Now I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, anda crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.
When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.
When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!”
When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth. Revelation 6:1-8 (English Standard Version)
I just finished reading Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games (which film version I have yet to see). I couldn’t put the book down and finished it in less than three days-it was that good. Now I’m searching my library database for the followups in the series, Catching Fire and Mockingjay.
However, I found the plot of the story to be rather frightening. In the future there’s this republic called Panem, which once was North America. The story alludes to war and ecological disaster which messed up our world and brought about Panem. in this republic, there’s a capital which rules over 12 districts in the land. For punishment for an insurrection by the districts 75 years earlier-including the destruction of a 13th district-each district has to send two “tributes”-a male and a female of adolescent age to participate in the “Hunger Games”. The games are an annual ritual where the tributes fight in an arena-a special parcel of land-to the death. The winner (survivor) lives a life of ease afterwards. I won’t do the spoiler number just in case you haven’t read the book, or seen the movie.
What stuck with me was how the world of Panem came about. As I said earlier, the story alludes to war and ecological disaster in the intervening years. I guess the story probably takes place in the 22nd or 23rd Century-not so long from now on the time scale. If we look at our current world, and recent events here in the US it makes you wonder if such a scenario be played out here? We’re seeing record heat that has put 29 states in the US on drought emergency; with no ease in sight in the immediate future. Of course this will drive up food prices next year, which will already hurt some thin wallets here in the US. We melting icecaps that could flood our coastal cities in a century (if not sooner), creating millions of “climate refugees”. We’re watching our money drain in an endless war in Afghanistan (and possibly Iran). We have almost 10% unemployment. We have a widening gap between rich and poor.
Who’s not to say in some future time, someone in power may just be sick enough to create such a scenario to keep the masses in control? We already have increased surveillance of the public in America. We have non-stop entertainment designed to keep our minds off of what’s really going on. We have an economic system that favors the few while giving the many false-if no-hope. Rome had its “bread and circuses” to keep the people in line. What about America? Anything in our society and our world could set off events that could bring a real-life version of The Hunger Games to our country-if not our world.
As many of us put the book down, or walked out of the movie theater we sighed and thought, “Thank goodness it’s only fiction”. But who’s to say it can’t happen here?
Maybe it could.