Category Archives: The Hunger Games

Rick Tyler on the Threats of Negative Symbolism in a Free Society

» Dealing With the Swastika and the KKK | Tyler for Congress

Source: Dealing With the Swastika and the KKK

R.I.P. Vance Fecteau and thoughts on the Millions Locked in the American Gulag…..

When will we start tearing down the prison walls?  When will we begin to value, much less restore, freedom in America?

An anonymous poster just wrote to me the following, reminding me once again, if any reminder was needed, of the injustice in this society and the ridiculous cycle of prison and welfare to which so many have been sentenced in the American Gulag:

Submitted on 2012/07/01 at 8:23 pm

“Today is July 1st 2012 and I just found out minutes ago that my very wonderful friend Vance Fecteau died while still in prison. I still don’t know the what or the how of his death as if that would even matter. Its my opinion that the only real crime he was ever involved in was the one our justice system visited upon him; a 10 year federal prison sentence. The cruelty of such a punishment for his harmless and victimless offense has now become tragedy by having him in truth served a term of life. The world has become that much more lonely as now it has lost another of the good ones.”

My heart goes out to his sister Kristi Fecteau in Southwest Florida, and to all others who knew Vance better than I did.  What was amazing about Vance was that he was so completely self-less and generous.  I have seen so many hundreds of wonderful people locked up and their lives and productive capacities thrown away by the heartless, wicked, brainless War on Drugs in America over the past 40 some odd + years.
Vance’s case was particularly painful because it may have been a setup—a fix designed to cover up a much larger crime than interstate shipment of some “regulated” drug or other—when I met Vance he had nothing to gain from telling me any false version of his story—but he was apparently on the verge of cracking a 20 year old “cold” unsolved multiple homicide involving some of the  “best people” in Pasadena, California.  Vance lived in Hyperion in Echo Park.
The Presidents of the United States since 1945 have waged dozens of undeclared (and therefore illegal, unconstitutional) wars, killing a total probably in excess of several million civilians.  In Vietnam they tried to keep count, but failed.  In Iraq and Afghanistan, no one even tries to keep anything remotely like a tally of the civilian dead, or of the underarmed, little better than “stone age” armies countries like Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Nicaragua could assemble against us, never mind “non-state” populations like the Palestinians and Somalis.
And yet our courts continue to imprison people on drug charges, real or spurious, by the tens of thousands each month—it’s easy to reach a million quickly at that rate.
If Vance Fecteau died in prison, he is finally released from the injustices of the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama version of “the land of the Free.”   Yet the majority of Americans are so comfortable outside and undisturbed by the idea that people no more guilty than they are of any mortal or original sin rot in our State and Federal prisons while some corporations, in which “liberals” like Albert Gore of Tennessee and entertainers like Bob Barker are significant shareholders.
I see also that Moshe Leichner of Midland Euro Exchange, whose case I did study intensively, and concluded that he was unjustly convicted, is still locked up in a place where he may die, or come out in ten years.  Moshe, like Vance, was a radiant ray of sunshine in a very dark pit on the American landscape.   These were two people with the opposite character profile of destructive, selfish, psychopaths—whatever you call that opposite.
By now I assume that Michael Wludarszcik has completed his term for his “yellow submarine” filled with marijuana which used to ply the Caribbean (and made it to Judge Kenneth L. Ryskamp’s Court in 1992, when I was a law clerk in West Palm Beach).  The pictures of his beautiful wife and children remain forever in my mind.
The welfare system requires endless credit and endless fiat money credit can only be enforced as “valuable” in a police state, where the consequences of failure to follow the state’s rules simply exist and are enforced in a manner “incompatible with life.”
That is why the ever-expanding regimes of social security, medicare, and welfare are so very frightening—they are built on a house of cards which must ultimately tumble, unless thousands upon millions of grand and petty frauds on the people are perpetrated which unjustly exalt the power of the United States of Panem…..
For the time being, in memory of Vance Fecteau, I reprise the Hanging Tree from Mockingjay, the third and final installment of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games:
Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
Where they strung up a man they say murdered three.
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.

Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
Where the dead man called out for his love to flee.
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.

Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
Where I told you to run so we’d both be free.
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.

Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
Wear a necklace of rope, side by side with me.
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.

Florida Judiciary—A Copyrighted Survey for use in fighting Mortgage Foreclosure Corruption—What do you know about your Court System? How Hungry are the American People for Justice?

There is no such thing as the silent exercise of your right to speak freely and share your opinion about the world you live in—effective silent protest occurs only in dreams….  We all dream of a better world, but we must speak out loud and SHOUT to make it into a demand, to make it happen…. Dreaming is free, but if we dream of freedom….especially in this, post-New Deal, New Dark Age for America…. that will cost us—what I ask of you today is just a few minutes of your time…  It’s time to make our anger “Catch Fire”…..and that can only happen if we all speak our discontent loudly and often….until there real change happens…. Nothing about modern America is more deplorable than the state of the judiciary and the courts…..

The fabulous hit movie this Spring, the Hunger Games, was a clarion call to the American People to WAKE UP BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE—even if it already is  in some easy ways “too late”, because so much damage has already been done.  Suzanne Collins has showed us the bleak future that awaits all of us if we are calm, cool, and quiescent about the terrible corruption that has taken charge of the American Dream, of Democracy, of (the mere word and illusion of) Freedom, of the Financial Establishment, of the Government, of everything that ever was or could be important to us: our family, our homes, and our future.   My primary focus for the past twenty five years has been on the Judiciary, 21 of those past years specifically involved in projects in Florida.  So I invite you to help me, and several million other people, out here: GIVE US YOUR OPINIONS, WITH YOUR NAME, AND STAND UP AND BE COUNTED, AND READY TO TESTIFY IF WE ARE EVEN ALLOWED TO PUT ON THIS TESTIMONY (as we should be):

Florida: 06-06-2012 DECLARATION CONCERNING JUDICIAL HABITS

Rule 406 of the Federal Rules of Evidence allows specific evidence of habit and routine practice to be admitted in Court.

Carrie Luft is seeking to overturn a Final Judicial Decree which was upheld on appeal in Florida.  The only way to reopen the case is the prove judicial corruption.  Wrongful foreclosure and fraudulent claims to standing, after a case is final, can only be proved if the system itself is indictable, if there is demonstrable systematic fraud on the Court—if the system is “broken,” if the judges are either “bought and paid for” or coerced into thinking in conformity with the Banks’ position.  All of these things have to be proved as a conspiracy to defraud and impose uniform outcomes on foreclosure cases.  It is a ONE THEORY, ONE SHOT, deal, although everyone who has been a victim can and could try (and I wish they would).
To prove this systemic corruption, which many people suspect, we need to gather EVERYONE who has been a victim together in one place, and that place is going to be reserved and formed through the complaint we are preparing in Carrie’s case.  If we fail, Carrie has no chance to regain her home, but I have already taken a blood oath that I will never stop until I have figured out a way to restore judicial integrity and moral honor to the judicial system in which I quite literally started my legal career, and of which I once dreamed of being an integral part.  Carrie is the first person I know who has accepted the challenge of doing everything that is necessary to try to take on the system.  Carrie literally has only this one option: prove that the system if “fixed”, broken, and corrupt.  I ask you, everyone who receives this survey:
IF YOU HAVE ANY EXPERIENCE WITH THE COURTS OF FLORIDA AT ALL, PLEASE COMPLETE THIS SURVEY, SIGN IT, SCAN IT and either E-MAIL IT BACK TO THIS ADDRESS: lincoln_for_california@rocketmail.com OR RETURN IT BY REGULAR MAIL TO
Peyton Yates Freiman, Tierra Limpia Trust/ Deo Vindice Foundation at:
603 Elmwood Place, #6 
Austin, Texas 78705
And if you have further or additional direct or circumstantial evidence of judicial corruption in Florida, how it is done and how does it, please write a letter about that as well.  We are looking to prove habits and routine practices of Judges according to Rule 406 of the Federal Rules of Evidence.  

06-06-2012 DECLARATION CONCERNING JUDICIAL HABITS

If you have any experience at all with the Florida Judicial System, especially if you have any experience with any mortgage or foreclosure related incidents, we need your opinion here…. Copyright to the survey itself, and to all material received will belong to Tierra Limpia Trust/Deo Vindice Foundation, Charles Edward Lincoln, III, Founder & President, Peyton Yates Freiman Trustee.

Please return all hard copies to:

Peyton Yates Freiman 603 Elmwood Place, Suite 6, Austin, Texas 78705.

If there were no minimum wage in the United States, how low would wages go?

Revisiting a topic I’ve discussed on this blog before, there was a new article on UK Yahoo, much to my surprise:

http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/should-we-scrap-the-minimum-wage.html

If there were no minimum wage in the United States, how low would wages go?  Would inflation come to an end?  How far might price deflation go?   Would outsourcing of American jobs stop immediately?  Would the power of labor unions increase or decrease (assuming freedom of contract and freedom to strike were preserved as a matter of constitutional right)?  Would anyone ever bother to immigrate illegally into the United States again? 

According to Wikipedia, “Many countries, such as NorwaySwedenFinlandDenmarkSwitzerlandGermanyAustriaItaly, and Cyprus have no minimum wage laws, but rely on employer groups and trade unions to set minimum earnings through collective bargaining.”  Is it coincidental that these are some of the countries with the highest standards of living in the world?  Higher than the standard in the United States?

The minimum wage was instituted in the United States as a matter of Federal Law in 1938, five years into Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.  Richard M. Nixon tried to impose “wage and price controls” as an antidote to inflation in 1971-72.  Nixon’s program was an unmitigated disaster and has not been repeated, but because of the mythology that the minimum wage guarantees a “living wage”, the Federal Minimum Wage is updated every few years.  It is an absurdity that one of the causes of inflation is automatically adjusted upwards to inflation.

My position is that government regulations such as the minimum wage stoke inflationary fires and provide no real security to anyone.  If elected to the United States Senate, I would propose a repeal of the Federal Minimum Wage and add a statutory clarification that any state-imposed minimum wage would constitute an unconstitutional infringement on the rights and obligations of contract, an infringement on Freedom of Association and Freedom of Speech, and a taking of liberty without due process of law.  

Let’s try to bring America in line with the most prosperous nations of Europe—ABOLISH THE MINIMUM WAGE!  MAKE AMERICA COMPETITIVE AGAIN!  Require EXCELLENCE in PRODUCTIVITY before automatic rewards.  

Oh, by the way, adjusted for inflation and currency, the average worker’s wages in Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland, at least (countries with which I have some familiarity and have studied recently) have higher EFFECTIVE wages and lower rates of inflation than the United States of America.  Finland supposedly has the finest education system in the world.  America’s public educational system is a nightmare failure and should probably be abolished all together as one of the first and principal failures of governmental compulsory “welfare” laws.

Confessions of a Lifelong-Heroine Addict….(oh well, since I was 6 or 8 I guess, probably not so much before that…)…from Dorothy Gale to Katniss Everdeen

The California Secretary of State having quite literally locked the doors to my running for Senate this year (at least in Tulare and Fresno Counties)—and the California Courts not seeming to offer a sufficient or accessible remedy—I now have time to indulge other (if related) obsessions my life, such as my sufferings from a lifetime of heroine addiction….  

Like almost every other aspect of my life, I blame my mother Alice and grandmother Helen almost equally….

It was my mother and father who, when I was very small, used to take me down by the Thames in Westminster near the Houses of Parliament and show me the statue of Boadicea (aka “Budica”), the last independent Iceni Queen of East Anglia who rebelled and died trying to evict the Roman Conquerors, in whose memory it was said and sung that “Britons never shall be slaves.”  We also took one trip out to Norwich to visit one of the woods where the Iceni supposedly worshipped their own goddess of Victory….called “Budika” in the Ancient British language of the Druids….(my parents were both heavily into historical and comparative linguistics).  Budika/Boadicea in A.D. 60-61 apparently burned Roman Londinium to the ground along with several other cities before being defeated and poisoning herself by the long Roman Road called “Watling Street” which we also visited…. She was a heroine and supposedly a great archer….  

Of course my parents also tried, as heart as their own agitated and addled lives would permit them, to make me aware of a very different heroine, regarding whom they required me to memorize “the Magnificat” from a very early age….”My soul doth magnify the Lord….Abraham and his seed forever…” And yes, the Virgin Mary was indeed a rebellious heroine… and she has remained a heroine to hundreds of millions of people up to the present time….  Later on, I learned to sing the Magnificat and other pieces of Anglo-Catholic “Maryolatry” as a choirboy in the junior Choir at the Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, under the tutelage of the late, Great Russell J. Brydon (who died just a few months after this post was originally written, in September 2012 at the age of 88:

http://www.dallasnews.com/obituary-headlines/20120906-russell-j.-brydon-jr.-longtime-dallas-church-and-temple-organist-dies-at-88.ece

But it was my grandmother Helen who was something of a heroine in my young eyes herself, and it was Helen who introduced me to the very first literary  (as distinct from Historical or Biblical) heroines of whose stories I ever learned in detail: namely Dorothy Gale, Scarlett O’Hara, and the Roman Goddess Diana and her Sacred Temple by Lake Nemi  near Ariccia (Diana was also an archer…)

The path of fictional heroines from Dorothy Gale’s grey home in Kansas to Katniss* Everdeen’s equally grey home in District 12 of Panem took 108 years….from the first publication of the Wizard of Oz in 1900 through the appearance of archer Katniss Everdeen  Hunger Games in 2008**….is really the history of the idealistic dreams and ultimate failure of the 20th century (idealist dreams in Baum’s time giving way to a more cynical realism by 1939, passing through the somewhat confused “liberation” of the 1960s, sinking into the dark, pessimistic world of Buffy and Angel and finally coming to rest in the despair of District 12 in Panem in 2008—the year Barack Hussein Obama took over from George W. Bush…two different faces for the heartless, soulless, President Snow….)

But the difference in spirit between those two places traces indeed the tragic story of the Decline and Fall of Western Civilization (and of the American Dream) in the 20th Century. Major stopping points along the way (for me at least) include 1939 with the Dorothy Gale’s transformation in the person of Judy Garland and Scarlett O’Hara’s complete redefinition of the concept of “progress” in the late 19th century, Jane Fonda’s comic Cat Ballou and Barbarella in the 1960s, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer in movie and television from 1992-2003.  

At each of these intervals, the world is more cynical and darker, and the heroines more complex.  Many critics have observed that the “head injury/dream sequence” aspects of the 1939 Movie Wizard of Oz and the metathesis of real individuals to “dreamtime” residents of the Land of Oz (which was COMPLETELY absent from L. Frank Baum’s book) resulted directly from Freudian psychoanalysis and the early popularity of psychology.  The general effect is to radically weaken the power of Oz as metaphor or lesson—but the movie was a wonderful hit—a lightly comic Wagnerian gesammtkunstwerk of acting, visual art, and music, so nobody really cared.  

A lot of the verbal banter and humor in the movie likewise showed a certain “worldly” sophistication with which I think Frank Baum would only have been somewhat congenial. E.G. the Cowardly Lion’s song “there’s just no use denyin’, I’m just a DANDYlion…” and the Wizard’s closing comment to the Scarecrow:

Back where I come from we have universities, 
seats of great learning 
-- where men go to become great thinkers. 
And when they come out, they think deep thoughts -- 
and with no more brains than you have .... 
But! They have one thing you haven't got! 
A diploma!

As a former denizen of the great academic halls of Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 and Chicago, Illinois 60637 (from various halls of which august institutions I did, for all the good that it’s done me or the world, get diplomas), and a regular visitor to many other such places, I can tell you that the Wizard here is absolutely right: 

And when they come out, they think deep thoughts -- 
and with no more  brains than you have.... 

But such cynicism simply was not part of the original vision of Oz, and although Baum occasionally did occasionally turn such comments to ridicule life back in North America in later books, he did not at all in his first installment in which he remade European folk mythology and archetypes and reshaped them in a very idealized panorama of a world where death was rare if non-existent and even the most evil of men and creatures did not kill for sport or pleasure.

For all of L. Frank Baum’s futuristic visions, I do not think he could have foreseen the transition from the naïve and hardworking life of Kansas to the nightmarish dreamworld of Suzanne Collins’ grim opera—neither a soap opera nor a very lyric, although even in the written version (which I finally got around to reading), music plays an immensely important part in the methathesis of metaphor and character, from Katniss’ Father to Peeta, from Prim to Rue… as between the unnatural National Anthem of the Conquering Capitol and the free world of nature and the poor of the “outlying districts.”

L. Frank Baum’s Oz books in so many was shaped and defined the culture of early-to-mid 20th Century of a predominantly White Christian America, especially after the release of Judy Garland’s movie….***  The spirit of Dorothy Gale’s Kansas was stiflingly dull and harsh—the American dream had already, at that point, apparently kind of run aground and needed new life— The spirit of Dorothy Gale’s Oz was half atavistic throwback to the Middle Ages, half filled with futuristic wonders (such as Glinda the Good’s Magic Picture, which permitted her what we would now call “live video access” to whatever was going on in Oz or elsewhere earth she was interested.

Dorothy Gale was a simple, pre-teenage girl (Judy Garland was at least ten years older than the original character was portrayed as being in the First Oz Book, but Dorothy Gale remained essentially a-sexual throughout the series, never had a boyfriend or a beau…. perhaps recapitulating some archaic notion of “the Virgin Goddess”,  e.g. Diana Nemorensis or the Virgin Mary or the “Virgin Queen”, Mary again or Queen Elizabeth I) whose strength derived from common sense, great courage, love, and determination.  Dorothy Gale was a generalist who never specialized in anything or focused on any particular trade, profession, or way of earning a living (all throughout the long series of Oz books, in fact).  She was just flexible, imaginative, and practical—kind of a “Renaissance girl” in a very low tech way.

Being a non-specialized generalist seems to be the primary role of all feminine heroes.  Of the earliest three I knew (Dorothy Gale, Scarlett O’Hara, and Diana Nemorensis), if Dorothy Gale had the purest and most asexual identity, Scarlett O’Hara surely had the most impure and sexual.  

It was perhaps for that reason that I was never really taken with her until I was a teenager, even though with my grandparents I religiously had watched Gone with the Wind at every possible opportunity and my grandmother compared the mythic South with the real South over and over again.   Scarlett O’Hara was beautiful, flirtations, and OWNED men in a way that is both fairly realistic and quite cynical.  But the book and movie Gone with the Wind were brilliantly timed between the First and Second World Wars to show that the American War Between the States of 1861-1865 was the first really and truly modern war of total destruction.  

Throughout history, up until Abraham Lincoln loosed Sherman on Georgia and Grant on Virginia, the goal of Conquest Warfare had been to preserve as much of a conquered land’s wealth as possible—so that it could be stolen and appropriated for the victors.  There might have been a lot of talk in Ancient Rome about how “Carthage must be destroyed” and about Salting the Earth once it was vanquished, but Carthage was not only not burnt to the ground and left to rot by the Roman Conquest, it became one of the Great Cities of the Roman Empire, as 20-30 years of Harvard Archaeological excavations in Tunisia have so clearly shown.  Gone with the Wind showed something else when Sherman’s “wind blew through Georgia.”  The purpose was indeed, as the opening lines of both the movie and the book suggested, to wipe out an entire civilization, a way of life—to replace what Marxists call one “mode of production” with another.   NONE of Baum’s villains in Oz were as bad as that, although the movie version of the Wicked Witch of the West was pretty murderous in her general attitude….

One major innovation of Jane Fonda’s heroines Cat Ballou and especially Barbarella in the 1960s was the advent of “free love”, which never appeared even once in any of Baum’s pre-1920 writings, which was only very obliquely alluded to in Gone with the Wind, but which by the 1960s was all anyone really cared about.  

Like Dorothy Gale and Scarlett O’Hara before her, Cat Ballou and Barbarella were unspecialized generalists who could adapt to almost any situation.  They were strong, intelligent, sexy, deadly in a good cause, and then Jane Fonda went to Hanoi….  In retrospect she may have been right to do it because the Vietnam War was totally wrong, a seriously failed experiment in 1984-type “perpetual war”….but Jane Fonda’s actions did not seem positive at the time.  

In this defiance of the outward semblance of world order sense, Jane Fonda’s characters of both Cat Ballou and Barbarella somehow came to life as defiant outlaws….crossing boundaries that no one else would cross, and doing so with both impunity and (what seemed most shocking at the time) complete immunity from real official sanction.  Like the righteous killer Catherine Ballou who avenged her father’s death in the Wild West—Jane Fonda first enacted herself as a mythic reality and then, by going to Hanoi, remade herself as a historic metaphor—walking through the image of a treacherous act, unscathed, in essence to show that Vietnam was all a staged event….. a dramatic diversion to keep the masses simultaneously afraid, amused and absorbed….  

Fast forward 24 years from Jane Fonda as Barbarella and you arrive the first incarnation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a completely modern LA County San Fernando Valley girl with no hints of modesty or virginity about her…. followed by the much more intriguing evolution of Buffy Summers in the TV Series from virginal high school freshman to intensely sexual college freshman, in a world which is increasingly dark and where reality is increasingly concealed….. Buffy’s Sunnydale was a mythic place, a lot like Los Angeles, while her first boyfriend and lover Angel eventually goes to the real Los Angeles and sets up shop as first as a private detective and then director of a large law firm—two professions which, in Los Angeles at least, possibly in the movies generally, have almost acquired the status of modern Jungian archetypes….  

The increasingly dark and brooding, sad and depressed Buffy Summers never lost her general adaptability—she could never specialize in any profession or line of work any more than Dorothy Gale or Scarlett O’Hara or Catherine Ballou… but the realization that the dark forces of the world were effectively unbeatable and had pre-existed anything good in the world—these were major transformations of the American Dream from the Early 20th Century.  And it was during the 7 televised seasons of Buffy that the 20th Century, which came in with a little girl magically transported by a tornado from dull grey Kansas to a bright and beautiful alternative universe which knew no death, went out during Buffy’s Freshman year at UCLA with a young adult barely out of her teens who was alone in the world, with her small circle of more specialized friends, fighting vampires and the forces of darkness.

And five years after Buffy ended, Katniss Everdeen picked up the bow from her archetypal ancestors the Goddesses Inanna and Diana and Queen Boadicea, and began to hunt for meagre food in the desperately hunger fringes of District 12 (in what was once called Appalachia in what was once called North America).  

The gruesomeness of the Hunger Games apparently shocks some people—I would have thought that Americans had long since forgotten how to be shocked about or by anything.  Children murdering children for sport isn’t the most pleasant of ideas, to be sure. But in that 17-19 year olds have gone off to fight in every war America has ever seen….along with a few 16 year olds here and there, and since the History Channel periodically shows authentic news clips of 15-16 year old resistance “werewolves” in 1945 Post-World War II Germany being shot by firing squads of American Troops, and countless tens of thousands of teenagers have been silently snuffed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam, it is hard to believe that the idea of children fighting and dying is really such a big deal to our ever hypocritically squeamish population.

The Hunger Games resonate with so much in our history and culture—with the original Victor Hugo version of Les Miserables (hopelessly buried and lost in the Broadway Musical of the same name), and in Suzanne Collins’ own account with the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur.  

But above all the Hunger Games resonates with the year 2012 in which America has taken so many steps towards being a brutal, repressive dictatorship like Panem, already—with idiot fake and fraudulent “Conservatives” like Lindsey Graham and Newt Gingrich competing with idiot truly fraudulent “Liberals” like Carl Levin, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama competing with one another to see who can shred the Constitution fastest.  

Interesting to me, given that I based my own doctoral dissertation at Harvard in large part on revisiting Frazer’s the Golden Bough and with it Diana’s Temple by Lake Nemi near Ariccia, are the parallels between the Hunger Games and the myths and rituals of Divine Kingship.  There is nothing in the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, however, about games or about Tributes being well-fed and allowed every luxury leading up to their deaths.  But precisely this treatment is common in the rites of Divine Kingship, where sacrificial victims, like the individual selected for sacrifice during the rites of Toxcatl among the Aztec, are equated with the God Tezcatlipoca (“Smoking Mirror”) during the last year of their lives, given wonderful food and drink, and then sacrificed.  Similar paradigms of sacrifice are found throughout the world—

And the sacrifice of children, likewise, is extremely common: to the rain gods in Mesoamerica, relic traces of this existed even among the modern Yucatec Maya who tie small children to the legs of the altar during the cha-chaac or rain ceremony—although the children have to do nothing more that happily chirp like rainy season frogs (but woe to the boy who croaks like a dry season Toad—he will be beaten, not sacrificed, but beaten).  The Hebrew Bible itself is filled with child sacrifice (all through the Books of Kings and Chronicles, in particular, are Kings who make their children “walk through the fire”—perhaps most famously the daughter of Jeptha…), and by way of archaeological parallel—the excavations at Carthage have revealed hundreds and thousands of child sacrifices…. Among the Natchez of Mississippi, families sacrificed their children in order to rise in social status from commoners (“Stinkards”) to “Honored” Nobility according to the French records by Dupratz and recounted by John R. Swanton….

And in this sense it is perplexing: sacrifice almost always lead either to elevation in status or to outright deification: why the elite of Panem would not have recognized the risk embodied in Golden Bough-Divine Kingship type of analysis: the sacrificial victim—like the Rex Nemorensis at Ariccia who becomes King by killing the old one in combat, will always become the next king.  

At the end of the first book of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, Katniss Everdeen is poised to become (with Peeta), Queen and King of Panem.  This was not only foreseeable, it was in comparative mythological terms inevitable—and yet Suzanne Collins’ trilogy does not allow this drama to evolve that way.  In part, this may be because technology and traditions of oppression have obliterated the natural succession of Divine Kingship….

But Sir James G. Frazer’s point in writing the Golden Bough was to show that Divine Kingship involving the deification of sacrificial victims and their elevation as Kings is a nearly world-wide phenomenon.  I sit here puzzling at the significance of all the trappings of Divine Kingship and the Golden Bough in the Hunger Games.  

Frank Baum had either borrowed or unconsciously recreated so many motifs from ancient mythology—the Four World Quarters with colors Winkie-yellow Quadlin-red Munchkin-blue and Gillikin-purple with Green for the Center of the Emerald City are like nothing so much as the mythological and symbolic organization of (1) Ancient Mesopotamia, “Land of the Four Quarters” centered on Uruk, (2) Celtic Ireland, Ulster, Munster, Connaught, Leinster, and centered on Midhe (Meath) at Tara, and (3) pre-Hispanic Yucatan which, at several Classic sites, is divided into quarters dominated (as recorded on Stelae A & H at Copan) by Tikal, Calakmul, Palenque, and Copan and which even now is divided into four quarters (Yucatán, Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Petén, with Belize claimed by Guatemala and Geographically appearing to be a southern extension of Quintana Roo).

But in Frank Baum’s Oz, kingship is never strong and is always frowned upon, as are all attempts at centralization or standardization of culture, customs, or laws among the four/five regions of Oz.  For that reason, I would assume, there are no hints or traces of divine kingship in Oz—it is a Federal egalitarian Democracy of sorts (even though no one ever votes).  

But by the time of Buffy, as the 20th century closes, the need for a leader has brought forward the Slayer—“one girl in all the world” who fights the Demons.  Now Joss Whedon optimistically ended his series with a devolution of power and prowess from Buffy through the magic of Willow to Millions of “potential” slayers—-but it didn’t quite ring true, in a Television series where even the most outrageous vampiric and magic witchcraft was somehow made to feel “emotionally authentic.”

In the Hunger Games, Dictatorship is the reality and the two victors of the Hunger Games, Katniss & Peeta, are set to become the Divine Kings and possibly the real sovereigns of their land.  Perhaps the need for leadership, the need for someone to save the population, is not yet great enough, but in terms of the political and emotional significance of our story-telling, I think that the journey from Dorothy Gale’s Grey Kansas to Katniss Everdeen’s Grey District 12 tells us the story of the loss of hope and impending doom and despair which was the 20th Century.

*  Katniss is named after a plant called Sagittaria, and my grandmother was born under the sign of Sagittarius—it could be that Katniss reminds me a great deal of my grandmother Helen—similar complexions and faces…. Actress Jennifer Lawrence certainly fits very precisely the image in Suzanne Collins’ book…. and the younger pictures I’ve seen of my grandmother with long hair as a teenager in the time before the U.S. entered WWI….growing up in a place very much like the defeated districts of Panem in the Southern USA.

** In some New Age texts, 108 years is said to be a Venus Cycle, the more ordinary astrological cycle is one of 104 years.  108 is used, but oddly enough, is four years longer than longest calendrical cycle and planetary identity of the Ancient Goddess of Love, namely Inanna/ Ishtar/Aphrodite/Venus.  The calendrical cycles of Venus and the sun are said to “bind” (i.e coincide) every 2920 days, but the ultimate binding of 5 Heliacal Cycles of Venus with 8 Calendar years …. (365 x 8 = 5 x 584 = 2920 x 13 = 37,960 = 2 x 52 years (my current age) = 104 calendar years/105 “tuns” or 360 day periods—the root of the Maya and Aztec Calendars).  Like her Roman Counterpart Diana, Aphrodite and Inanna were both archers—it seems to be the feminine weapon of choice, possibly for purely sexual Freudian reasons, possibly for some mixture of Freudian sexual and Jungian archetypal causation.

*** In the 1970s, Broadway Musical and 1978 movie “the Wiz” the just recently departed Diana Ross and the late Michael Jackson did their best to reframe and appropriate the Baum story for African-America in the aftermath of the Civil Rights movement (or Fraudulent Civil Rights Fiasco) of the 1950s-60s…. I have never been comfortable Easing on Down the Road with them in that direction…. although my grandfather was a great supporter of alternative all black productions (now almost extinct) because they upheld and even developed, really and truly, the old segregationist’s doctrine of Separate but Equal (we actually attended the Wiz at the Majestic Theater on Broadway as well as an all black revival of Guys & Dolls in my one major summer with him (ever in my life) in 1976.