Sorry this is late. I went out for dinner and it ran a bit, well… late. Delicious, delicious hotpot. I tried brain!
It’s… not something I need to eat again. But I’m glad I tried it because trying new things is life-affirming. Always take the opportunity to broaden your horizons, even if it’s just trying an ingredient you otherwise wouldn’t.
So. We’re one week away from… it. You know what I mean. That thing. That thing I definitely won’t be watching because I think I’d vomit out my organs. But a thing that’s going to happen whether I want it to, or not. A thing that I, personally, will be fighting as hard as I can because, dammit, the Declaration is perfectly clear on what we’re meant to do when a government gets this bad.
Apparently, I have already done 1984. So, in my search for books that adequately describe the hellscape I feel we’re entering, I turned to the next one I could think of: Brave New World.
The novel actually began as a parody of H.G. Wells’ utopian novels, which seems really apropos here. Because what is the Cheeto-in-Chief if not a parody of a real human being, not to mention a President? Yes. In case it wasn’t obvious, I’m breaking my typical moratorium on politics and just getting real with how I feel. If that makes me a snowflake, so be it. I’d rather be a snowflake, which is beautiful and unique, than the dog shit running over the side of a flip flop, which is, I’m convinced, what… it is. You know who I mean.
The choice is especially apt given the tendency to call men with, I don’t know, human compassion Betas. Because that’s how the society in Brave New World is. You are part of a caste (Alpha, Beta, etc, with pluses thrown in there for good measure) which determines everything about your life. You’re conditioned from the womb to believe your class is the best, but the others are necessary, and any lingering unhappiness is resolved with soma (a hallucinogenic drug and antidepressant). The world is built on the principles of Ford’s Assembly Line, because what’s better than business models for human behavior?
Oh, and what does this society do with anyone who doesn’t quite fit? Exile them. Cue the “if you don’t like it, leave” comments I (and just about anyone who voices distaste for Cheeto Mussolini) have been getting since November. In fact, the only good thing from this novel is that all the most interesting people in the world end up in exile; only the boring, conforming folks stay behind to be regulated and conditioned into contentment.
Actually… the best thing about this book is just how much Shakespeare is in it. John, born outside the World State in the Reservation (where weird things like marriage, religion, and natural birth remain), can really only relate to people in terms of Shakespeare. This, and his being raised outside “society”, make it impossible for him to relate to the people of the World State. Any book that has so much Shakespeare in it AND seems just so perfect for the state of the world is definitely the book to read right now.
Or the book that’ll give you panic attacks. I’m not sure which.
Drink whatever the hell you want. Seriously. Whatever you want and makes you happy. I think we’ll be needing some happy.