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


PR said...

Very chilling. I agree…Hunger Game should have been rated X…no children allowed.

Bekalynn said...

You should read a book before you criticize it. The book isn't promoting children killing children. The entire point of the book is how horrible it is that people get so desentitized that they are willing to watch this. What drives a society to the point where they are willing to kill/sacrifice their children... The book is very anti violence, and eventually in the final book she draws comparisions to the Hunger Games, and lets say bombs that kill innocent children too. The book isn't at all promoting children killing children. Its rather trying to strike an anti violence message. Its also trying to serve as a warning to our society about how violent we are becoming.

Bekalynn said...

I think you should watch the movie read the book before you criticize it. The author isn't promoting violence. In any way. The whole point of the Hunger Games is what drives society to a point where they are willing to sacrifice its young? The entire series strikes an anti violence, and yes even anti war message. Because in the final book it aquits lets say bombs that kill innocent children with the Hunger Games. The book has some very powerful messages.

Bekalynn said...

Not only a warning but also how is it that we are willing to live in plenty while other societies are exploited have nothing. The Capital could very well be us, while Districts are lets say third world countries/sweatshops that have nothing. Whose labor we exploit.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for again reinforcing my own beliefs around this and this is brilliant how u are affected by the movie n the happenings when I too have been dealing, observing, talking and listening to my students about the same issue! Waiting for the next post!

Ashok said...

Anyways the movie has been a blockbuster made out of a book that was very popular! We seem to be out-dated with these things/topics! My 16 yr old niece in Scotland has read the book long back several times and was eagerly planning a huge "girls" night out to see the movie! So apparently we can express our concerns and comments but looks like...the things to come in future is what it is going to be!!!