Thursday, April 12, 2012

Children killing children!

I was speaking with one of my best friends in India the other day when she told me about the latest, unfortunate “fad” in the country: children kidnapping children for ransom. I have a hard time saying, let alone believing, the aforementioned sentence.

In the latest kidnapping case, the kid who was held hostage, died. His assailant, a young boy, who at one time was abducted but managed to escape his abductor, was callous about the incident. He had assumed that the little boy, whom he’d held captive, would manage to flee too—just like he had in the past.

Death has become a game. Survivors provide entertainment. The principal audience: children.

These days the world is obsessed with the young adult novel and movie The Hunger Games. Thanks to Wikipedia, I can break down the description of the film in the following paragraph: Written by American television writer and novelist Suzanne Collins, the novel is in the voice of sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in a post-apocalyptic world in the country of Panem where the countries of North America once existed. The Capitol, a highly advanced metropolis, holds dominance over the rest of the nation. The Hunger Games are an annual event in which one boy and one girl aged 12 to 18 from each of the 12 districts surrounding the Capitol are selected by lottery to compete in a televised battle in which only one person can survive.

People have been excited about the book and the movie. I refuse to read the book and watched the movie only because my husband wanted to. The dialogue, “Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor,” haunts me. Educators and parents are “happy” that kids are reading. But doesn’t it matter to anyone what the children are reading is about kids killing kids?

Anyway, in this tale of 24 teenagers forced to kill each other, readers/moviegoers follow a number of gruesome, heartless, bloody, and otherwise disturbing scenes. There is murder by snapping of neck. Few others are killed by spears, arrows, knives, and blows to the head with rocks—well, you get the picture. Gory wounds oozing with blood and puss and infected flesh appeared too often for my liking. One of the final competitors is mauled by a pack of rabid dog-like creatures before he dies.

Doesn’t the kidnapping incident in India feel like an offshoot representation of The Hunger Games? “Here’s some advice. Stay alive.” Insinuating lines like these appear throughout in the movie, and I am assuming the book too. Tempt children with cruel games. Show them how inhuman acts and insane killing makes them cool. Am I the only person who thought The Hunger Games was a morally inappropriate movie? The writing might be engaging, but the content was unsuitable.

I just read an article in the Guardian. According to the piece, The Hunger Games joins the most complained about titles in the United States for the same reasons stated above. I am glad people are taking the initiative to keep our environment safe. I am relieved not all humans are desensitized to violence.

I am disturbed by the hypocrisy. First: The movie needs a PG-13 rating. Second: For all the law, rules, and regulations the United States talks about, how can it be okay with promoting children killing children? Or is that we are willing to do anything for revenue, including sacrificing the youth?

More until next time,


Copyright © 04.12.2012

“Children will watch anything, and when a broadcaster uses crime and violence and other shoddy devices to monopolize a child's attention, it's worse than taking candy from a baby. It is taking precious time from the process of growing up.” ~ Newton N. Minow quotes