The Hunger Games
My kid and I were going to go see The Hunger Games this weekend, but for various reasons, we decided we would wait until later in the week (and hopefully, slightly less packed theaters, because Mama doesn't like crowds). If you're unfamiliar with the story, it's a dystopian future where North America is now a country called Panem. The Capitol of Panem is populated with the privileged wealthy (the 1 percent, if you will) and the rest of the country is divided into districts. Every year, for the pleasure of the residents of the Capitol, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 17--known as a tribute--is chosen to compete in a fight to the death. There are complicated themes of poverty, desperation to survive, authoritarianism and even racism in that protagonist Katniss is described as olive skinned and dark haired and the wealthier, more privileged people are whiter and blonder, so Katniss is looked down upon and discounted.
It occurs to me that the 1 percent are laying the groundwork for our own Hunger Games now. More and more money stays locked at the top, impoverishing those of us not within the inner circle. Those elites keep telling us that we should consider ourselves lucky for the scraps we get, for sacrificing for the greater good. And now look, we're killing each other, claiming survival as our justification. And in real life, as in The Hunger Games, those elites, when they sense a rising tide of empathy for one tribute over others, will change the rules of the game just to extend their amusement. Sound familiar?
Look at your elites within the Capitol. Here are those who want you to be a tribute for their amusement.
ABC's "This Week" - 2012 Presidential Race: White House adviser David Plouffe; Healthcare, 2012 Presidential Race: Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. Panel: George Will; Terry Moran; Cokie Roberts; Donna Brazile; Matthew Dowd.
NBC's "Meet the Press" - 2012 Presidential Race: Plouffe; Influence of military; jobs for veterans: Rachel Maddow; Gov. Brian Schweitzer, D-Mont.; former Gov. Haley Barbour, R-Miss.; Panel: Panel: Michele Norris, NPR; Ben Jealous, NAACP; Doris Kearns Goodwin; David Brooks.
NBC's "The Chris Matthews Show" - Panel: Kelly Evans, David Leonhardt, Gloria Borger, John Heilemann. Topics: Can Mitt Romney effectively and credibly campaign against Health Care? What is it about the "Mad Men" era that we find so seductive? Meter questions: Romney better off if Supreme Court strikes Individual Mandate? YES: 6 NO: 6; Will the GOP Candidate move to the center for the general? YES: 7 No: 5
MSNBC's "Up with Chris Hayes" - Panel: Steven Pinker, Author of “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined”; Robert Wright, Author of “The Evolution of God”; Susan Jacoby, Author of “Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism”; Journalist Jamila Bey. Guests: Richard Dawkin. Topics: How atheism intersects with our politics. Coming a day after Saturday's Reason Rally on the National Mall, this episode of Up will include atheist views on religion's role in political subjects ranging from climate-change science to Rep. Paul Ryan's budget. We will also look at prejudices against atheists, including disparaging remarks by presidential candidates.
MSNBC's "Melissa Harris-Perry" - Panel: Kenji Yoshino, NYU Law Professor; Tim Wise, Author of “Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority”; Jelani Cobb, Rutgers University Professor of Africana Studies and History; Susan Douglas, Author of “The Rise of Enlightened Sexism”; Richard Cohen, President of the Southern Poverty Law Center; Anthea Butler, University of Pennsylvania Professor of Religious Studies. Topics include: Supreme Court and the Affordable Care Act; GOP budget; brokered convention; Trayvon Martin; Mad Men
CBS' "Face the Nation" - Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum; Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.; Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
CNN's "State of the Union" - The White House; the budget; healthcare and politics: White House advisor David Plouffe. Jobs; the economy; 2012 campaign; Trayvon Martin killing: Gov. Rick Scott (R- Fla.). Afghanistan; jobs; the economy; 2012 campaign: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). Panel: Mike Duffy, Time; Susan Page, USA Today.
CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" - 2012 elections; Russia, China, France, Israel: Author Bruce Bueno de Mesquita ("The Dictator's Handbook"); Richard N. Haass, Council on Foreign Relations; Anne-Marie Slaughter. Global economy: Former World Bank President James Wolfensohn. Business; the economy: Venture capitalist Reid Hoffman.
CNN's "Reliable Sources" - Reliable Sources Trayvon Martin case: Eric Deggans, Tampa Bay Times; Lauren Ashburn; Derek McGinty, WUSA. Romney campaign's Etch-a-Sketch gaffe; Illinois primary coverage: Amy Holmes, Glenn Beck; David Corn. Cameras in the Supreme Court: Brian Lamb, C-SPAN.
"Fox News Sunday" - Budget/Economy: Ryan; 2012 election: Plouffe. Panel: Brit Hume, Fox News; Kirsten Powers, The Daily Beast; Paul Gigot, Wall Street Journal; Juan Williams, Fox News
So what's catching your eye this morning?