Sick of hearing about The Hunger Games yet? Well, we’re not sick of writing about it. The trilogy’s mixture of sheer awesomeness and undeniable societal relevance makes it a great example of what The Stake’s all about: the best of popular culture, both in terms of its quality and its message.
Last week, we brought you a story of Hunger Games fan culture organizing for good: the Odds in Our Favor campaign. The campaign’s three-fingered salute meme and the “We are the Districts” slogan are appealing gestures of solidarity with the victims of economic injustice and inequality—themes that the Hunger Games books drive home with a vengeance.
Now, today, Hank Green (one half of the Vlogbrothers YouTube channel and guru of nerdfighteria) has put up a powerful video inspired by the Hunger Games, highlighting an important conceptual addition to the Odds in Our Favor campaign’s movement of solidarity: unwitting complicity.
Complicity isn’t as appealing a concept as solidarity, of course—it’s a lot more appealing to stand with the victims of injustice than to confess to one’s own complicity in perpetuating that same injustice. But if you watch Hank’s video below, I think you’ll agree that admitting our own complicity with the economic inequality in America is the only way we can ever make a dent in this massive problem.
Hank makes the important point that, unlike in The Hunger Games, income inequality in our world isn’t the result of evil people. It’s the result of systems that perpetuate inequality—and the complacency of people like Effie Trinket, good people who are sad about the way things are, but who do nothing, and who are ultimately complicit in an unjust system.
Hank’s message is a powerful one: I am President Snow.
As a slogan, it’s perhaps not as appealing as “We are the Districts,” but perhaps it can catch on as a platform upon which we all confess our complacency, apathy, and complicity in the face of the problem of economic injustice.