Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Thought on The Hunger Games and The Hipster Complex

As most you know by this point, two years ago, I read a fantastic little novel called The Hunger Games. And then the novel became wildly popular and was made into a great movie and now girls around the world are wearing Team Peeta shirts.
While I love that I get to discuss such an awesome book/movie with so many people, something just seems really weird and meta about The Hunger Games popularity.
I've talked to my family a lot (They've all seen the movie or read the book) about how I think it's funny that the whole point of these books is that we force these children to fight each other in an arena until there's only one left and then they make celebrities, and yet that latter bit is kind of what we're doing in real life. Every time I see Mockingjay earbuds, or Katniss and Peeta cardboard cut-outs, I can't help but think of some similar instance in the book and think 'NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!" Something just seems incredibly off about this.
And that's when I realized I had a hipster complex.
Hipster complex (n)- A complex one develops when they've been involved with a group or fandom for longer than most fans. A hipster complex leads one to believe they have more of a say in how a fandom orchestrates itself because they've been around longer, even though most of the time they have no creative control over anything to do with the production of the movie/group/show/book/.
And I have one of those with The Hunger Games.Even though I know nobody on the production team (well, my mom had a class with Woody Harrelson in college, but that's beside the point), I somehow believe that I know more about this and care more deeply about it than other people. Not okay, I know. I need to get into some Hipster Complex Anonymous sessions.
But anyway, I did find a little point in this mess that still bothers me. And I'd to hear some reader's thoughts on this as well.
Do you think the Hunger Games is over-merchandised?
I get that we don't live in Panem. I understand that Katniss and Prim and Peeta and Gale and Haymitch and Effie and Cinna aren't real. But the whole point of these books was that this future might not be that far away. And I'm not saying it's wrong to own a Mockingjay pin or a t-shirt either. But the pillow cases and cardboard cutouts and whatnot are still a little creepy when put in context with the book.
But I digress. This is the last I shall ever speak/write of the subject, something my family is probably celebrating.  So when Girl Scout Camp comes around and we do a Hunger Games theme, I'll just roll with it.


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