The Hunger Games: children are always on the front lines

By Nancy Bean

So far my summer “to do” list has served only as a bookmark in the Hunger Games Trilogy.

Set in a dystopian North America, the isolated and impoverished provinces serve the rich and powerful Capital. The Capital sponsors the annual Hunger Games with tributes drawn from the provinces. Two 16 year olds from each province are set down in a highly rigged and orchestrated arena of fighting to the death for the entertainment of the bored folks in the Capital and to maintain the power of fear and grief over the provinces.

The children are trained to view each other as the enemy as they vie with bloody competition for the limited resources and protections available in the arena.

Don’t think Tea Party disrespect for government; rather think Corporate Capital becoming the only person with a vote.

Think for profit prisons and schools and healthcare and security forces.

Think the imminent defunding of WIC and Headstart and Public schools.

Think dissolution of safety and health regulations.

Globally think of our unquenchable thirst for cheap goods and corporation’s ravishing pursuit of cheap labor pursued by any means necessary and always at the expense of the world’s peace and security, with starvation and homelessness of children as predictable first casualty.

On Sunday morning our pastor preached on David and Goliath. Although his sermon and the text was about how the battle belongs to the Lord and is not won with weaponry but with faith, I could only think about how every war is waged with children and “the least of these” on the front lines of harm’s way.

Suzanne Collins has crafted a story full of violence and adventure for her audience of young adults which has left this 57 year old reeling with the dark realities it reveals.