Monday, 10 September 2012

More Hollywood ‘crap’ that, actually, is yet another potent metaphor for rotten corporate America.

It’s called The Hunger Games.

America is ruled by a tiny population of the fabulously wealthy corporate elite. The rest of the population ekes out a miserable impoverished existence in Gaza-type ‘districts’.

Every year, the elite round up a group of individuals from each district to take part in a zero-sum game, where only one player survives death. The game is that the conscripts have to employ survival skills (food, fire, water, etc) in the forest and kill other players (otherwise get killed themselves).

One of the most telling bits of dialogue in the film is when the ‘president’ asks a ‘senator’, “Why do you think there is winner? Why don’t we just execute all of them to keep the districts in line?”

The senator is stumped.

The president answers his own question: “Because it gives them hope … a little hope is effective; a lot of hope is dangerous.”

This struck me because it sounded exactly like the Paralympics.

The Paralympics provides a smidgen of hope (an illusion, actually – in my opinion) to the disabled that society will treat them with respect: create a spectacle where you turn a handful of disabled people into celebs and celebrate their ‘success’ (conveniently overlooking the fact that the ‘ability’ to run some circuits or swim some lengths at lightning speed are, in fact, completely f*cking pointless ‘achievements’).

Protesting outside Atos, stopping the traffic, mobilising for strikes, etc etc – those activities would be meaningful in terms of seeking justice for the disabled. And that could bring a lot of hope, as opposed to crumbs of 'inspiration'; and, as the president says, that would indeed be dangerous to the tiny ruling elite.

I mention the Paralympics because it’s fresh in my mind, but the president’s words are apposite for all exploited groups in society, e.g. the working class.

Once again, it is striking that Hollywood, one of corporate America’s most potent components, produces output that is actually a damning indictment of America.

The same applies to Avatar – a transparent indictment of American policy in Iraq, Israeli policy in Palestine and the genocidal founding of America itself.

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