Citizens of Panem being “Processed” Now

So, a few weeks ago, we posted here about the new Capitol website being launched in conjunction with the forthcoming film of Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games (the fact that it is specifically a film tie-in website is indicated by the fact that the countdown to the next Games is not for next summer, but for the film’s March release date). Those of us who registered on the site using our social media (i.e. Twitter or facebook) were assigned a District and then told we then had to wait for our “District Identification Passes” or DIPs (snort) to be processed. Starting this past weekend, “citizens” began getting emails directing them to proceed with registering (interspersed with visits to the website which, for some odd reason, was briefly switched to a Latin text, but more on that later). For more on the experience, and on the fascinating ironies of this little marketing ploy, follow me after the jump. [Read more…]

CNN Tries to Catch On with Hunger Games–and Fails Miserably

Today, CNN posted an article that predicts, wow! That this Hunger Games thing just might be a big deal. The tone of the article is ridiculously glib, apparently in an effort to deflect from the fact that such an article makes the folks at CNN look further behind the times than the crowd that keeps popping up with “Hey, this Harry Potter stuff is actually Christian! Who knew?” The reporter, who is listed as being “special” is evidently either not familiar enough with the book to get the basics correct (like the relationship between Katniss and Peeta prior to the Reaping) or is trying too hard to be cute. Once again, the mainstream media is missing the real power of this story, thinking that it will be a big hit because of the sex and violence factors, and completely failing to notice (again) the power of this story or its razor-sharp critique of that very gore and smut industry. After all, The Hunger Games uses a story of real, sacrificial love to reveal the tragedies produced by a culture obsessed with violence as entertainment. As the movie’s release date draws near (posters are already up at the local cineplex) we can expect more of this nonsense. But then again, how likely is CNN to get what this story really does? After all, the mainstream media and its news-as-entertainment focus is part of the beautifully woven (and very sticky) web Suzanne Collins has woven. It really isn’t that shocking that they can’t see the message our crafty spider has posted with her riveting tale.

Welcome to the Capitol! New Hunger Games Website with Pottermore echoes

You may have noticed, in the recently released micro-clip trailer for next year’s film of The Hunger Games, a little blip about registering as a citizen of the Capitol. Well now, you can do just that. This new site, which looks to be mostly teaser at this point, gives you the opportunity to register via either twitter or facebook (I went with the latter, myself). Then you will be registered according to your district (which is chosen for you;). Evidently, more bells and whistles will be forthcoming. For some more thoughts on the new site, particularly what it gives us that we didn’t already know, follow me after the jump. [Read more…]

What do they teach them in these schools? College courses in Harry Potter and Reading Selections we Actually Enjoy

Last week, I worked late registration at my college, helping students as they tried to get everything sorted out for their semester. Although I think our classes are plenty fun, some of the larger institutions obviously are way ahead of the game with classes that, at least in title, connect to Harry Potter. Even in non-Harry-themed courses in colleges, universities, high schools, junior high, and elementary schools across the country, students this fall will be reading some of the books we discuss here. In my own Expository Writing classes, my students will be reading The Hunger Games, which I began implementing a year ago. Join me after the jump to see a list of Fifteen Fascinating College Course for the Ultimate Potter Scholar (as posted on the Best Colleges Online website) and for some conversation about the books teachers are assigning this fall. [Read more…]

Mellark Bakery Pictures and A Hunger Games Talk in Boone

The intrepid Amy Sturgis has sent along this great image of the Mellark family bakery, formerly known as the old store in the abandoned Henry River Mill Town, which was recently transformed into District 12 (the location filming, which is just with the primaries right now, has moved on). You can see the store’s original appearance here along with the rest of the site here. Obviously, only a little had to be done to make this place into a reasonable facsimile of the most benighted District in Panem, since there is plenty of District 12 to go around in Appalachia, as we’ve mentioned here before. That connection, along with some of our other favorite discussion points, will doubtless be part of our riveting conversation this Tuesday, June 28 (yes, it’s intentionally on Tuesday, the day on the which the Reaping and the first day of the Games occur!) at the Watauga County Library in Boone, NC. I’ll be leading the program, which  is free and begins at 6 pm.

Thanks for the pic, Amy!