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The Hunger Games, Lisa Simpson, and The Semiotics of Revolution

Recently, Donald Sutherland, who plays the villain, President Snow, in the Hunger Games movies, said that he hoped those films would cause a “revolution” among young people. Sutherland, a longtime supporter of left-wing causes, asks why young people aren’t marching in the streets to fight inequality, and suggests a fairly typical assessment: there is no revolution because millennials are too worried about job hunting and making ends meet to get organized.

While there is, undeniably, always a time/resources crunch aspect to whether or not people become activists, there is another potentially interesting notion at work here, and the Hunger Games, the movie that Sutherland stars in, represents a useful cultural artifact to make the case with. Continue reading

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