Sunday, March 18, 2012

Three In One

This is actually going to be three different posts in one.  I've got three things on my mind that are very different from each other but are all clamoring to be typed out.

So, we'll start with the great phone call I got this afternoon.  Boo and I were playing outside in the beautiful (pre)spring sunshine.  I was happily cleaning out the car (it really needed it) and Boo was playing in the car.  My phone started to ring.  I didn't recognize the number, but it looked kinda familiar, so I answered it.  Much to my surprise, it was Michelle!!  She was calling me all the way from Afghanistan while she was waiting for her laundry to finish.  It was around midnight for her and the middle of the afternoon for us.  It was a great chance to catch up.  I was pretty amazed that she had the chance to make a call home and she called us.  I mean, she could have called Eileen or her parents or other family members.  I guess they've probably gotten calls over the last few months.  She should be home by about the end of April.  I can't wait.  Hopefully we'll be able to get a chance to get some lunch or something.

On an unrelated note, other than it's vaguely noteworthy today, potty training Boo seems to be moving forward.  I think we've finally hit on a bribe or two, er, goal that he's willing to work towards.  We've changed the M&M bribe to only be 1 if he pees and 4 if he poops.  He's been doing very well with the pee and even the poop on occasion.  He'll have a day or two of great effort and then the rest of the week, not so much.  So, to encourage a longer good time, I decided to bribe him with the new Muppets movie if he manages to stay dry, including at school, for an entire week.  I'll accept an honest to goodness accident where he just doesn't make it in time and lets us or someone know, but if he does what he did this afternoon of purposefully using his pullup instead of the potty and not letting anyone know, the clock resets.  And as a final goal, once he's in big boy under pants all the time, he gets his own lightsaber.  (He's become obsessed with them while watching Gak play his Star Wars MMO.)  Boo's been doing very well on weekends and even some days, but he's gone from telling them at school he has to go but not at home to reversing that.  Unfortunately, he spends much more time at school.  Oh well, we seem to be making progress so maybe by his birthday he'll be in real underware.

Finally, the most brain churning topic that's been sloshing around.  I finally got around to reading The Hunger Games trilogy.  I just finished the last book this evening.  Very interesting.  Very well written.  And very thought provoking.

My friend Will posted on his Facebook wall that he was looking for a copy to borrow and this sparked a discussion.  One of his friends basically said it was a stupid premise and that it could/would never happen and it's hard to enjoy a book no matter how well written with such a dumb thought behind it.

Unfortunately, another friend of his brought up something that I hadn't really thought about, but once they said it I realize was nagging in the back of my head.  Sure, it could happen.  Ask the Jews in Germany.  Ask various tribes and groups in Africa, or the Native Tribes of our own Americas; north, south and central.

For those of you who haven't read the books, the general premise of the books is that there was a war, there is now just the capitol and then 12 districts.  The districts revolted at one point in the semi-recent past and now the capital makes each district send two tributes to a death match... these tributes are between the ages of 12 and 18.... yeah... kids.

So, is it feasible?  No.  Is it possible? Sure.  Just ask anyone who's been ruled by fear and persecuted.  So, yes, the one guy does have some valid points.  In this day and age, you'd think this "couldn't" happen here.  But, one of the last things said in the third book is a very astute observation about how at the end of every war, we say we'll never let it get like this again, that we'll never have war again, but we're all short-sighted and greedy in the long run.  And then eventually it happens again.  Something happens, a misunderstanding, someone gets greedy, manages to get someone and then another someone and then more someones to follow them.  Then someone else decides that they don't like it, that they're wrong and then things escalate and the next thing you know, there's full fledged war.

So, these books have stirred several things up in my brain.  They're all kinda mushy and unformed right now, all fighting for attention.  There's the thought of putting mere children through that hell.  There's the gut-wrenching fear as a parent of my own son having to face such a thing.  There's the question of if we're becoming a society of "bread and circuses" ourselves.

So, just based on my own mental jumble and the speed with which I devoured the, these are well written books well worth the reading.  Gak just asked me if the Hunger Games were over, or if there was room for a sequel.  There is always room for a sequel, but it couldn't happen with the generation of characters in the trilogy.  But, where I see an opening is for a prequel.  It could be an interesting story to see how the world got to where it is...

Anyhow, the movie opens this week.  I'm actually interested in seeing it.  From the things I've seen on IMDB, it looks like they've done a great job with casting.  Now to see how close they stick to the story.  I'm not sure if I'll try and see it in the theaters or wait.  I'm still not sure if I'll be able to get to the movies to see Lorax with my boys before it leaves the theater.

I'm mentally loosing steam and it's 9:00 already.  So, I'll wrap it up here without any real conclusions.  Actually, I'll wrap it up by saying if you haven't read the books, read them.  Or listen to them.  Some of it's a bit disturbing, but it's worth the read.

Peace to all and may your brain candy actually have a little substance to it as well, your life continue to grow in positive ways and may your friends be well.


Becky said...

Finishing book one in the HG trilogy. The big thing that bothers me is that these books are intended for young adults, but I know several 10-11 yr olds who are reading. These are the kinds of books that need discussion, study questions, a book group, something to guide the reader. It's toooo easy to romanticize things, such as being in love with Peeta or winning the games, while pushing aside the deaths and the generally sick mentality of the Panem Capitol. I find the books disturbing on several levels and doubly so for young folks struggling to find their way.

Addey said...

I totally agree Becky. It can be fluffy and enjoyed on one level, but you really should think about these books, about the story of all the people involved and face the horrors that people put each other through. If my 16-year-old niece wants to read them, I'll encourage her, but I'll be talking to her about them along the way, seeing what she's taking away from it. These books are a lot deeper than they appear on the surface.