COMMENTARY | No film, even the Harry Potter series, seems to have captivated my college students as much as "The Hunger Games," which has repeatedly sold out in my small Georgia town of La Grange.
There's lots of talk about whether the film is a conservative one (with references to peacekeepers) or liberal one (Nicole Allen at The Atlantic linked the film to the "99 percent" movement). Both sides want to claim the film.
The most intriguing link came from Mark Whittington, a Yahoo contributor who proclaimed that the heroine of "The Hunger Games," Katniss, is a lot like Sarah Palin. Both are a version of a modern-day Joan of Arc, one might say. But perhaps there are some differences between these two characters. Here is a list of those distinctions separating the former governor of Alaska from the girl from the Appalachian Mountains.
10) Both women and Woody Harrelson. In "The Hunger Games," Harrelson's character helps Katniss win the Hunger Games. In the film "Game Change," Harrelson's character helps Sarah Palin learn the basics of economics and international politics.
9) Socioeconomic status: Palin was born into a middle-class background, the daughter of a teacher. Katniss was born into abject poverty.
8) Upbringing. Palin was raised a pair of loving parents. Katniss had to raise herself and her little sister without much help.
7) School. Palin went to several colleges. Katniss went to "the school of hard knocks."
6) Hunting. Palin hunts with a gun for fun. Katniss hunts with a bow to survive.
5) Religion. Palin wears her Christianity on her sleeve. Katniss doesn't.
4) Politics: Palin is a politician who relishes the spotlight. Katniss isn't a politician, and shrinks from attention.
3) Freedom: Palin is free to criticize the government, and frequently does without retaliation. Katniss is oppressed by a totalitarian state.
2) Level of oppression: Palin received snarky comments from Bill Maher and is teased by Tina Fey on "Saturday Night Live." Katniss gets threatened with death on a frequent basis.
1) Toughness: Palin quit halfway through her first term in office. Katniss fought until the end.
I'm not saying Palin is a bad person. But she's nothing like Katniss from "The Hunger Games." The two are completely different people who thankfully had different lives and live in different places.