Matt Palmer is the former social media coordinator of Catholic Review Media.

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I think you have a bit of an overreaction. The thing is, the author wants to make a statement about this universe they have created. It is an oppressive regime that takes away the innocence of a child, or at worst a life, that keep the masses in fear. The more food they borrow, the more likely they will be picked. It is about coming from the poor and showing the upper class who's boss. (Especially in the end scene with Peeta and Katniss. "They don't have to have a winner.") As a society outside of the book, we don't condone these things by showing them on our screens and reading about them. You almost have to desensitize yourself in order to learn the message the series is trying to teach. You can't compare your morals regarding children death matches to this series because we didn't grow up where the Hunger Games looms annually. Instead, we have to look at it objectively and hopefully: better ourselves. Look at your nieces. There are two or more ways to interpret every story: Face value, where it is children in a death match for entertainment of the crowd. Or, with an analytical mind: a story of rags showing the upper class whose boss, and creating a revolution. A satire on how media in our world makes contestants in a dog-eat-dog world or for people to put themselves in danger for cheap media entertainment. (And many more ideas)

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I found this video difficult to watch malniy because the people were so confused and affluent. Giving more money to someone will not guarantee that they will live out what God has planned for them. I felt sorry for them and would have liked to suggest to them that they give me some of their money and let me show them what to do with it. Seriously, I did not hear any of them speak about doing something for others or their moral beliefs.Interestingly, one of the interviewees mentioned how they went to a Christian school and was beaten up. I guess in that case his introduction to Christ was not a positive one. Some of the things that make the rich nervous also make poor nervous. The rich children worried about how to hold on to their money and the poor worry about how to get it. The rich are worried about someone knocking on their door saying you did not do something right, so now I am disowning you. The poor worry about someone knocking on their door saying your time is up and now you have to get out or bill collectors hounding them. There will always be worries that can overcome us when we live in a hollow life such as what was viewed.True freedom is knowing that God is in control and no matter what we see, these things are all temporal and we have a job to do. Seek the kingdom! All the other things will be added if we do the first step.These are just my thoughts..

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If the Avengers can assemble, why can’t we?




 
 
I don’t know about you, but I’m pumped for The Avengers movie that’s coming out May 4. 

I’ve seen every one of the Marvel movies, so the pairing of Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow and Hawkeye is too much for this geek.

Each of the heroes – outside of Thor – is uniquely human and gained their powers through extraordinary circumstances. 
 
Captain America (Steve Rogers) is a shy guy held back by his size and illness. Only through an injection of serum does he become the muscle-bound Captain America. Tony Stark - the genius millionaire behind Iron Man - is often brought down by his penchant for excess and arrogance. Bruce Banner, the man restraining the Hulk, is a scientist trying desperately to suppress the rage that bubbles up within. If he controls the anger, but unleashes the beast within, he's unstoppable. 
 
They’re all flawed, but capable of doing great things when presented the opportunity. They are motivated for good, in the end, by compassion and love. Even the other-worldly Thor is made more heroic the more he embraces the best of humanity. He becomes a more well-rounded person as he, too, learns to love. 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how great comic book movies – such as The Dark Knight, Spider-Man 1 and 2, Superman 1 and 2 – are awesome because they get the essence of the characters correct. No one asks to be a superhero, but they accept the call and the responsibility that comes with power.

Heroes inspire the characters that surround them and us, the viewer.
 
In real life, heroes don’t dress up in costumes (well, if you’re the Route 29 Batman you do) or robotic suits, they rise up.  Just ask Patrick Dempsey, who pulled a teen out of fiery car crash. Like any hero, Dempsey's brushing off questions, choosing instead to be out of the spotlight. 

As Catholics, one of the things we’re hearing at Mass lately is how Christ was never who people expected him to be. His humble life as a carpenter’s son threw off expectations.  His resurrection stunned even his most ardent followers.
 
Christ came as an ordinary man, the son of a carpenter, and did extraordinary things. After his death, the church rose up and set off a revolution. We’re here because people did extraordinary things and made extraordinary sacrifices. 

Far too often we’re obsessed with our differences. The Avengers undoubtedly will, too, during the movie. If they weren't battling for leadership early, we'd have a pretty short flick on our hands.  Like them, it’s when we realize that we’re powerful together that we start accomplishing good.

It was a theme I heard at the ServeFest rally at Church of the Nativity this past weekend and during the Gospel reading at Mass at St. Paul’s in Ellicott City.

As Christians, we have been handed thousands of years of tradition to continue and grow. It’s incumbent upon us to change the world for the better and, just like The Avengers, protect it.  
 
It's time to start accepting  the hero within and work together. 

4/30/2012 4:51:32 PM
By Matt Palmer