Sunday, May 6, 2012

Some jibber jabber and Hunger Games

Many of my friends are of the opinion that I have a decent sense of humor. To the extent, that some of them even asked me to perform standup at couple of informal get-together parties. More than by choice, I do it for being socially accepted. If I talk about serious matters, people think I am boring and anti social. So, I have given up discussing serious matters amongst majority of my friend circle. Of course, there are a few people with whom I share my thoughts on serious matters and always eager to hear their feedback but I can count such people on my fingers. I never try too hard to be humorous but just say my mind aloud about everyday things. And these days, you don't even need to try. Like they say, the satire writes by itself. Another thing I have noticed is that with age, sarcasm has developed upon me automatically. Maybe that is another sign of getting old.

The humor and sarcasm is hardly visible in my posts because here I write what keeps going in my head and which is tough to share with others. This can also explain why most of my blog readers are some random Russian spam algorithms rather than real human beings. On top of that, being anonymous saves me from the prejudices people build up according to someone's social background, education, culture, religion etc.

I have also noticed that blogs with humor are popular by many folds than blogs of any other genre. I myself follow some of those bloggers. I admire their sense of humor but sometimes, some bloggers just try too hard and it is a big turn off. I have noticed that some just pick up the most tweeted subjects/topics of the week/month and try to write up something around it, without having any clue about the topic in the first place. The beauty of such posts is that there cannot be any solid critic around it. The author just gets away saying that it was a light post and not to be taken literally. Anyways, it’s a free world and everyone can have his or her opinion.

So, after enough random beating around the bush, let me come to the post I wanted to write. A couple of weeks back; I saw the most talked about movie of this year so far, “The Hunger Games”. I mean, it was everywhere in news, blogs, twitter and had a lot of hype built around it. It was quite remarkable to see how the marketing team of the movie promoted the film. Even I decided to go and check it out. It turned out to be an OK movie. I hardly found it living up the expectations or maybe it was a movie more for the teenagers. It was a sci-fi movie in which somewhere in future, a competition is organized. From each district/town of a country, two teenagers are picked by lucky draw to participate in this competition. The competition is a no-holds-barred survival contest in which the last living survivor is the winner and allowed to go back home. The goal of this competition? -  To please and entertain the elites living in the capital city. That was all in the story.

But, it gave me a kind of an unsettling feeling after the movie. It made me feel, are we not living already in a toned down version of the “Hunger Games” era? I found some striking similarities between both worlds. Of course, the movie portrays a more extreme scenario. But, just think of it in today’s time. We have these mega sports events around us, not matter which country or continent. In the US we have all these national leagues, NFL for football, NBA for basketball, NHL for ice hockey, MLB for baseball etc. In Europe, we have this out of the world UEFA Champions League where the footballers are sometimes even portrayed as gladiators in the media. I am not even getting into each country’s football league clubs. Even India is catching up with its IPL for cricket. Of course, these events do not involve matters of life and death but is the idea and goal not the same? To please the crowd, just like that in the movie? 

I was quite baffled when I thought about the similarities after watching the movie. After picking up the players in the movie, they are groomed and trained for the event. The big players of sporting events after being picked up by clubs also do the same. The players are then presented in the best possible way to the audience to attract their attention. The sporting clubs do the same by making videos of those players to create a fan following. When the players in the movie perform well, they get perks from sponsors. The same happen with clubs when players are offered big perks when they outperform themselves. I can go on and on presenting the similarities but let me stop here.

Also, only the people who can afford the tickets can go and watch these games. On TV, you have to pay membership fees to channels to see these events live. No doubt, all this has lead to improving the sporting levels. But there is a limit and after that, it is all show, entertainment and business. How else would you explain something like SuperBowl advertising? Sometimes, I feel that consciously or unconsciously these events and games keep us away from thinking about matters of real concern to us which could really help make the world a better place.

I would confess that I am also no saint. Sometimes, I also fall in the trap. I also start following these events. The reasons can be anything from peer pressure, society, keeping up with the world. But, time and again something get to my senses and show me the truth right in my face. It was this movie this time which made think again. With the growing number of haves and have-nots and that gap which is ever increasing, I won’t be surprised if I see “Hunger Games” in reality in this life.


Dr Mandeep Khanuja said...

i am surprised to see no comments/discussion on such an intelligent post ! actually u r right the world has fallen into a marketing frenzy no different from a rat-race. It takes guts and conviction to be different from the lot. fr today i am immensely enjoying reading your blog Thanks :) said...

well ... there are not too many visitors here so therefore not many comments :)
but I am glad you liked it !