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Cold Love and Misplaced Periods

01 Dec

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  Some of my readers had a much unenlightened T-Day celebration in spite of my exhortation to “go forth, be grateful, and keep your mouth shut.”  Not all, but some, tell me that they couldn’t resist talking about politics, religion, and bringing up past familial hurts between “pass the gravy” and “are there anymore mashed potatoes?”  Apparently, bedlam ensued in some of their homes.  Sigh—oh well, there’s always next year for an attempt at a redo!  Maybe duct taping one’s mouth might help, but it would mean that no one would be able to eat any turkey.

Thanksgiving 2013 Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Used by permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

WW and I had a delightful T-day, although it was laced with an underlying theme of stress as we tried to scrub the final proof of my personal life story of The Hunger Games of any errorsmy book, Monsters’ Throwdownwhich is due out within the next week or so.  After hitting “approve final proof” on the publisher’s website (no turning back—last call people!), both our eyes caught a stray period (at the same time) that should have gone inside a parenthesis but slipped outside in response to an earlier edit.  Auuugggh!  Fortunately, it is not in the context of the story, but off in an obscure place about author data that few people care about except the author, but it will haunt me till the end of my days (this manuscript has been read 100 times in an attempt to scrub it clean of errors, and yet. . .).  I’m exasperated and humbled, but I was slightly comforted today when I learned how often this happens: There exists “A Wicked King James Bible” on display in Washington, DC at the Folger Shakespeare Library because the compositors omitted one significant word from the seventh commandment in 1631 that got published across the land as:  “Thou shalt commit adultery.”  The way I see it—things could always be worse, and I could be headed for Hell like that publisher in 1631.

Punctuation

Speaking of The Hunger Games, WW and I slipped out to see the second installment while people were beating each other up during Black Friday—The Hunger Games:  Catching Fire.  It was good—really good—although I can’t get comfortable with the premise that this is a story for kids about kids killing kids.  That bothers me—a lot.  Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that this is a dystopian post-apocalyptic tale about the 1% ruling the 99% that live in a destroyed America named Panem which consists of 12 districts that are controlled by the Capitol (1%).  According to the late, great Roger Ebert, Panem is from the Latin “panem et circenses,” which “summarized the Roman formula, for creating a docile population: Give them bread and circuses.”  The twelve districts lack decent jobs, decent places to live, decent safety regulations in their hard-scrapple jobs, and they are starving due to the regulations of the government.  The Capitol has all the money, all the food, and all the comfort.  They even have a juice that will help you purge your food in order to make room for more food.  The Capitol sponsors a Darwinian type of game by choosing two children from each district to fight to the death every year—there can only be one winner.  The prize is food for their district for a year and an upgraded lifestyle for the winner for the rest of their lives.  (Talk about “trickle-down economics.”)  All of this is done in a “survivor” game-show atmosphere.  The TV audience is entertained and the people forget about their troubles or their need to rage against the machine (The Man).  Hum, where have I heard the concept of that theme before?

Hunger Games

Cartoonist:  Rob Rogers || http://blogs.post-gazette.com/opinion/rob-rogers-cartoons

As WW and I were debating the ultimate message of the movie (man’s love grown cold toward their fellowman?), I glanced at the headlines in the news:

People Beat Each Other Up over Towels at Walmart: 2.8 Million Towels Sold on Thanksgiving

Black Friday 2013—the Modern Hunger Games

Black Friday Marred by Violence in Several States:  Stabbings, Robberies, Mace Attacks

Black Friday Shopper Robbed of Big Screen TV by Assailant in Parking Lot that Shopper Stood in Line for Six Hours to Purchase—It Only Took Thief 30 Seconds to Wrestle TV from Shopper’s Hands and Escape

Walmart Holds Food Drive for Underpaid Employees—Refuses to Raise Minimum Wage

Republican Congress Ready to Pass $500 Billion Farm Bill that Benefits Businesses in their District but Poised To Cut $40 Billion in Food Stamps on Top of the $5 Billion Already Cut for People They Declare To Be “Takers.”

Pope Francis Attacks “Idolatry of Money”—Calls it Unfettered Capitalism—Urges Global Leaders to Fight Poverty and Growing Inequality

40% of Tea Baggers Consider Themselves To Be “Born-Again Christians”—60% of Republicans Consider Themselves To Be Christians and Their Party a Champion of Christian Virtues, but They Consider Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged to be a Beacon of Truth for the Party and a Philosophy to be Touted

Republican Member of Congress Who Supported Drug Testing for Food Stamp Recipients Pleaded Guilty to the Purchase of Cocaine from an Undercover Agent in DuPont Circle—Doesn’t Get the Irony

Headline News from the Celestial Times:  Jesus Wept!

Hungry Americans Pat Bagley Salt Lake Tribune

Used by Permission: Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

***

I am discovering that man’s love for his fellowman in America has grown so cold it is frozen tundra.  For non-Bible readers, this is supposed to happen as a sign of the “end times” right before the destruction of the Earth by God.   (Don’t ask!)  What I find to be so ironic is that I don’t think Christians ever thought, nor do we ever think, that the “love grown cold” line has anything to do with us (just one of the deserved reasons for divine retribution against our dirty-little heathen countrymen).  But from where I stand, I think it is a “pull the log out of your own eye before you attempt to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye” kind of proclamation.   In the past, it was the Christian churches that stood by with cold-hearted resolve and let some of the worst ravages of history take place:  Southern Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians justified slavery as God’s command and fought to legalize it forever in the US; Lutherans and Catholics supported the systematic annihilation of 6 million Jews in Europe and turned a blind eye when their neighbors were taken away to the camps; the Dutch Reformed Church invented, established, and enforced Apartheid as a divine right in South Africa in a land that they stole from the people they oppressed, just to name a few “love grown cold” scenarios that took place within the borders of Christian nations.

Maybe the Youth Literature group that The Hunger Games were originally written for will see past the sheer entertainment value of the books and movies and the child-on-child violence, and grab hold of a stronger message:   Love wins and hope triumphs.  We could use a generation coming up after the Baby Boomers and the Boomers’ children who will turn against the cold-heartedness in our nation and “go to war” (in a manner of speaking) for the poor, the immigrant, the disenfranchised, and the underdog.

Colbert Quote about serving the poor italianforant dot blogspot com

Steve Colbert|| http://www.colbertnation.com/

“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”Mahatma Gandhi

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.”Hélder Câmara, Dom Helder Camara: Essential Writings

We got so much food in America we’re allergic to food. Allergic to food! Hungry people ain’t allergic to shit. You think anyone in Rwanda’s got a fucking lactose intolerance?!”Chris Rock

“What makes the books and the films [The Hunger Games, brackets mine] compelling is the way they define anxieties and pop-culture obsessions in our everyday lives: anger over politicians, fascination with celebrities, a growing disgruntled underclass, addiction to reality shows and video games, the regularity of large-scale violent acts that monopolize TV coverage, and hateful outbreaks of bullying.” Susan Wloszczyna from Reviews—Roger Ebert.com (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire)

Hunger Games America II Bob Englehart The Hartford Courant

Used by permission:  Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant

REFERENCES

http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-hunger-games-catching-fire-2013

http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-hunger-games-2012

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/08/us/cut-in-food-stamps-forces-hard-choices-on-poor.html?_r=0

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/11/29/walmart-s-black-thanksgiving-woes.html

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
16 Comments

Posted by on December 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

16 responses to “Cold Love and Misplaced Periods

  1. Valentine Logar

    December 1, 2013 at 11:57 am

    I thought you would enjoy this one: http://www.upworthy.com/i-dont-remember-this-pretend-scene-from-the-hunger-games-sequel-but-it-sure-is-awfully-realistic?c=fea

    As always you give much to consider and think about.

    My t-day was nearly perfection. I did not talk about family, politics or religion.

     
    • etomczyk

      December 9, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      Val. This clip was great. I had not seen it. If the young people really believe this, they will ignore the Tea Party Repubs and sign up for healthcare to lower the prices for older people and the poor. Once they see themselves as part of the “whole,” they and all of us can win against the “Capitol” mindset. Take care.

      P.S. I just read your post about your blog friend who died. I am overwhelmed with the pain of that story. Thank you for sharing it.

       
      • Valentine Logar

        December 10, 2013 at 5:13 am

        Terrible story isn’t it, we have no words for losses like this.

         
  2. Let's CUT the Crap!

    December 1, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    I’ve only read the first book in the series and had enough. I couldn’t understand this book was geared to children. Your comparisons ring a bell but I don’t have enough curiosity to read the other two books. 😉

     
    • etomczyk

      December 10, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      Let’s Cut the Crap. I feel the same as you about the subject matter. It is still the one thing that really agitates me about the books.

       
  3. Lindy Lee

    December 1, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    …and next comes December 25, 2013.

     
    • etomczyk

      December 10, 2013 at 8:18 pm

      Lindy, I can’t seem to connect to your site anymore. Are you still blogging? Can you send me the link? Take care!

       
      • Lindy Lee

        December 11, 2013 at 8:15 am

        http://poeticlicensee.wordpress.com/

        Having trouble keeping up with everybody here on WordPress. Have not posted anything new for several months. Thanks for your note. How’s the book coming along? Send me info for purchase?

         
  4. talesfromthemotherland

    December 1, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I loved the books and enjoyed the first movie… looking forward to the 2nd. The message is definitely not lost on me, and like you, I hope my kids’ generation takes something more lasting from it. As for your book: what!! How did I miss that you have a publisher, and are at the release date already!! This is soooo exciting Eleanor. I can’t wait to read it. Who published it? When, exactly, is the release date? This is really exciting news. Mazel!!

     
  5. momshieb

    December 1, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    I have to say, my three “arrested with Occupy Wall Street” kids (plus the fiance what we gained through the experience) all talked about the new Hunger Games movie; we all agree that it was a statement about the 99% and we all agree that we are in love with Katniss Everdeen and that seeing the movie has recommitted us to the movement to bring some sort of equality to the national economy.
    We always talk politics at our table, but that’s because we are a family of lefties.
    And I love, love, love that quote from Colbert!
    Happiest of holidays to you and yours, my thoughtful progressive friend! May the odds be ever in your favor……

     
    • etomczyk

      December 10, 2013 at 8:45 pm

      Dear Momshieb: Isn’t Jennifer Lawrence awesome! I must admit that she kept me riveted! And after hearing Pope Francis’ “Joy of the Gospel” speech about Capitalism vs the poor, I could hear Ayn Rand rolling over in her grave. I’m ready to rumble!!! 🙂

       
  6. rootstoblossom

    December 1, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    I don’t understand the hype about the hunger games at all. Excellent post, and I wish less people in our world seemed so cold and callous.

     
    • etomczyk

      December 10, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      Thanks Rootstoblossom. Appreciate you dropping by. All the best.

       
  7. Rebecca

    December 4, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I went over my graduate thesis with a fine-toothed comb – more than once – and so did one of my committee members. When I went to carve it down for publication, I found not one but *two* instances of “the the”. Typos hide!

    I love that Stephen Colbert quote. He gets right to the point.

    Thanksgiving was blissfully political-argument-free for me, unlike last year (where it wasn’t really an argument, but listening silently to ultra-conservative relatives complain and trying not to reply because I would probably have yelled).

    Happy brief stretch between holidays!

     
    • etomczyk

      December 10, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      Thanks Rebecca. I am stunned by how stressful it is to edit something. Yikes! Thanks for stopping by.

       

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