Don’t Follow the Leader
What if no one lied? That sure would make life simple. No one would worry about getting ripped off, the government lying, or being cheated on. Unfortunately, life is not that easy and there are untruthful people. What may be even worse, though, is when people cannot tell when others are lying. If people are not worried about what they hear, the possibility of being lied to—and taken advantage of—skyrockets. In Chuck Klosterman’s article, “My Zombie, Myself: Why Modern Life Feels Rather Undead,” he argues that humans are being controlled by the media. With the monopoly that the media has, ranging from the message of advertisements to the meanings of songs it is impossible to escape it. Unless they judge what they listen to determine if it is actually true, people will soon become “zombies,” meaning unaware, mindless people without the ability to form original opinions. Klosterman writes that, “As long we keep deleting whatever’s directly in front of us, we survive.” Society cannot just go along with what is put on their plates and accept it. If they collectively follow, we will become these zombies. Yet, if all are conscious of how the media influences them, they can fight back and keep their sanity.
The movie that connects very well to this text is The Hunger Games. The 2012 film takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where North America has been divided into 12 working districts all ruled by one wealthy city called The Capitol. Viewers follow main character Katniss Everdeen through her trials of the Hunger Games—a twisted annual event where a boy and girl between the ages of 12 and 18 are selected from each district and forced to publicly fight to the death until only one remains. The people in the Capitol watch on live television with sheer enjoyment. Since they will never have to participate in the games, they see it as a sport. Other districts see the games as a death sentence and hate them. District 12 shows their detest for the games during the reaping, the yearly picking of boy and girl competitors, by showing only negative emotions during it. For the unlucky family that has their child picked, they spend the rest of the night locked away in their home, too heartbroken to talk to anyone. For those who are safe from being selected, those from The Capitol, they try and make the reaping a happy time. Citizens in District 12 only have blank, depressed looks throughout the picking process. They are vastly different from those in the Capitol. The people there each dress eccentrically with bold colors and makeup, compared to the drab clothes of District 12. The first major look of these people occurs when Katniss sees The Capitol while on the train to the Hunger Games. The Capitol wants all of their residents looking a certain way and they mindlessly obey. A major scene in the movie comes the night before the Hunger Games when Katniss and the male competitor from District 12, Peeta, discuss their fates. Peeta expresses how no matter what happens in the games, he wants to remain who he is and show he will not be controlled. All of these scenes have a common theme of people showing who they really are, whether they are being controlled or showing their defiance. Klosterman thinks that in order for members of society to stay who they are, they must not always accept what the media‘s influence. He compares the media trying to take over people’s lives to that of a zombie apocalypse, meaning that the media, or zombies, keep coming at them and people must be willing to fend off the attacks. He says that the “zombie apocalypse” is possible to manage, even beat, as long as each individual is willing to keep a conscious mind and not be fooled. Looking back at the reaping, it is one of the saddest days of the year for District 12. It is so bleak because almost no one from their poor district ever wins the Hunger Games and being chosen is basically a death sentence. Effie Trinket, an eccentric...
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