Monday, December 15, 2008

Life Imitating Art

I've been reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Basically, it's the story of a teenage girl in a dystopian future North America who is taking part in a reality TV show in which 24 teenagers have to kill each other off until the show is left with a winner.

I'd been finding the book somewhat disappointing because people have been raving about it all year, even though it wasn't published until this past September. The premise is random and weak for me, the world isn't very well developed, and the first third of the book is all preamble to the thriller/adventure.

But, finally, after around 148 pages, I've gotten into the thriller/adventure part. The book has finally taken off. There's all kinds of strategizing going on. It has become very involving.

How involving?

Well, tonight I was at my taekwondo class. A couple of black belts were testing for rank advancement. When we have students who are testing, our master will often, at the end of one of the classes, tell everyone to jump them. It's all good clean fun.

So three of us women were told to attack this teenage black belt. The other two women were a few ranks below me. In fact, I was the same rank as the young girl who was testing. I should have been the dominate force in the group. (The dominatrix?) But I hung back. In truth, I'm not much of a sparrer, anyway. But in this case, I was thinking, Let this lively little black belt trash these two. That will thin the pack, and her energy will be depleted while I'll still be fresh.

Then the whole class was told to attack the guy black belt. I really hung back then. There were a lot of teenage boys in the class. Let that higher ranked black belt deal with these kids, I told myself. This crowd needs to be cut down to size by a lot.

The black belt student is always supposed to be on the side of righteousness and help others in need. Doesn't sound as if that would last long for me if I found myself in a dystopia.