Suzanne Collins has been quoted saying that one of her initial inspirations for The Hunger Games, was an innocuous, and very common time wasting moment in her life in the early 2000s, when she was caught channel surfing on her TV. She switched back and forth, and noticed a strange, and disconcerting, as well as disturbing trend. On one channel she’d see Iraq War footage, guns blazing, coffins being wheeled out of giant planes onto airport runways, and sometimes battle footage– and sandwiched between the stark reality of war she saw reality TV programs where people played head games in uncomfortable tropical conditions to win a lot of money, a complete disconnect from the blood, and the smoke, and the death of reality. And that’s when it came to her, what if reality TV went so far that instead of the game being make-believe like it is on series’ like Survivor, what if it was real?
Years later the trilogy is complete, and now the last installment of it is being put to film. Mockingjay is becoming a reality though, but not in the way we’d all like to think whilst sitting back in our comfortable homes. Today three major socially changing events are continuing to unfold. Kiev, Ukraine is burning, and shaking in protest to their pro-Russian government leaders. The internet, print news, radio news, and broadcast news are buzzing with the flames, and the angry, desperate faces and voices of the opposition. West of Ukraine an ongoing civil war has been raging in the country of Syria. People are starving, people are dying in their homes, and on the street as they forage for what ever they can find, and there’s no end in sight, even as leaders on opposing sides of the conflict are having so-called “peace talks”, in Geneva, Switzerland– thousands of miles removed from the mess back home. The talks aren’t working though, at least that’s what I keep hearing over and over again, and the people of Syria are still desperate, starving, and dying. To the east of both Ukraine and Syria is Thailand in Southeast Asia, people continue to take to the streets protesting their government calling their electoral system a sham– police officers are dragging every day, normal citizens away– and tourists still meander the streets of the capitol city of Bangkok. Suzanne Collins published Mockingjay in 2010, but the inspiration could be what’s plastering our TVs, Internet news feeds, and our broadcast news programs right now. We don’t need to wait and see how well Mockingjay is put to film, to see how well the scenes of Katniss and Squad 451 storming the streets of The Capitol– we just have to pay attention to what’s happening to our fellow human beings right now.
Them There Eyes