As the adult world continues stoking the senseless battle royale of the presidential primary season, the youth-entertainment complex has briefly overtaken the news cycle. Everyone not living in their own life-or-death competitive isolation dome knows by now that this past weekend ushered in the blockbuster movie adaptation of the first installment of The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins’ dystopian teen scifi trilogy about children compelled to destroy each other for the amusement of the jaded, power-mad political leaders of the future. The basic plot of the Collins franchise is by now well-known: In the authoritarian North America of the third millennium—rechristened Panem—this ritual sacrifice of the young serves to tamp down any impulses of mass rebellion, and the games’ sole surviving winner is bought off with a life of ease, fame, and prestige.
But no sooner had the great Hunger Games colossus alighted at the multiplex—with a box-office take of $155 million over its first weekend—than a sober retinue of adults began clambering to impose their own agendas on the strange new teen spectacle unspooling in their midst. Read More