“Pull it together, Four-Five-One,” he says firmly. But you can see him suppressing a smile as he’s double-checking the next pod. Positioning the Holo to find the best light in the smoky air. Still facing us as his left foot steps back onto the orange paving stone. Triggering the bomb that blows off his legs.”
In case you’re a little rusty, that right there was the death of Boggs on page 276 of Mockingjay.
We love to talk about how lucky we are, how good we have to compared to the dark worlds like Panem creeping in the depths of our imaginations. To a point, we’re right. We are lucky that we have basic civil liberties and no one’s sacrificing children’s lives for entertainment. But let’s get this out of the way now: Our world is still pretty fucked up.
There’s a reason why the Internet has so many articles citing ways that the world is slowly devolving into Panem or some other awful dystopia / fantasy universe. Mainly, those articles revolve around the fact that humanity is not particularly good to one another. We’re not all evil. There’s far more good than evil out there, but the evil is prevalent enough that you just can’t ignore it.
For me, what happened on Patriots Day in Boston is a scary example.
Let me just say really quickly that a lot of people in The Hunger Games community checked in with me after hearing about the bombs, remembering that I was from the Boston area. THANK YOU. I don’t actually live in the city itself and was nowhere near it when everything happened, but I’m really touched by the outreach.
I feel kind of callous connecting the death of a fictional character to the death of actual people, but I think I’m trying to make sense of things, because I’d like to think they don’t happen here. But they did. On a fairly unique day for Massachusetts residents, during an international, charitable event. I remember reading Mockingjay for the first time and totally freaking out over the above paragraph. Reading it, re-reading it with my mouth agape, then one more time for good measure, thinking “WHHHHHAAAAAAATT?! NO WAY did that just happen!” When it actually DID happen, I did nothing. I stared at a television in the back room at work and quietly assured my friend that her sister who was at the marathon, not far from from the explosions (and saw more than any person should ever have to) was fine, cell towers were just down. It’s not so rousing when it’s real.
As we think would be the case with any city affected like this, Boston banded together. We helped each other. We rose above the hate. We wish that solved all of humanity’s problems but– as evidenced by the mass shootout that killed one police officer near MIT followed by the massive manhunt going on right now– it doesn’t. All we can do is try to be better than the chaos around us. I know this city is filled with some amazing, unique, beautiful people, which is why it kills me when the worst of the world rears its ugly head here.
It seems silly considering all that’s going on, but we do hope that the Mockingjay films still shoot here. Besides having some prime locations, the city isn’t going to stop moving for anything short of good news. We geek out over movie productions here, but we’re also not crazy set stalker types. In a way, I think the city needs it. Something special, something to smile about. Plus, if you’re here, you’re one of us. And we protect our own.
The Funny Will Be Back This Weekend,
The Girl With The Pearl