Saturday, December 7, 2013

for all those idiots obsessed with Effie Trinket

('Capitol Couture') is a visually stunning, in-character spectacle, with contributors pretending to work for, and live in, the Capitol. Using quotes, products and photographs from real-world fashion designers further blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. This is perhaps the most creative and brilliant marketing campaign I've ever seen. It is also one of the most disturbing.

During the making of the first "Hunger Games" film, director Gary Ross (who did not direct the second film) explained his shooting philosophy. "If you shoot it like a slick glossy Hollywood movie … you lose the feeling of reality and urgency that you need all the way through — you're turning into the Capitol, you're not examining the Capitol anymore."

Has Lionsgate become the Capitol? Its marketing strategy is turning an anti-classist epic into a platform for the novels' villains.

At its core, "The Hunger Games" is about economic inequality. In the books, the country of Panem is a future version of the United States, after nuclear disaster wipes out most of the population. In Panem, the fraction of people living in the Capitol controls almost all of the wealth. In 12 outlying Districts, people work long hours in Capitol-approved industries at dangerous jobs with low pay. Starvation is a daily reality.
If the books are supposed to function as a cautionary tale against the real class divide in the U.S., we need not look far for evidence. The future of Panem is upon us: More than 20 million Americans can't find full-time jobs, 22% of children live in poverty and middle-class wages have been largely stagnant since 1974. Meanwhile, corporate profits are at an all-time high.

If the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist, the same can be said of systemic economic inequality. The pull of the American dream is still so strong that many believe the only reasonable explanation for poverty is that it's poor people's fault. We don't blame the system — and in Panem, you don't blame the Capitol.
- Andrew Slack

(Hunger Games NAIL POLISH was bad enough. But "Hey, it's a series of books where the heroine's makeover is shown as invasive and deeply disturbing!....haute couture clothing made by real-world designers, oh yes" is even worse. Is anyone going to ask where the fucking clothes are made? No, right?)