Catching Fire is a film about state terror. While the genesis of the movie was a series of young adult novels, I think the film series has already taken on a separate life of its own with a depth that appeals to an older adult audience.
Three converging trends put me on common ground with your average Tea Party member for the first time in my liberal-New-England-elite life: government action, technological advancement and American attitude.
An unrecognized breakaway Republic sandwiched between Moldova and Ukraine, it has been called the most lawless place in Europe and is rumored to be a thriving transit zone for arms and human trafficking.
Salman Rushdie's memoir Joseph Anton rebels against the reduction of The Satanic Verses to an insult to Islam. I agree. But modern liberal democracies, freedom of thought and expression are impossible without the right to offend.
Austrians prefer limited government -- limited to enforcing contracts made voluntarily between free individuals. They don't want government to print and inflate money as that allows them covertly to reduce private wealth, transferring it to themselves.
Is there an alternative to ideological illusion and the rhetoric of evil? Yes, there is. We must remember our common human vulnerabilities and bring them into a collective conversation within which our existential anxiety can be held and better borne.
I have always imagined that a totalitarian state would resemble Stalin's Soviet Union, but it has dawned on me lately that the most effective totalitarian regime would be one that no one (on the inside anyway) would recognize as such.
On the House floor Sunday, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes decried health care reform, warning darkly of the awakening of the "ghost of communist dictators," and urging the House to reject "totalitarianism."