The Hunger Games - For Snobs?Thursday, April 05, 2012
|Rebecca Anne Stewart - ¿Gente fina?|
Early in my life my mother taught me to be a snob. She would disdainfully point at ordinary mortals and proclaim, “Hay poca gente fina como nosotros.” This translates to something like, “There are few people who are as well mannered and educated as we are.”
My grandmother who was a tremendously talented coloratura soprano never sang professionally as only women of ill-repute sang in places like opera houses.
My father read such authors as Leslie Charteris, A.P. Herbert and P.G. Woodhouse.
Thus I grew up to be a snob who was a trifle embarrassed to move to Canada to live in Burnaby (of all places!) in a town house on Springer Avenue. If I was embarrassed my wife Rosemary was more so as she had somehow through psychic osmosis had inherited my mother’s class consciousness.
We tried to place both our daughters at the E'cole Bilingue but the waiting list was much too long. We bought the town house in Burnaby which was halfway between Vancouver (Vancouver School of Music and the ballet) and Coquitlam where they had the very good French Immersion schools in Mallardville.
By the time our eldest daughter was in high school we knew we had to do something. She returned from school and began, “Me and a bunch of guys…” It was at that very moment where we checked the bus schedules and buses available in Burnaby that went to either Crofton House or York House. It was the latter that won out as the King Edward bus left regularly from Brentwood Mall, not too far from our house.
I strictly controlled how much TV my daughters watched and what they watched. But I have to admit that I was with them for many of those Gilligan Island episodes and I remember how Rosemary and the girls loved Dallas and made Oscar night a night for the girls. Since I was a snob I never watched (nor have I ever watched) such drivel.
It was to my great disappointment that my daughters informed me they were going to see Stripes at the Lougheed Mall. I gave them a sermon on what a waste of time that would be and that it was pure American crap. They went, anyway.
A couple of years later I saw the film and I almost died of laughter. I had patently been wrong about it and let my snobbish attitude keep me away from having fun.
It was about this time, during the early 80s, that I worked at Vancouver Magazine with rock’ roll columnist Les Wiseman who was a real music snob. For years he bragged that he had never ever attended a concert nor reviewed a record by a local new wave band called Images in Vogue. “If you have to like heavy metal, Alex, the only band you have to know about is Motorhead.” He informed me that Lou Reed was God and I became, like Wiseman an expert on the high and the mighty popular music that critics loved and the masses hated. First on that list was Iggy Pop. In a visit to Rolling Stone in NY we noticed that many of the people who worked there looked like (and even wore black glasses) like Elvis Costello. This confirmed to Wiseman that our tastes were on the right track.
Today my granddaughter, her mother and her other grandmother have gone to see the Hunger Games.
For a person (me) who can tell you in great detail all the happenings of The Most Dangerous Game, a story by Richard Connell this film, based on the novels by Suzanne Collins (that she is a television writer is surely indicative of what and how she writes!) leaves me perplexed on how it survived not only as a juvenile novel series but now as the expected blockbuster with the hyper-viral I likes and comments in facebook.
How can a film where teenagers have to kill other teenagers to survive possibly be juvenile content of merit?
I haven’t seen this film and I have not read the novel nor do I plan to read the novel. But I wonder, could I be wrong again? Stripes again?
I don’t think so.