Friday, June 27, 2008
A Butlerian future?
Two days ago on June 25th, was the born day for George Orwell, the author of the classics Animal Farm and 1984. It's unfortunate that this was glossed over in the mainstream media even though HR 6034 FISA Amendment Act of 2008 was just passed last Friday. I remember way back in 1983, when the mainstream media made a big hoopla about the book “1984.” Most people balked at the idea of an Orwellian society. Many assumed that Orwell was discussing a future where Stalin like dictators ruled the world. Contrary to popular belief in 2008, there are Stalin like dictators who run several countries (Zimbabwe, North Korea, etc.).
In the United States, things are much different. Yet lately, our economy has hit a low. Food and gas prices have skyrocketed to prices that have not been seen in decades. The 1973 oil crisis was not as bad. Next winter, people will see gas bills for heating their homes to double. Economists claim that there will be another 1.5 million foreclosures in the next 18 months. Some are afraid that more and more companies will continue to lay off their employees as more of them move overseas or try to cover the rising prices of food. Gun violence is beginning to have another upsurge. Gangs continue to plague communities throughout the nation.
All of these things seem to place us teetering at the edge. It reminds me of Octavia Butler's “Parable of the Talents.” It is set in the year 2025 and things are much worse than we have it now. However, it all sprung from the situation we see ourselves in now. The suffering economy, loss of jobs, lawlessness, the widening gap between the rich and the poor, etc. It's scary to think of it that way. I don't mean to scare folks just wanted to point that out.
Maybe Butler was warning us. She also saw the potential in humanity to uplift itself. Of course like the characters in the story, we have to find the solutions within ourselves. We can expect some wanna be deity save us from all this. Like Butler's story, there is hope but we have to work at it. That's the part I took away from her stories.
If anything, I encourage my readers to check out her stuff. You won't be disappointed.