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I'm Catching Fire!

Here is my latest video sponsored by LearnLiberty, part of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University.

I will be offering a free, online educational event sponsored by IHS at GMU later this month focusing on The Hunger Games: On Tyrants and Tributes: Real World Lessons From The Hunger Games.

The other films of mine in this series include the following:
* Forgotten Rebellion: Black Seminoles and the Largest Slave Revolt in U.S. History
* The Trail of Tears: They Knew It Was Wrong
* Protest Against the Trail of Tears
* The Expulsion of the Acadians
* Andrew Jackson: The First Imperial President


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 3rd, 2013 08:50 pm (UTC)
It sounds like an interesting event. I was struck when I saw the film by how powerfully it evoked ancient Roman conceptions of sacrifice, including the ideal sacrifice being freely consenting. As I understand it, some features of Roman gladiatorial contests go back to older forms of sacrificial offering, which makes it an even better fit.

Last week, a friend of mine got several of us together to brainstorm panel topics for an upcoming sf convention. One of them mentioned progressive readings of Panem as a symbol for the exploitation of the common people by the rich. She was surprised when I mentioned that I had seen conservative interpretations of it as a portrayal of the parasitism of the Washington elites and the federal government. I suppose that falls under Tolkien's distinction between allegory and applicability.

I hope the presentation goes well!
Dec. 4th, 2013 12:12 pm (UTC)
A very good fit, indeed!

Great point about the elites and the federal government. One of the things I like so much about The Hunger Games is that it straddles the Huxley-Orwell divide that suggests tyranny will come either because 1) we've been seduced and pleasured into giving away our liberty (which was Juvenal's whole point with "bread and circuses," which is where Panem gets its name), or 2) we've been brutally oppressed and had our liberty stripped from us. Suzanne Collins gives us both: in the Districts, the slaves of oppression; and in the Capitol, the childlike dependents who chose to become parasites in return for security and entertainment.

Thanks so much for the good wishes! :D Much appreciated.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 4th, 2013 12:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, thanks so much for your kind words - and your interest!

The videos are quite short (usually around 5 minutes), and in total provide about an hour of viewing, which you can do anytime that week. The online discussions for the week will also be a do-at-your-own-pace kind of thing, and you can choose how much you want to be involved. (The videos are meant to provoke further discussion, and hopefully they will do so!) The final session will be live and interactive; I'll give a special presentation, and we'll also have Q&A with a guest (I'm not sure I'm allowed to divulge her identity yet, but she's been an artist behind the scenes of the film franchise). That will probably last between an hour and an hour and a half. We're still nailing down the details, but it looks like it will take place in the late afternoon of Dec. 22. You're welcome to attend live or view it later on your own. There are other options for independent webwork and such, if you wish to do it, but the program is meant to be convenient and flexible.

This is my first time to offer an event quite like this, and I'm very excited about it! If you have any questions after reading over the FAQ, please let me know. If I don't know the answer, I can find someone who does. ;)
Dec. 4th, 2013 06:04 am (UTC)
Is this video spoiler safe for people just starting to read Catching Fire?
Dec. 4th, 2013 11:35 am (UTC)
It is! :)
Dec. 4th, 2013 09:42 pm (UTC)
Very impressive! Three fingers up for this one, I think. Good luck with your event!
Dec. 5th, 2013 12:43 am (UTC)
I'm so tickled you liked it! Thanks so much. I really appreciate it.
Dec. 6th, 2013 03:21 am (UTC)
Your films...
You remain one of the most inspiring people I've ever had the privilege to know. Thank you for continuing to shine so brightly. -- grace
Dec. 6th, 2013 07:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Your films...
Oh, what a lovely thing to say, Grace! Thank you so much. That means a lot to me, my friend. I hope all is well with you!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )