The biggest movie in the country right now is “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1,” a film in which the ostentatiously wealthy people of Panem’s capital rule over the poorer districts from which tributes are selected each year to kill each other in a violent media spectacle. It’s a grotesque display in which the lives of the impoverished are offered up as entertainment for the comfortable.
It’s hard to see the film and not think of the way TV news has covered Black Friday. Consider the jocular hosts’ grinning affect as they relate news of brawls throughout the country in this clip from Fox & Friends First today, for example, or how numerous Web sites will round up the best brawl videos. As Yahoo News writes on the spread of Black Friday violence to Britain this year, “That means even more grown adults fighting over discounted underwear, and more opportunities to for us to gawk at them.” Or take this video of a fight inside of a Houston Wal-Mart. You’ll notice producers from a variety of television programs — “Good Morning America,” Fox News, CNN — all asking for permission to use the video on their broadcasts, because they know this type of shopper-on-shopper violence is a huge draw.