Along time ago I read The Hunger Games, okay maybe it was only a handful of years, but it has been awhile, and as the time has stretched on, a couple of things still get repeatedly questioned in my head where it comes to the series. How did the world go from what we all know it to be today, to what Suzanne Collins posited would happen some odd several hundred years from now? We’re all hopefully aware that the earth as we know it is ever-changing, be it geologically, and climate wise– even within the last 50 years the earth’s temperature has increased by 1.5 degrees, which to a layman means very little, but to sea levels, crop growth, arctic animals, and the global water-table, it means a great deal. Panem isn’t a far-fetched idea, I hope we’ve all come to grips with that, and are able to discern that even though it’s a work of fiction it is inspired by us– and that is a warning. What made Panem possible though couldn’t just be the downward spiral of humanity, no– natural disaster obviously had to play a role.
I live in a world that’s surrounded by volcanoes, no– I do not live in Italy, Hawaii, or Iceland– I live in the Pacific north-west (don’t come stalk me, I’m really boring). So when natural disasters are veiled to be part of the reason the world as we know it crumbles, and Panem is a country that rises up from the proverbial ashes, the idea’s frankly not all that strange to me, because I can see two active volcanoes on most days of the week, and know that the metro area I live in is due for a monster sized earthquake that will flatten everything that I know. Is this what happened to the world, to North America? Did the super volcano that is Yellowstone National Park, finally blow and take out the western United States as geologist say is bound to happen? Did the San Andres Fault finally drop San Francisco into the Pacific, as well as most of southern California. Did that monster earthquake created by the fussy subduction zone the Pacific north-west lives on finally snap, buckle, and roll– and allow the ocean to flood the land from the existing coast, past the Cascade Mountain Range, through the valleys, and into the high desert that is central and eastern Washington State, as well as Eastern Oregon and into Idaho? Did Mount Rainer, the giant 500,000 year old volcano that over looks Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington and Seattle, finally belch out that eruption the scientists keep talking about? What happened? Could be any number of things, but I can’t forget the social implications.
Suzanne Collins was inspired to write this series by switching back and forth between Iraq War footage on her TV, as well as footage of reality TV, namely probably the popular CBS series Survivor. It was also inspired by Ancient Greek Mythology, and Ancient Rome. In fact, most of the Capitol characters have Roman names, as well as several Tributes like Cato and Brutus. Rome fell, we all know that, and so did ancient Greece and its infamous city states like Sparta, known for its militaristic ideologies, and forthrightness. It’s no wonder Ms. Collins pared one of the most culturally ripe, and corrupt ages in western history with the looming global natural, and human disasters of contemporary times. It’s all around us, but are we going to do anything about it– meaning, are we going to attempt to not let our world fall like she’s posited?
Not up to me.
Them There Eyes