Friday, August 14, 2015

Brave New Worlds

“Isn't there something in living dangerously?'

There's a great deal in it,' the Controller replied. 'Men and women must have their adrenals stimulated from time to time.'

What?' questioned the Savage, uncomprehending.

It's one of the conditions of perfect health. That's why we've made the V.P.S. treatments compulsory.'

V.P.S.?'

Violent Passion Surrogate. Regularly once a month. We flood the whole system with adrenin. It's the complete physiological equivalent of fear and rage. All the tonic effects of murdering Desdemona and being murdered by Othello, without any of the inconvenience.'

But I like the inconveniences.'

We don't,' said the Controller. 'We prefer to do things comfortably.'

But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.'

In fact,' said Mustapha Mond, 'you're claiming the right to be unhappy. Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer, the right to have too little to eat; the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what may happen tomorrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured by unspeakable pains of every kind.' There was a long silence.

I claim them all,' said the Savage at last.

Mustapha Mond shrugged his shoulders. 'You're welcome,' he said.”
― Aldous Huxley, "Brave New World"

6 comments:

  1. Now you've got me wanting to read Brave New World. I like Savage already.

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  2. It was my favorite book in HS. "Island" is another... but I didn't read it until 30 years later.

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  3. Huxley was nowhere to be found on my high school required reading. Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet were, though. I thought those were strange picks for 14 year olds.

    But then again, I think philosophy shouldn't be offered to college freshman, either.

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  4. Yes, I agree. We do a disservice to youth when we throw Shakespeare at them at 14. In another age, full of autodidactic genius', that might have been the way, but in America's "industrialized" education system... a bad mistake.

    Like my freshman English 1a class, full of Eliot, Hemingway, and O'Neill... what a waste. To give an "old-age" tired poetry to young men travelling around the world for the very first time in thier lives? It makes no sense.

    California provided a very "subversive" education, BNW, Animal Farm, and news articles idolizing Caesar Chavez and the UFW... undermining the "classics" was the "new pedagogy... and my school was filled with recent Berkeley grads doing their utmost to keep the "Spirit if '68" alive.

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  5. California provided a very "subversive" education, BNW, Animal Farm, and news articles idolizing Caesar Chavez and the UFW... undermining the "classics" was the "new pedagogy... and my school was filled with recent Berkeley grads doing their utmost to keep the "Spirit if '68" alive.
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    I think the goal in Texas was to keep the spirit of 1886 alive. :p
    We read: A Tale of Two Cities, The Scarlet Letter, and a lot of Edgar Allen Poe. Talk about morose...

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  6. 1886...pre Haymarket Riot? I give up... :p

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