes as well as the Keystone pipeline are a major blight on his administration. Democrats who were more interested in getting reelected, than the safety of our children, voted against background checks for gun purchases.
In my six decades of life I have watched as we have advanced toward an enlightened free society, only to be snatched back into the darkness. Freedoms should be evolving rather than atrophying. Corporations like Walmart and McDonalds who make billions in profits while being subsidized with taxpayers dollars exploit the working poor and propagate the myth of cheap goods. This Thanks Giving I watched a news report about Walmart having an in house charity collection for its employees, while asking other employees to give so their colleagues could have a nice Thanks giving.
This action shows the despicable selfish attitude of Walmart and those at the top of that corporation. People with a fair working wage don’t require charity. Our very way of life is being threatened by right wing extremist and Wall street Crooks and hucksters. The nightmare world of Panem controlled by a bloated oligarchy, manipulated by the media and ground into submission by brute force is what we have to look forward to unless we not only vote for progressives at the poles, but to vote with our dollars and actively boycott unfair corporations.