Features

Let the 57th annual Hunger Games begin!

By BHAVNA BHATIA, senior

WITH THE PRESIDENTIAL election just around the corner, the Internet and mass media are providing complete coverage in the most objective way possible. Of course, by objective, I mean completely biased, and by complete coverage, I mean anything and everything that shows how well their preferred candidate is doing.

Bored and frustrated with the political circus, I did what anyone with homework, tests, and a future to plan would do: I watched “The Hunger Games.” As I swooned over Peeta’s unrequited love for Katniss, I thought about how this dystopia shows the aftermath of the decline of our society. This led me to the following realization: the presidential election is exactly like “The Hunger Games” — without the mass killings. I sat there in awe at this conclusion. It all fit into place.

Think about it. A bunch of hopeful heroes — called “tributes” in “The Hunger Games” and “candidates” in the election — face each other in an arena. To improve their chances of winning, they must find favor with a generally obtuse public and a media that feeds on sensation and cruelty, all while annihilating their opponents by any means possible.

Although getting to the top is a bit different in Panem (the world of “The Hunger Games”), it is not necessarily more humane than the path to becoming the President of the United States. In lieu of bows and axes, bitter mudslinging and underhanded exploitation are the weapons of choice. Tributes on both sides wield the influence of their sponsors, Obama flaunting the support of pop icons like Beyoncé and Oprah, and Romney gaining the backing of Clint Eastwood and Donald Trump.

Think back to what caused Herman Cain’s political death: sex scandals and the widely publicized “Where is Libya?” interview.  Rick Perry will surely never recover from forgetting the Environmental Protection Agency. And Michele Bachmann and John Huntsman, remember them? They were also voted out of the arena after disappointing performances in the Games — that is, the
primaries.

The most important difference, however, between the film and reality is that at the end of “The Hunger Games,” when the credits roll in, we can all go home back to our regular lives. Katniss and Peeta will rest on their celluloid laurels, most likely to come back another day, discussed and applauded once more.

There will be no waking from our own Presidential Hunger Games. We will be obligated to follow the leadership of the candidate that prevails.

Cue the mutant insects.

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