Quantcast
Opinion

Join the discussion: Why is young adult fiction so political?

Comments

Return To Article
  • Shane333 Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 10:55 a.m.

    The more our government (with either political party in power) meddles and micromanages every part of our lives, the more we will see books and movies dealing with governments that micromanage people's lives.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 10:58 a.m.

    Re: ""When you have a society [in which] General Electric gets away without paying any taxes on their profits, and where [the government] has the gall to take $15 billion of food stamps away . . . ."

    You mean Hollywood believes Hunger Games is about a corporatist dystopia?

    Hmmmmmm.

    Sure smells like a much more common, much more likely Orwellian leftist dystopia, to me.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 11:01 a.m.

    The Hunger Games. Both times my wife and I have watched these movies we come away saying the same things - there is a stark parallel to the direction the United States is headed today and the Big Brother government that president Snow has established in the Hunger Games. Of course this is Hollywood and not to be taken too serious but it does strike a nerve or two. Consider the following in the Hunger games...

    *the complete politically correct society they live in. No one dare state the obvious ...at least not in public.
    *the giant all-powerful federal government with zero rights give to the people
    *the rich fat cats who live at the top compared to the poverty amoung everyone else
    *the constant spying by the federal government and the parinoia by the people

    You can't watch these movies without feeling queezy about the state of the union today. I almost feel like I am watching the future of America in about 75 years.

    The Hunger Games to me represents a Communist society at its worst and politically aligns itself with the current far left ideology of today.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 11:07 a.m.

    Hollywood is far left politically so naturally they color their movie scripts with all sorts of leftist propaganda from global warming to a socialist godless society. The last movie I watched - and really liked - was Lone Survivor. Probably the only movie I will watch for the entire year. The rest are just too predictable and too political and raunchy morally.

    *I will say I think they blew it with the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games sort of back fires on the leftist agenda showing what a far left society could look like. I doubt Hollywood wanted that reaction.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 11:19 a.m.

    Well how much of this is actually the fiction being popular and how much of it is just some people seeing politics in everything? It expands to everything else as well. People say the Lego Movie is anti-capitalist, or that Frozen is pro-gay, others...

    "The Hunger Games to me represents a Communist society at its worst and politically aligns itself with the current far left ideology of today."

    say things like that.

  • Understands Math Lacey, WA
    Aug. 19, 2014 11:20 a.m.

    A lot of children's literature has been political in nature. Ayn Rand, for instance.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 11:24 a.m.

    The reason?

    Quite simply --
    This generation - Generation Y -
    has watched the rich get insanely richer,
    and poor getting poorer their entire lives.

    These movies are a grim self-fullfilling prophesy
    of the direction our world is going.

    FYI --
    It's no different than what happened to the
    Jaredites,
    Nephites,
    Egytians,
    Greeks,
    Romans,
    snd Nazis.

    It had nothing to do with SameSex marriage, or alcohol --
    and EVERYTHING to do with the un-fair distribution of the wealth,
    and how they treated the poor, sick, the young and the elderly...
    i.e., "the least of these..."

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 11:39 a.m.

    re:Schnee

    Sorry guy but I only watch maybe one movie a year so I certainly don't "see" politics in everything HOWEVER when a movie like the Hunger Games comes out even the casual observer can't help see the parallels to the "Orwellian" society we live in today. Somehow you missed that? Perhaps a reading of the book "1984" would help ...at least open your eyes a bit to the message of the Hunger Games.

  • WabbitSeason Newcastle, WA
    Aug. 19, 2014 11:42 a.m.

    Because it's easy to have polarizing characters that people can easily identify.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 1:06 p.m.

    re: WabbitSeason

    Like talk radio stations or cable news analysis networks?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 1:23 p.m.

    But this isn't anything new. We have seen this throughout cinema.

    Who has seen Logan's Run, The Last Run, Star Wars, and Planet of the Apes (Heston version)? Those are some of the dystopian movies that I could think of off hand that are quite old yet contain the same message. An all controlling government is bad and ends up enslaving and destroying its people.

    This is not something new, the youth have always been fearful of the all powerful government. The ironic thing is that often they are the pawns of collectivists that will implement the all powerful government.

    To "LDS Liberal" actually, the Generation Y crowd has watched as liberal politics destroys city after city, and does not raise the poor but only makes the middleclass poor, and the politically connected get more wealth and power. In other words, Generation Y sees the failure of liberalism, but doesn't know what to do because they have been taught that freedom and capitalism are bad.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 2:01 p.m.

    @patriot
    "Somehow you missed that? "

    Probably because as a lefty-liberal almost-socialist I support things like universal healthcare and consider wealth inequality to be a major problem. There's very little that's similar between the Capital in the Hunger Games and my political ideology. Which is not to suggest that the Capital is like your ideology either. There's perhaps a piece or two from both sides but otherwise it's just an extreme fascist state.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 2:02 p.m.

    "Well how much of this is actually the fiction being popular "

    I meant to say political, not popular. Whoops.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Aug. 19, 2014 2:05 p.m.

    Patriot, it's virtually impossible to "miss" the ostensible message of The Hunger Games. Subtle it ain't. I hate to burst your bubble, but you aren't operating on a higher plane of comprehension. Our difference is how seriously we take said message.

    You know what "reaction" Lionsgate (not "Hollywood") wanted, and got? $1.5 billion in box-office and counting. Too-strident-by-half pronouncements about our "Orweillian" society today become impossible to take seriously when you point to a couple of popcorn movies as evidence.

    The world where The Hunger Games is an effective tool for political indoctrination is as fictional as the world its characters inhabit. This is professional populist entertainment; nothing less, nothing more. But, by all means continue, as one of the most entertaining side effects of any movie with a supposed political message is watching the far right twist themselves into knots in protest. Queue the hysterical shrieks of "Liberal, Godless Hollywood!" I never can get enough of that.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 19, 2014 2:12 p.m.

    "then you have a society [in which] General Electric gets away without paying any taxes on their profits"

    Funny to me that the only big corporation that those on the right finds fault with is GE.

    I also think it is sad that a corporation like GE can skirt taxes. But, they are not the only one.

    People carp about the high corporate tax rate in the US compared to other countries. What they dont do is look at the effective tax rate for comparison.

    (except under Reagan, then they bleat about how no one was paying those high rates)

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Aug. 19, 2014 3:40 p.m.

    "When you have a society [in which] General Electric gets away without paying any taxes on their profits...."

    I would change to "When you have a society in which public discourse is dominated by celebrities who have no clue about the policies they wade into debate about..."

    GE pays taxes on their profits. Profits, however, are not a one-year-only thing. A company that is profitable one year, then loses the same amount of money the next, has a net profit of zero. Obviously, if you taxed that company on its profits (but did not refund negative taxes on the loss), the company would quickly disappear. Since everybody but communists understands that companies are, on balance, useful things to have around (since we like (a) jobs and (b) things to buy with the earnings from them), there is a provision in virtually every country's tax laws that allow a company to "carry forward" its losses for a few years, offsetting them against its subsequent profits, so that only when a company actually realizes income does it pay income tax.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Aug. 19, 2014 3:41 p.m.

    "People carp about the high corporate tax rate in the US compared to other countries. What they dont do is look at the effective tax rate for comparison."

    Even the *effective* tax rate is unusually high.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Aug. 19, 2014 3:45 p.m.

    "This generation - Generation Y -
    has watched the rich get insanely richer,
    and poor getting poorer their entire lives."

    Look up a graph in the average income of the lowest quintile (the "poor") from 1980 to the present -- roughly the lifespan of Generation Y -- and then see if you want to reword that statement.

    Short version: The poor aren't getting poorer. They're not getting much richer, but they're not getting poorer.

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    Aug. 19, 2014 3:58 p.m.

    "The Hunger Games to me represents a Communist society at its worst and politically aligns itself with the current far left ideology of today."

    Hogwash. The books are intentionally ambiguous about the exact social and economic structures of their world, and a case can just as easily be made that Panem represents a rightwing imperialist regime where the raw goods and materials of the enslaved outer colonies are extracted for the benefit of the wealthy minority.

    Hunger Games is about the struggle against totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is politically neutral on its face. History is replete with examples of totalitarianism from both the far right or far left. The view that totalitarian rule is inherently a feature of one or the other, but not both, evinces a fundamental lack of political understanding or perspective. Accusing those who disagree with your politics of desiring totalitarianism demonstrates the same.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 4:39 p.m.

    To "Unreconstructed Reb" if you look at the role the government in the Hunger Games books, it is communist at worst and socialist at best. The government controls the means of production and distribution of goods. It represents the very definition of Socialist.

    The interesting thing is that you cannot have a totalitarian government if you have the free market and capitalism operating. Just something to think about.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Aug. 19, 2014 5:39 p.m.

    RedShirt:

    Have you seen where the Dow closed at today? If those durn liberals are trying to undermine "freedom and capitalism", they're doing a horrible job at it.

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    Aug. 19, 2014 5:49 p.m.

    Redshirt, the considerable number of transnational corporations which have thrived operating under right-wing totalitarian regimes (many of them putative allies of the US in during the Cold War and beyond) belie your argument. Capitalism can do just fine under a dictatorship - see Chile under Pinochet, Taiwan under the KMT, South Korea from 1961-1987, and the latter half of Francoist Spain for examples.

    Government control of production/distribution of goods is not the very definition socialism except in the minds of those whose reductionist understanding of political and economic theory is based on the John Birch Society. The author of Hunger Games has explicitly denied linking Panem to a specific economic philosophy. You, of course, are free to read into it what you will, but you're overlooking the central theme of the trilogy, which has nothing to do with leftwing/rightwing dialectics.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 7:18 p.m.

    Hogwash.

    Hunger Games isn't a communist regime. It's what the fascist tea party desires. Panem is a fascist state. There's absolutely no attempt to equalize the classless into a classless society. Quite the opposite. If you wanted to use tea party rhetoric, districts 1-3 are job creators. They're the educated ones. Meanwhile, the other districts are welfare queens. They rely on the guidance of the tea party.

    The bottom line is, political books and movies have been popular since forever.

    Even the Book of Mormon becomes quite political with kings being replaced by judges and judges being dethroned by king men (tea party 1 percenters).

    If it sells well they'll continue to make political books. What the right appears to desire is for government to deny the free market trading of books. Yet another sign of fascism.

  • nicholdraper West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 8:16 p.m.

    No readers in the bunch? In the book, both sides are guilty. The book indicts both the left and the right. The movie continues on the same theme, so that each side can view the movie from their own point of view. Sadly, most of these movies propose only violence as a solution. So, Hunger games blames both sides and revels in the violence that they say will follow. History while full of bad examples also has some great examples of people choosing peace through self sacrifice, just consider George Washington not seeking a third term as president.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 8:29 p.m.

    @RedShirt
    USS Enterprise, UT

    To "LDS Liberal" actually, the Generation Y crowd has watched as liberal politics destroys city after city, and does not raise the poor but only makes the middleclass poor, and the politically connected get more wealth and power. In other words, Generation Y sees the failure of liberalism,

    1:23 p.m. Aug. 19, 2014

    =======

    Ah, now I get it,
    That must explains why generation "Y" rejects Republicans and votes Liberal by a factor of 4 to 1...I see Red, right...whatever Limbaugh and Beck tell you....

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 7:03 a.m.

    Funny thing is about these so called political message movies. One can take away whatever ones wants. I mean, if your a liberal, you can look at big corporations as the dystopian threat. Conservatives can look at the big government as such. And in context of who has been President for the last 6 years, one could draw conclusions that the film makers don't want. I doubt many young people draw any life changing conclusions, they just want to be entertained. By the way. Things like Brave New World, 1984, Farenheit 451, all warn me of the dangers of big government. And even when big government and big business get closely aligned, it is easy to asign blame on both right and left principles as the cause.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 7:35 a.m.

    young adult books are political because young adults are impressionable, and political.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 7:36 a.m.

    - - - liberal

    And IF that is true about gen Y, just how long do you think that will last when they grow up and see the real world? Everyone starts out a little liberal. Most become more conservative as real world responsibility hits home. Plus, you always seem to want to criticize Limbaugh or others. Just who do you listen to for info? Name names. And I will laugh if you say someone like Ed Shultz, or Chris Matthews. They are pathetic with about 10% of the audience of people like Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Prager, Hannity, Beck, Medved, Hewitt, and of course Limbaugh.

  • Nadom1 Chicago, IL
    Aug. 20, 2014 8:39 a.m.

    Well how much of this is actually the fiction being popular and how much of it is just some people seeing politics in everything? - agree with that

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 8:57 a.m.

    To "KJB1" did you also notice that the DOW has been doing better since Obama's collectivist policies have been slowed down or stopped? Interesting isn't it.

    To "Unreconstructed Reb" unless your idea of left wing and right wing is communist to fascist, you are wrong. Please name the right wing totalitarian government. I would bet that if you could name one, the government is at best fascist, which is still socialist and collectivist in nature. Under Pinochet, capitalism didn't really do that well. However, since they got rid of their dictatorship and embraced freedom their economy has boomed.

    To "The Real Maverick" you do realize that the Tea Party is opposed to fascism since fascism is SOCIALISM.

    To "LDS Liberal" lets look at it this way, why do so few LDS identify as liberal? Could it be that the LDS emphasis on individualism counteracts the public school indoctrination into collectivism? If liberalism is so great, why is it that where liberalism has dominated for decades the cities are crime ridden and falling apart, at the same time conservative dominated areas have less reported crime?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 10:24 a.m.

    @SCfan
    @clearfield, UT
    - - - liberal

    Just who do you listen to for info? Name names.

    7:36 a.m. Aug. 20, 2014

    [Honestly?! Read the DN comments. It should be obvious that my news source is 99% the Deseret News, with an occasional KSL-TV. But, IMHO - I think PBS and Al Jazeer America are the best International and least biased news sources.]

    =========

    RedShirt
    USS Enterprise, UT

    To "LDS Liberal" lets look at it this way, so few LDS identify as liberal --- IN Utah?

    8:57 a.m. Aug. 20, 2014

    [To "RedShirt" let me put it to you this way, why do so few LDS identify as liberal?

    Most LDS do not live in Utah,
    Most LDS are not American,
    therfore --
    Most LDS are not Utah Republicans.

    Your bubble,
    Your world.]

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 10:27 a.m.

    @RedShirt -- Name one "collectivist" policy that has been stopped (or started for that matter) under Obama. Also, by textbook definition, fascism is not socialism, but if that's what you want to think, go right ahead. Finally, you bemoan the liberal cities, but you could, if you were honest, also bemoan the conservative rural areas with their high unemployment and shocking rates of meth use. Why do so many rural young people flounder with poverty and drug use? Must be the conservative ideology at work causing these social problems.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 11:32 a.m.

    To "Wonder" I didn't say it was a textbook definition of socialism, but it is a form of socialism. The only difference between Socialism and Fascism is that under socialism the government both owns and controls the means of production. Under Fascism ownership is still retained in private hand, while control is maintained by the government.

    I hate to tell you, but drug abuse rate is about the same between rural and urban kids, but the urban kids start at a younger age.

    As for unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, except for 6 months in 2013, rural areas have lower unemployment rates.

    Please try again after you find some data.

    To "LDS Liberal" yes, LDS members do live outside of Utah, and a majority of them do vote conservative, and even more identify with Republicans. See "Mormons in America: Certain in Their Beliefs, Uncertain of Their Place in Society" at Pew where they found 66% of LDS members (throughout the US) consider themselves conservative and 74%. That isn't just for Utah, that is for the US.

    You will not like that fact, but the fact is that most LDS are conservative and support Republicans.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 11:46 a.m.

    - - - Liberal

    Then all I can say is that you miss out on a lot. Even though I am conservative, I'm frequently disappointed at DNs news coverage on a range of issues. I struggle to find stories that should be front and center, only to discover them way down the list, or not mentioned at all. And PBS is well known for liberal leanings. As for Al Jazeer being unbiased? That once again says a lot about you. Your the one in a bubble of limited information, and thanks for admitting so, even if you didn't realize it.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Aug. 20, 2014 11:46 a.m.

    Sorry, but the Hunger Games Universe doesn't look anything like a liberal democracy, where the market is free but not exploitative. To me, it looks like a colonialist empire with a few exploiters at the top and an exploited majority... a picture that is very far from liberal democracy.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 2:29 p.m.

    @RedShirt
    "Under Fascism ownership is still retained in private hand, while control is maintained by the government."

    Exactly, there's another term for that particular brand, corporatism. Opposition to anything that trends that way is why liberals have all those freakouts over things like Citizens United, the Koch brothers, and big money being too influential in politics.

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    Aug. 20, 2014 3:45 p.m.

    "Please name the right wing totalitarian government."

    I did, I gave you Pinochet, head of a rightwing military junta that overthrew a democratically elected leftist president, murdered thousands of dissidents, locked up thousands more, and ruled with an iron fist. Oh, and he directly implemented Milton Friedman's Chicago School of neoliberal, freemarket economic theory.

    "Under Pinochet, capitalism didn't really do that well."

    No, they call only it the 'Miracle of Chile' because of its economic growth, which was fantastic. Other than the massive inequality it generated. And the whole totalitarian dictator thing. Try calling economic neo-liberalism 'socialism'!

    "[T]he Tea Party is opposed to fascism since fascism is SOCIALISM."

    We've had this conversation about fascism versus socialism before, and it's not worth my time convincing you otherwise. But I want to point out to any readers of this that you're completely wrong to conflate the two, and the notion that you understand what you're talking about as you wildly fling these words around loses you massive credibility in the process.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 5:35 p.m.

    ...because that's what you want to see in it.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 6:57 p.m.

    Clearly, reddy has no idea what fascism is.

    Look at Panem.

    Is there any attempt to have a classless society? Absolutely not. Some districts are the one percenters. They control everything. While the rest of the 99 percent live in poverty.

    Is universal health care present? Nope. It's the right wing version of health care (pre Obamacare) If you can pay for it... Or have a mother who knows some basic first aid, then you'll live. If not, you're dead.

    President Snow's entire regime is homogenous. That's just like today's GOP. The left embraces diversity the right rejects it.

    The EPA and unions are non-existent. Resources are being exploited and workers aren't protected. It's a tea party paradise.

    The police are brutal. They have restricted freedom, just like Bush and Cheney did with the patriot act.

    The districts are fed propaganda by Ceasar. He's the Rush/Ann Coulter of Panem. Propaganda is a common trait of right wing regimes.

    The games themselves are designed to show strength in the tradition of the state. It reminds citizens of the past. The left works for progress while the right hinders it.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Aug. 21, 2014 12:56 p.m.

    There has never been a libertarian dictatorship. Just sayin'.

  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 2:55 p.m.

    I know? Social Engineering?

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Aug. 21, 2014 4:07 p.m.

    RedShirt
    USS Enterprise, UT

    "The only difference between Socialism and Fascism is that under socialism the government both owns and controls the means of production. Under Fascism ownership is still retained in private hand, while control is maintained by the government."

    =========

    Then Germany, France, England, Canada, Spain, Italy, Japan, South Korea et. al are not Socialist but Fascist?!

    Then,
    I expect you to stop using them as examples of Socialism and kindly refer to them from now on as being Fascist States from now on...

    Good Luck with that Red...