Why The Hunger Games Sucked – (It’s Not Because Jennifer Lawrence is a Whore)

My journey towards the dark path began the day I first saw Kristen; she was beautiful – perfect in my mind. I loved everything about her: the way she walked, the way she talked, the way she laughed and interacted with others, and of course her beauty. We met on the first day of school in the seventh grade – first period, English literature.

Our junior high is massive, seven elementary schools dump into it. (Every seventh kid I know, the rest are strangers, for now.) There are four “tracks” in the Weymouth Junior High School indoctrination program. Track one is for academically gifted; Track two, for above-average kids who like to learn; Track three, for above average kids who don’t like to learn; Track four, future: criminals, drug addicts, mechanics and crack whores. Kristen and I were in Track one.

It’s eighty-five degrees, a hundred percent humidity. The Weymouth School system, like many Boston-area schools, does not have air conditioning. Thirty-five students; tightly packed; six rows of one-piece student desks – seven-rows deep. Some of the fat students barely fit the desks, most of us have no problem. The room smells of raw-pubescent pheromones and unchecked body odor. Several of the students have untreated acne – during roll call I notice the kid next to me, Christopher, has the cystic variety: puss-filled, freshly squeezed, dripping boils. Reminds me of the Garbage Pail Kids character: Seymour Boils. Poor bastard.

I’m in the second row, middle of the class; students arranged in alphabetical order. Kristen is directly in front of me; I can smell her hair. She’s uncomfortable. Because of the semi-random seating, most of us do not know anyone around us; it’s a clean slate. Kristen’s best friends from elementary school, (Kim and Michelle) are in the Track two classes. The three girls are texting each other violently.

Ms. Abravanel is writing her name, with fierce authority, on the chalkboard; her thin black-hair cropped in bull-dike lesbian fashion; the chalk-letters perfectly formed, straight, dark, and neat; her antennas detect Kristen’s texting; she winces, as if hearing the sound of broken glass, right before chalking the “L” in Abravanel: “MS. ABRAVANEL.” (All caps, she must be fucking important.)

Ms Abravanel turns with command presence; she has a hooked nose and a mole on her chin the size of a Cocoa Puff; the Cocoa Puff has three hairs sprouting from it. Cocoa Puff says sternly to Kristen, “Put that away! Now!” Kristen gruffly opens her tan-suede Michael-Kors purse; drops her iPhone in as if communicating nonverbally, “whatever Ms. Cocoa Puff.”

Ms. Cocoa Puff ponders escalating the situation; considers the entire confrontation and where it may lead; decides for whatever reason not to – her decision’s made in about a second. Teachers can confiscate cell phones; Kristen obviously has real money, self confidence, and parents that care about her. If Kristen was poor, she probably would’ve: lost her cell phone; been sent to the principals office. Been told: “you can have your phone back when your mom comes and gets it.” The financially poor single-mom would then have to take time off of work and grovel to get her daughter’s cell phone, she can barely afford, back. Because Kristen has money, Cocoa Puff lets it go; doesn’t want to deal with Kristen’s parents, who’d probably come in, rip Ms. Cocoa Puff and principal a new asshole, possibly threaten a lawsuit before receiving an apology from the terrified principal and the suspended teacher. (I keep my cheap cell phone in my locker; if I lose it, my mom ain’t coming to get it back for me.) Ironic, as a twelve-year-old American pre-teenager I think I live in poverty because I don’t have an iPhone. Wow. Africans have swollen bellies and worry about walking three miles for water – I think it’s unfair because I own a plastic Korean-made Android super-computer, instead of a glass and metal iPhone designed in California. Fuck.

I see the frustration on Cocoa Puff’s face; feel the satisfaction Kristen’s oozing in this victory. For Kristen’s benefit, I exclaim in cartoon falsetto under my breath,  “I’m cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!”

Only Kristen hears me; she laughs a-little too loud. Kristen replies secretly to me in a loud whisper, “That’s terrible!”

Cocoa Puff knows I said something – doesn’t know what. Cocoa Puff asks the class, “So who’s read the Hunger Games? Raise your hands.” The whole class raises their hands. The Hunger Games was one of the books assigned to us over the summer as required reading.

“Who’s seen the movie?” Again, the whole class raises their hands.

“Who liked the book?” Everyone raises their hands, some reluctantly, except me.

Noticing my hand didn’t go up, she asks, “Who didn’t like the book?” Alone I raise my hand.

Cocoa Puff, seating chart in front of her, scans for my name.“Ray, what didn’t you like about the book?”

“Oh, I don’t know that you really want to know MZZZZZZ  Abravanel.” I let the z-sound in ‘Ms.’ extend a-little too-long. Several students laugh, including Kristen.

“Try me.”

“You sure MZZZZZZ  Abravanel?”

“Yes Ray.”

“I didn’t think The Hunger Games was realistic at all, the book was better than the movie, but not much. I found the author’s politics and motivation offensive.”

“Explain.”

“First off the premise, that a girl could defeat highly-trained male killers in a hand to hand combat arena, ridiculous.”

“Why is that ridiculous?”

“Biology. Men are much stronger than women and girls, this is a fact. Additionally, men are much more cunning and vicious than women. Does this pass the smell test? Could we go to the high school, find the toughest, strongest, most-aggressive, cunning and vicious young men – then train them to kill – then put an untrained 16-year-old girl in the arena with them.”

“But Katniss was a master archer.”

“A longbow is a distance weapon, not good up close. Further, Katniss didn’t even have access to a longbow and arrow for most of the novel. In order to kill twenty-three opponents in an arena – which in this case was a jungle – would require a level of cunning and viciousness most girls would be unprepared for. If twenty-three people were hunting me in a jungle, I’d use punji sticks like the Viet Cong. It’s surprising to me they weren’t used. If Katniss had set traps, used punji sticks and other handmade traps to attack her pursuers – combined with long-bow sniper attacks – then this lame story might have been more believable. Instead she – and the female author – avoided the brutality of jungle warfare; a teen-girl fantasy where a girl with a longbow and limited cunning and viciousness could out-maneuver and outfight trained killers. If her pursuers were trained, what the hell did they learn anyways?”

“They learned hand to hand combat.”

“I guess the rich districts couldn’t afford to teach their champions how to climb trees? Make traps? Use a longbow?”

“Guess not.”

“The other thing I find offensive is the idea that poor people wouldn’t have produced their own trained champions for the arena. Really? Where do America’s soldiers come from? Where do the gladiators in our modern-day arenas come from? Usually poor areas. Boxers, fighters, football players, marines, most are men, nearly all come from economically-depressed areas. Why would there be volunteers only from the rich areas? Why would there be training programs only in the rich areas? I’d think the poor areas would produce more killers and volunteers. Rich kids have other career choices. Poor kids would see riches won in The Hunger Games as an escape from poverty. I also felt that Rue, the young-black girl who no one would volunteer for, was a blatantly-racist jab on black people; only white girls are noble enough to volunteer to save their young?”

“Maybe the population was so brainwashed they felt helpless?”

“Could be. I thought of that. I find The Hunger Games particularly offensive in that it attacks manhood, contributes to the faggification of Western Civilization – where ideal men are caring-effeminate nurturers like Peeta – unable and unwilling to fight, and ideal women are warriors. I found the fact Katniss hated her neglectful mother ironic. Katniss hates mothers, nurturing, and woman-hood because her mother was not a real woman? It’s more of the same Disney warrior-princess programming. Motherhood, caring, nurturing, rearing of strong healthy offspring is seen as less-than heroic. A woman who picks up a longbow, rejects femininity and motherhood, then kills men without vicious-cunning is the ideal?”

“You’re being sexist.”

“Am I? Or, is this book part of a concerted effort to make men and women into something they are not built for, by neither evolution or biology? Create women who hate womanhood, nurturing, motherhood, men. Create men who hate fighting, masculinity, paternal-instinct, and manhood. Peeta was chickenshit, a coward. Supposedly he had a thing for Katniss, yet he hid when he knew others were hunting her? What kind of man would do that? Children need moms and dads. Civilization needs men to cherish women, and heroic men. Destroy manhood and womanhood, specifically destroy male heroism and female nurturing – destroy civilization. I’m specifically talking about lizard-brain lower-level hard-wiring of men and women. This is how we are built. I’m talking about survival. If women do not want to rear strong children, if they hate motherhood. And men do not want to protect women and children, and hate paternal instinct – our civilization is lost. ”

“Can’t women be heroes too?”

“Sure. That’s not my point.”

“So what should Katniss have done? Die?”

“The author should have created a realistic scenario where a girl who’s at a massive disadvantage, but because of her ruthless cunning, because someone loved her enough taught her how to kill; how to outsmart trained-human killers and win, to me that would have been fun. Katniss won in an affirmative-action arena; she won against weak men.” Cocoa Puff laughs. Kristen laughs.

“I would have enjoyed Hunger Games more if Katniss had trained in jungle warfare because someone in district twelve wanted to win a long-shot bet. If she had used area-denial weapons selectively to encourage her pursuers to move slowly and with trepidation. Caltrops, punji sticks, pits, human snares. Attacking the career’s mobility and confidence should have been the first phase of Katniss’ assault. When the enemy was demoralized and fearful, then killing them off one by one, hitting their leaders first.

Peeta, although a baker’s son, has no instinct to die for the woman he loves? Yet because he’s nurturing Katniss loves him? Really? In what universe is that? If Katniss was a badass capable of winning The Hunger Games, Peeta would’ve been last on her list of suitable mates. She would have sought an alpha male.” Laughs.

“So at best The Hunger Games is a poorly-thought-out teen-girl fantasy written by a woman with no knowledge of jungle warfare, and a hatred of strong alpha men and nurturing women. At worst, The Hunger Games is a psyop written to further weaken our civilization for collapse.”

“Collapse?”

“There is nothing wrong with women pursuing their passion; nothing wrong with men being nurturing. There is something wrong with millions of young people reading this book without a critical eye. There is a problem when political propaganda is embraced as fact, and criticism of this propaganda is considered sexist – off the table.

If America was ever invaded from a foreign enemy, and a dictatorship set up, and our alpha-males either: no longer exist, or are relegated to positions subservient to less qualified beta-males and women, we will have no chance against the dictatorship. Dictators fear independent, free thinking individuals, they really fear warrior males. Alpha males should be celebrated. Not criminalized, not hated, not discouraged. There is a reason all the best chess players in the world are men. There’s a reason why those with high-genius-level IQs above 145 are eight-times more-likely to be men. There’s a reason men dominate science, mathematics, engineering, chemistry- it is not that we exist in a sexist society: it is 100% biology and evolution. A society that allows the cream to rise to the top, allows the best and brightest to climb the ladder, pursue their passions regardless of sex or other factors, will always outperform a society which attempts to force equality of results rather than opportunity.

Male brains are physically larger, FACT. Adults with genius IQs are far more likely to be males, FACT. Males are physically stronger, faster, have higher endurance, FACT. Males are far more likely to be better warriors in an arena that rewards brain and brawn. Even if brawn were removed from the arena, i.e. A death match where every participant is armed with an assault rifle, males would likely win that outcome as well.”

“So, you’re saying women shouldn’t be in the military, that women shouldn’t be scientists.”

“No. Of course not. Women and men should be told the truth, they should be encouraged to do that which they have a passion for; sexism of any kind is repugnant and when taken to extremes will result in the fall of civilization. I don’t know which is worse, a culture which kills twenty-three innocent tributes every year, or a civilization where males are so beaten down they are no longer males, and females are so beaten down they are no longer females. To quote the book 1984 “2 + 2 = 4,” if a book says 2 + 2 = 5 it’s a lie.”

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