Saturday, November 23, 2013

'The Hunger Games' as the endpoint of reality TV

"Catching Fire" premiered yesterday, which means that I never did get around to posting Part 2 of Science Fiction, Double Feature by my self-imposed deadline.  However, that doesn't mean that I can't still comment on the movie.  I'll begin by being a good environmentalist and recycling my reaction to io9's question and answer about the book and movie.
Why is this an American dystopia?
Set in what was once US territory, it is about our fears of economic collapse combined with a terror of how reality television can be used as a form of propaganda and torture.
I used to be a moderator of a web forum about Survivor and other reality TV shows. That past haunted me when I watched the movie.
I was right to be haunted about my reality TV fandom past, as Discovery News shows in Hunger Games: How Reality TV Desensitizes Us.

The Hunger Games series explores a society where reality television has pushed the limits on the human condition. How far is this from our own society? Laci explores the effects of "reality" on television.
I must say that since I've stopped watching "Survivor," I'm a nicer person, although there are many confounding variables on that outcome.  However, that doesn't mean I've completely given up on watching reality competition shows; it's just that I'm sticking to those that are talent competitions instead of social competitions, such as "The Next Iron Chef" and "Design Star."  At least I'll learn something other than "people are nasty to each other and it pays."

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