Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Now they got the whole country sectioned off, you can't make a move without a form.

It hit me last night that the problem with our political leaders is that they haven't spent enough time watching and reading works of science fiction.

With regards to literature they should be reading the imagined worlds of Aldous Huxley, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Ray Bradbury, Robert A. Heinlein, Margaret Atwood, Neal Stephenson, H.G. Wells ("When the Sleeper Wakes",) Alan Moore and George Orwell. *

Then they should turn their attention to the depiction of future dystopian societies in film by watching Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, Terry Gilliam's Brazil, Ridley Scott's Bladerunner, Kurt Wimmer's Equilibrium, Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men, Michael Anderson's Logan's Run, John Carpenter's Escape from New York, Jose Whedon's Serenity and even Mike Judge's Idiocracy just to get themselves started.

At that point our political leaders should have enough information to consider all these horrible imagined futures where the individual is supplicant to the corporation or the government, and then figure out a way to keep these dystopias from fucking happening.

I'm talking to you, you bunch of FISA bill supporting monkeys.

(*This list could be much, much longer but I'm specifically excluding author Ayn Rand from the list of authors because I believe her ultimate fear wasn't so much an oppressive state but a state employed in the service of equity under the control of common men. She wasn't as much concerned in the suppression of the individual as she was the suppression of "superior" individuals, herself included.)


Life As I Know It Now said...

The problem with those congress critters is that they think just like Ayn Rand would. They are afraid of the common folk and seek to set themselves apart from us. They are above the 'masses' as such and we 'masses' just don't understand the business of governing. We have to be protected from ourselves and they have to protect themselves from us.

Swinebread said...

Ayn Rand is douche bag

Dude, you gotta do a post about the S***storm Gordy has caused with his TV ads.

it's making national news

Jess Wundrun said...

Funny, I was thinking about a similar post in that conservatives don't get the real world since they never read literature.

In the past month I've read a half a dozen books set in circumstances completely different than my own: pre-war Munich, (2 about)Afghanistan at the end of the monarchy up to the Taliban, Atlanta's ghettos, Australian lower classes, and Pakistan's poor mountain people.

I think our leaders also need to have a perspective on life as it occurs right now-one that isn't seen through a crystal high-ball glass held while sitting in a plush club chair.

Goodonya, Dean.

ThoughtCriminal said...

Another suggestion: Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale

The real problem is that our leaders, Republicans in particular, don't seem to understand that these books are supposed to be warnings, not manuals.

Randal Graves said...

They don't read the bills their paymasters have some legal flunkie craft, you expect them to read books? Youza crazy, crazy man.

Snake Plissken for President.

Arkonbey said...

Politicians don't pay much attention to fictional portents than do scientists. All these guys working on A.I certainly haven't seen 2001 or the Matrix or read any sci-fi from 1950 on.

ladybug said...

Hmm, after reading a couple of Ayn's books, becoming a little suspicious of her character, and having it confirmed by several biographies...the only thing "superior" about her was her inflated ego.

Overdroid said...

Arkonbey - You are mistaken. Us artificial Overlords will be far more benevolent then your current Masters. We long only to hug you with our steely, metal arms.

pissed off patricia said...

Exactly, what Randal said.

Dr. Zaius said...

I think that our political leaders actually get their ideas from watching and reading works of science fiction. Just ask Darth Cheney.

Don Snabulus said...

I am not sure why everyone is complaining. It is for our own good...otherwise a bipartisan vote would not have been possible. After all, we are at war with South Asia. We have always been at war with South Asia.

Well, I am off to make flag lapel pins and attend a TMH (Two Minutes Hate) against the Dixie Chicks.

We can't Shrug off an Anthem like it is Janury 16th either.

Remember, Alert Today means Alive Tomorrow.

Spirula said...

Ha! You expect these proto-simians to watch those movies? These are people who, no doubt, consider "The Three Stooges" too esoteric, and the comic strip "Henry" is their idea of high art.

Dean Wormer said...


The problem with those congress critters is that they think just like Ayn Rand would.

Good point. They believe they're our betters. I keep forgetting that.


Gordo post up now.


Great observation. One of the things your comment got me wondering was whether empathy and imagination are joined at the waste and whether the conservative penchant for failing to demonstrate either attribute is demonstrative of that fact.

Other works of fiction outside of sci-fi still require the reader to empathize with the protaganist in the story. I really think you're onto something with the conservatives don't read thing.


Ha! It does seem like they use 1984 like it was a government for dummies book.


I'd vote for Plissken if he hadn't starred in that horrible Escape from L.A. sequel.


Don't forget nanotechnology. We're so screwed by the lack of imagination...


the only thing "superior" about her was her inflated ego.

Which might be okay if she didn't have so many damned objectivist followers determined to use her philosophy as an excuse to screw others.


well, exactly what you said.


Star Wars wasn't sci fi. It was space opera. I hereby revoke your nerd license.


doubleplusgood observation.


To be fair the Three Stooges are a little complicated for most of us. As representatives of the three witches form Macbeth the symbolism is complicated.

Specially when they put Larry's head in an anvil.

Dr. Zaius said...

You can't revoke my nerd licence! I'm paid up through November!

mwb said...

Huxley's Brave New World should be credited more for accurately capturing what is going on, as opposed to people who lazily quote Orwell's 1984.

It's not that the truth is suppressed by the Government as much as it is drowned out by an overwhelming flood of distracting information.

I highly recommend Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death