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.


tyhurd said...

I dried when Octavia Butler died, a part of me went with her. Her voice in the specaltive community was and is unmatched. I agree with your assessment of the future in the parables of talent and how it is tracking close to what is happening now. I hope that we become self reliant and learn how to change our ways before it gets to close to the book

Anna said...

The widening gap between the rich and the poor is always something nations should worry about.

Where I come from in the Philippines, I've lately felt that it's on the verge of civil anarchy. There was a wide enough gap a few years back, but Filipinos are resilient--we hardly take anything very seriously; we laugh a lot; so long as we can drink with our friends, it's fine. However, the poor weren't going hungry back then. There was always something to eat... until lately, when the price of rice rose to unaffordable. When your staple is unaffordable to the masses, that's VERY bad.

The poor, in a failing economy, can do nothing but suffer. It's the rich folk that have the power to change things. They have to be aware and they have to understand to be able to take the necessary steps to make things better, but what happens when the rich are so far removed from reality that they haven't the faintest clue what it's like to work a 9 to 5 job, take home a paycheck, and depend on health insurance and coupons to shoulder bills?

(By the way, thanks for commenting on my blog)

Marketing Diva said...

Are we going to talk about the upcoming Star Wars movie to be released on August 15, 2008

Brother OMi said...

yes we are....

cy said...

i tried reading this once and was disengaged midway through and chucked it somewhere. yet a slew of people have re-encouraged me, some with fire-spinning enthusiasm and elephant parades. now you too. seems now is the time. peace/health, the true wealth/radiance