Thank you, racists

So Suzanne Collins fooled you into caring about black people. What a bitch! I mean, you only cared about Rue and Thresh’s death because you thought they were white, albeit dark-skinned white, but certainly NOT BLACK!!! (Even though their descriptions are pretty explicit in the book.) The horror! It’s as if black people had, I don’t know, feelings. Or MATTERED. As for those Hollywood assholes casting Lenny Kravitz as Cinna! How dare they? He certainly wasn’t described as black in the book! He’s one of the best characters so of course he shouldn’t be black. Black characters can only be the bad guys, or have crappy roles.

It’s the reason it’s perfectly  acceptable for kids like Trayvon Martin to be shot dead in the street with a bag of skittles. He couldn’t possibly be doing anything good. Just look at his skin. AND he was wearing a hoodie! Did you know that he was  suspended from school once and that he was giving the man who shot him attitude? It’s a wonder he wasn’t killed sooner. Right?

Thanks racists, for reminding the rest of us that hatred is alive and well, not just in a set-in-their-ways older population who grew up surrounded by separation, but also in a young, tech-savvy generation who are supposed to be more connected to a wider, and more inclusive world.

It’s good to know what you think.

Links:

Racist Hunger Games Fans Are Very Disappointed

Witnesses in Trayvon Martin Death Heard Cries Before Shot

Reflecting on the Trayvon Martin Tragedy (letters to the editor)

What Everyone Needs to Know About the Smear Campaign Against Trayvon Martin

 

Books 20 & 21: CATCHING FIRE & MOCKINGJAY

I finished THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy this weekend, partly because the books were due back to the library on Monday and partly because I really couldn’t put them down. Suzanne Collins created a world that I couldn’t possibly have conceived of. And future dystopia isn’t new in literature, the world that she evoked with Panem and it’s brutal laws was something both shocking in its unfamiliarity yet still within the realm of reason. Why? Because as uncomfortable as that world is, dystopia seems always on the horizon when we look at current events in both politics and the environment.

At a recent @LitChat, people compared THE HUNGER GAMES series to Orson Scott Card’s ENDER’S GAME. The consensus was that they present a similarly violent future, but that GAMES was far more violent in its execution. Yes, the main character kills off several people. But the games are meant to be a violent reality show where children kill other children. I’m not sure what people were expecting to happen. One of the people who commented said that he wouldn’t allow his 12 year old to read that particular series, and I take exception to that. A kid can read any book they want to attempt in my house, only if I think it may be age-inappropriate, I will read it along with them and make sure that some elements are discussed. For example, my very sensitive 8 year old may not be ready for CHARLOTTE’S WEB, but if she wanted to read it, I’d read it with her, and we’d discuss what happens to Charlotte at the end.

But violence and what may be deemed inappropriate aside, what I most enjoyed about the series was the incredible writing. Thank the sweet heavens for good writing. It has really been lacking in my reading material of late. Collins has pulled off the impossible feat of making good writing into best-selling material. Sadly, I find most best-sellers so lacking in their prose, that I’m often pissed I wasted my time. What’s that Flannery O’Connor quote? “There’s many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.” Which isn’t to say that Collins managed to sustain the level  of writing throughout the series. THE HUNGER GAMES starts out with a bang, and is impossible to put down. CATCHING FIRE was less riveting, though the frustration level for the reader at watching a further injustice probably is the thing that glues us to the page. But by the time we get to MOCKINGJAY, the plot has dropped so far below the original, that the book’s easy to put  down. The ending was particularly disappointing in light of the promise of Book 1’s opening. One of my friends described it as ending with a whimper. Main character, Katniss, so full of fire in the first two books, has petered out at the end, and merely drifts toward her happy ending.

Still, an excellent read, and I recommend it. The movie is also coming out, and the motion poster they’ve designed for the book is beyond awesome.

Book 18: THE HUNGER GAMES

Suzanne Collins doesn’t need my endorsement. THE HUNGER GAMES series is an international bestseller and the movie will be out soon. But having just finished the book last night I have to tell you how much I loved it. It’s not just that it wasn’t a book that I could have possibly conceived of, that for me, it was as original as it was well-written, or even that I was thoroughly entertained. It was that her success is so well deserved, that it made me glad to have read it.

After reading several pieces of fiction that I wouldn’t want to throw out in the trash lest my garbage man find it and scoff at me, it’s so wonderful to come across a piece of literature that is excellent, and also mainstream. A rare feat that makes me feel good to be a writer and an avid reader.

I’m off to read the second in the series right now.