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'Hunger Games' salute banned in Thailand
June 3, 2014 7:19 AM   Subscribe

"We know it comes from the movie... If it is an obvious form of resistance, then we have to control it."
posted by colie (60 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Life imitating art imitating life
posted by Twain Device at 7:20 AM on June 3 [4 favorites]


I have no doubt whatsoever that this ban will be 100% effective and all resistance will cease.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:34 AM on June 3 [19 favorites]


worst viral campaign ever.
posted by pencroft at 7:38 AM on June 3 [16 favorites]


Previously -- Thailand 2014 Coup: Expect for the Worst
posted by filthy light thief at 7:41 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


Can't get over Jonathan Jones' imo idiotic comment on this: The Thai protesters' Hunger Games salute shows a lack of political thought
posted by glasseyes at 7:43 AM on June 3 [3 favorites]


Wow.
posted by maryr at 7:43 AM on June 3


The media* was super weirdly positive about the whole coup in the first few hours. "The military leaders say they are acting to stabilize the country." with no other voices, at all. It's gotten a bit better, but not by that much.

*NPR and BBC World Service, since that's 90% of what I pay attention to
posted by BungaDunga at 7:46 AM on June 3


Really? They're banning the Boy Scout Salute?!? Sounds like the title of Greatest Nanny State has been ripped away from the USA...
posted by Hasteur at 7:47 AM on June 3 [2 favorites]


The Thai military will sure be in for a surprise when Mockingjay comes out and they learn how well that worked for the Capitol.
posted by lesli212 at 7:49 AM on June 3 [17 favorites]


When taking my 10 year-old daughter to see the second Hunger Games movie I was surprised at how a kids' movie included such shocking scenes of military brutality, without layering them within the more typical war-movie type of tropes.

This is the moment I am thinking of - when you watch powerlessly with the heroine as basically recognisably dishevelled poor black people are beaten to death/executed summarily by faceless stormtroopers for making the gesture.
posted by colie at 7:52 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


the symbol ii!ir is still good.
posted by bruce at 7:53 AM on June 3


Read between the lines.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:53 AM on June 3


Really? They're banning the Boy Scout Salute?!? Sounds like the title of Greatest Nanny State has been ripped away from the USA...

The US was never anywhere near the top in that competition. From the OP:
Since staging its bloodless coup, the military has prohibited political gatherings of more than five people and tried to enforce a ban on criticism of the coup by closing politically affiliated television stations and blocking hundreds of websites.
Freedom of assembly and freedom of speech are still going strong in the US.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:54 AM on June 3 [4 favorites]


Somewhere in America, a single, silent tear runs down Dane Cook's cheek.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:55 AM on June 3


This thing, plus the vile content of the Hunger Games movies themselves being marketed to children, makes me want to point out a Disney project from a few years back: Dev 2.0, a kids band covering Devo:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gh68jCwy0w

It's a pity I can't find the video of the Dev 2.0 rendition of Beautiful World. It closes with the little girl at the keyboard saying "and me too!"

That little girl being Jacqueline Emerson. As in Foxface.

It's a beautiful world.
posted by ocschwar at 8:00 AM on June 3 [4 favorites]


When taking my 10 year-old daughter to see the second Hunger Games movie I was surprised at how a kids' movie included such shocking scenes of military brutality, without layering them within the more typical war-movie type of tropes.

So... Neither of you have read the books? Warning... the next one will be even more intense.

While this is a difficult subject, children worldwide have to deal with the consequences of conflict, many will have father who return with PTSD, and everyone will be dealing with the fallout of that for the next 20 years.

It's good that it didn't gloss over things in a standard war/action-movie trope. War is brutal.
posted by jkaczor at 8:02 AM on June 3 [20 favorites]


I agree jkaczor - I thought the movie was good and the reason for my post was wondering if anyone else had noticed things in it that might be different from the usual Hollywood portrayals, and if this might have anything to do with the Thai usage. It's a science fiction movie for kids, but those stormtroopers in that clip above are really not your Star Wars kind of guys.
posted by colie at 8:09 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


Can't get over Jonathan Jones' imo idiotic comment on this: The Thai protesters' Hunger Games salute shows a lack of political thought

Wow, that's weapons-grade stupid.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:09 AM on June 3 [2 favorites]


Unbelievable, the Army is turning into a bunch of paranoid fascists.
Poor Thailand.
posted by marcuslane at 8:14 AM on June 3


This reminds me of the ice cream eating thing.

Fuck'n fascists, nothing ever changes.
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 8:23 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


plus the vile content of the Hunger Games movies themselves being marketed to children

Eh?
posted by ominous_paws at 8:27 AM on June 3 [13 favorites]


When taking my 10 year-old daughter to see the second Hunger Games movie I was surprised at how a kids' movie included such shocking scenes of military brutality, without layering them within the more typical war-movie type of tropes.

Hunger Games a kids' movie? Really? I'm not being critical, I'm just taken aback that the flicks were ever perceived that way. They're so violent...but then I just looked up the rating and saw they're PG-13. How did that happen?
posted by touchstone033 at 8:31 AM on June 3 [7 favorites]


No sex scenes and they didn't say "fuck" more than twice. Plus the MPAA is a trade organization and with a huge movie like this they're probably going to set the ratings favorably.
posted by vogon_poet at 8:35 AM on June 3 [6 favorites]


I believe some of the confusion here is the source material. The books are not children's books, typically they are classified as Young Adult.
posted by Twain Device at 8:37 AM on June 3 [3 favorites]


Mockingjay reminded me more than a bit of All Quiet on the Western Front, with a difference that Katniss does influence some events.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 8:38 AM on June 3 [2 favorites]


Certainly they're classified 'Young Adult' but my daughter and all her female friends were 8-9 when they got into the books and are now obsessed to the point of insanity with KatnissJenniferLawrence, about whom they nurture dedicated Instagram and Tumblr accounts. I think this is typical.
posted by colie at 8:43 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


> Sounds like the title of Greatest Nanny State has been ripped away from the USA...

You might be conflating "Surveillance State" or "Police State" with "Nanny State". The US government is far from a nanny state.
posted by planetesimal at 8:45 AM on June 3 [6 favorites]


They're so violent...but then I just looked up the rating and saw they're PG-13. How did that happen?

They're super violent but most of the violence is implied/off-screen/bloodless. A "true" depiction of the horror in the books (generally classified as YA) would probably end up NC-17.

Mockingjay reminded me more than a bit of All Quiet on the Western Front, with a difference that Katniss does influence some events.

Mockingjay is my favorite book in the series, and I'm really hoping the movies don't fuck it up.
posted by kmz at 8:46 AM on June 3 [2 favorites]


You think this is bad, just wait until the Thai junta discovers that Hunger Games is a rip-off of a Japanese novel.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 8:47 AM on June 3


I just looked up the rating and saw they're PG-13. How did that happen?

A good half of the highschool audience can't go to R-rated movies, ergo if you want to make money off of the 13-16 set you have to get a PG-13 rating. So that's what studios shoot for, when they invest a lot of money in a summer blockbuster. Particularly one made from a YA book where a significant number of the book's fans may be under 17 and thus unable to get into a R movie.

And honestly I'm not sure that the movie really is inappropriate for 13-year-olds, at least based on my recollection of what being 13 was like; I'd really think hard about bringing a younger kid to it, though. It's not quite thoughtful enough in its depiction of violence to necessarily be what I'd consider a good teaching point / conversation starter about oppression and violence, though there are certainly worse (in the sense of being more thoughtless and glib) films.

It's unfortunate that there isn't an intermediate rating between PG-13 and R, maybe PG-15 or something, where realistic sex, violence, and language were acceptable in the context of the film's plot, but not to the same level of gratuitousness allowed by R (i.e. Tarantino flicks or the latest Saw would still be a hard R; the kids will sneak into them but at least they'll know they're verboten). Of course that's impossible because 'Murica.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:51 AM on June 3 [2 favorites]


"hunger games" is a ripoff of the theseus story.
posted by bruce at 8:55 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


Hunger Games is a rip-off of a Japanese novel.

Battle Royale is a rip-off of The Running Man which is a rip off of The Survivor which is a rip off of the Labyrinth myth.
posted by kmz at 8:56 AM on June 3 [21 favorites]


Apparently the first movie was indeed re-cut and edited ("digital removal of blood spatter on wounds and weapons") to achieve a commercially vital 12A certificate in the UK.

It's pretty back-to-front if you think about it, as the informal rules for these edits indicate that violence itself is basically OK to watch, but blood and the aftermath or consequences of violence are not to be shown to under 12s.
posted by colie at 8:57 AM on June 3 [4 favorites]


Battle Royale is a rip-off of The Running Man which is a rip off of The Survivor which is a rip off of the Labyrinth myth.

Clearly the next rip off should reintroduce the Bog of Eternal Stench.
posted by ocschwar at 9:02 AM on June 3 [3 favorites]


Battle Royale is a rip-off of The Running Man which is a rip off of The Survivor which is a rip off of the Labyrinth myth.

wat
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 9:11 AM on June 3


I'm saying that the whole "Hunger Games is just a BR ripoff" thing is stupid and overblown.
posted by kmz at 9:14 AM on June 3 [11 favorites]


No Jennifer Lawrence in BR.
posted by colie at 9:16 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


Violence is OK for American children to look at because it prepares them for real life [school shootings] but one female teat stamps a film with an R in order to protect their innocence.
posted by Renoroc at 9:19 AM on June 3 [10 favorites]


No Beat Takeshi in Hunger Games.
posted by sparklemotion at 9:24 AM on June 3 [6 favorites]


This is all solved by fanfiction.
posted by kmz at 9:27 AM on June 3 [4 favorites]


Teenagers’ lives are constantly defined by rules, and in response they construct their identities through necessary confrontations with authority, large and small. Imagining a world in which those authorities must be destroyed by any means necessary is one way of expanding that game. Imagining a world in which those authorities are utterly gone is another.
-- Scott Westerfield, "Teenage Wastelands."

The Games themselves are only a part of a larger critique, which includes descriptions of debt slavery, workers who are too poor to buy what they produce, economics that pit lower classes against each other, income disparity, and the bread-and-circuses aspect of using dangerous sports as the illusion of class mobility. Quite a bit didn't make it into the movies. Most of the Tributes do what they learned to do from the practices of child labor in their districts. Death by starvation is routine in District 12, a fact that shapes many of Katniss's relationships and motivations. There's moments that critique ideas about gender and how we view female celebrity as well.

So it's not a surprise to me that it's been adopted as an act of political resistance, it's one of the most explicitly political science fiction novels I've read lately.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 9:32 AM on June 3 [15 favorites]


Freedom of assembly and freedom of speech are still going strong in the US.

Groups of more than 4 people who wish to visit the WI State Capitol for any reason require a permit application and written permission from the WI Governors office.

783 tickets have thus far been issued. Most of the individuals cited have requested jury trials, which, according to the WI DOJ cost nothing.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:09 AM on June 3 [8 favorites]


Reboot Labyrinth with Jennifer Lawrence in the lead role. It's the only way to be sure!
posted by blue_beetle at 10:10 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


For what it's worth, I was in Bangkok about a month ago. I left shortly after the PM was forced out but before the military took over; a friend of mine is still there, though, and we've exchanged news. It's all censored over there--BBC, CNN, etc, and of course local newspapers and broadcasting stations--but what surprised me is how much information is not getting out. It's worse there than is portrayed in the international press. You can read about the bombs in Southern Thailand, for example, but not the ones that have gone off in Bangkok. It's pretty bad there.
posted by kprincehouse at 10:18 AM on June 3 [3 favorites]


Worth keeping in mind that the Red Shirts, who are the ones making the mockingbird salute in this article, are also the ones (being blamed with / most likely) planting the bombs. I, for one, am skeptical that any pro-democracy rhetoric coming from them runs very deep.
posted by kprincehouse at 10:27 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


Freedom of assembly and freedom of speech are still going strong in the US.

Of course they are, so long as they don't happen within sight of a national-party political convention, or an economic summit, or something.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:32 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


David Bowie's codpiece is a ripoff of the Minotaur.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:35 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


Beware the Beast's horn.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 10:41 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


There's a post going around tumblr (just so you can't be confused about my rhetoric position!) that says, "YA dystopia can be summed up as, 'What if all the terrible things that are already happening to most people on the planet started happening to white people?'"
posted by Snarl Furillo at 10:44 AM on June 3 [22 favorites]



Worth keeping in mind that the Red Shirts, who are the ones making the mockingbird salute in this article, are also the ones (being blamed with / most likely) planting the bombs. I, for one, am skeptical that any pro-democracy rhetoric coming from them runs very deep.


The Buddhist Indochinese countries have a very short experience with democracy. Don't expect deep commitment to it from anyone. The Reds here represent a class of Thais whose main access to hard currency comes from prostitution. Their goal is for that to change by whatever means.
posted by ocschwar at 10:55 AM on June 3


There's a post going around tumblr (just so you can't be confused about my rhetoric position!) that says, "YA dystopia can be summed up as, 'What if all the terrible things that are already happening to most people on the planet started happening to white people?'"

Not a bad summary. Lauren Beukes has commented that South African SFF writers and directors are re-framing African political problems into SFF settings. Perhaps because my reading lists tend to gravitate toward the insect army, I think the current generation of dystopian/apoc lit is thinking more globally than we've seen previously, and that's a good thing.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 11:20 AM on June 3


I'm saying that the whole "Hunger Games is just a BR ripoff" thing is stupid and overblown.

Yes. Culture is appropriation.
posted by Sebmojo at 1:35 PM on June 3 [1 favorite]


Reasonably Everything Happens: This reminds me of the ice cream eating thing.

Except this is not “dilemma protest,” as defined in your second link:
a performance of an action so inchoate and unorthodox that police are trapped. If they let it happen, they are encouraging it, but if they arrest people they risk looking either silly or arbitrary and unjust, which is the point
Salutes, even ones that reference fictional events, cannot be mistaken for non-actions, like gathering to "clap, eat ice cream cones, set their cellphone alarms to ring in chorus or simply stand silently."
posted by filthy light thief at 1:57 PM on June 3 [1 favorite]


I'll just point out that the concept of children as Tributes made a detour into 16th century Scotland. Not to mention the use of Roman names for most of the characters in the Capitol gives away the game when it comes to gladiatorial combat. It's like claiming a trademark on fairy godmothers.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:12 PM on June 3


Oh yes, and the original Rollerball, 1975 may also count as prior art.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:15 PM on June 3


It really annoys me when people write off The Hunger Games as over-violent or insubstantial YA fare. The books (and to a lesser extent the movies) are intensely political, and ask hard questions about violence, power, oppressive systems, and personal responsibility. It should not be a surprise that The Hunger Games' themes and symbols are finding their way into real life struggles.

And it's clever and effective to use this particular symbol: the use of the salute was a powerful form of passive resistance in the movie, and to see it met with brutal violence was shocking. No rational government would want to recreate that scene by taking on the role of the bad guys. But by reacting like this, they don't come off much better.
posted by yasaman at 2:35 PM on June 3


People are uncomfortable with teens forming political thoughts. And by "people" I mean "corporations". Witness Harry Potter - the books are very political, but all of that got lost in the movies. It's nigh impossible to strip out of the Hunger Games, but it still gets taken out of the discourse. It's OK to talk about the violence and whether we're OK with kids seeing it. But forbid we talk about the politics of it. Then we might actually have to have a political conversation about our country that goes deeper than screaming about the trumped up scandal of the month.
posted by stoneweaver at 3:05 PM on June 3 [3 favorites]


People are uncomfortable with teens forming political thoughts.

I'm uncomfortable with teens and preteens watching The Hunger Games and NOT forming political thoughts.
posted by ocschwar at 3:26 PM on June 3 [3 favorites]


Lol, can't say I'm surprised that metafilter is more interested in discussing fictional hunger games, than the real life coup in Thailand.

The media* was super weirdly positive about the whole coup in the first few hours.

That's because

1) Thailand has had lots and lots of bloodless coups. They literally have a theme song.
2) Very few in-country reporters, left relying extremely biased information
3) A natural identification with the Yellow Shirts - also the largest red/yellow demographic in Bangkok itself, composed of elites, middle class, and some urban working class. The Red Shirts are rural, poor, and just happen to make up the bulk of the country and democratically voted the Shinawatra's in.

What's happened in Thailand is fucking disgusting - but predictable. Without painting Thaksin/Yingluck as saints, the fact that a democratically elected government has been overthrown by a minority of elites is very disturbing. But, witness reaction to the Egyptian coup - exactly the same.

The Reds here represent a class of Thais whose main access to hard currency comes from prostitution.

I see your point, I don't know if I would go that far.
posted by smoke at 8:34 PM on June 3


Thai police: We'll 'get you' for junta criticism. Anti-coup protest organizer Sombat Boonngam-anong, captured Thursday, tracked using his IP address
posted by homunculus at 6:00 PM on June 7


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