Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

I've Seen The Future, Brother, And It's Murder

 Dystopias are inherently conservative.  They project contemporary trends into a future where all their negative implications are realised and all their benefits fall away. Human beings, they tell us, cannot be trusted with science- and new technologies will always be used to oppress and destroy- so turn your back on progress and stick with the tested verities of  family, home and the boy or girl next door. Don't go up to the big city, child, stay here in the village and help mum and dad raise goats. Above all, be safe.

No, I don't like Brave New World. I don't like its snooty cynicism about human nature and I don't think it's much cop as a novel either. Characterisation is minimal, ambiguity has gone walkabout. The first thirty or forty pages are devoted to the itemisation of a process of baby-manufacture which was always fanciful and which actual scientific progress has rendered terribly wide of the mark- which means, apart from anything else- that it's boring. Nothing dates faster than prophecy. The satire is broad, unsubtle- in the manner of undergraduate review. And why in the name of Ford is a consumerist society that has scrubbed out its history full of people named for the heroes of international communism? A girl called Lenina? Give me a break. Maybe if I read on I'll be given a cogent reason- but I'm not going to enjoy reading on. 

It's all so terribly 20th century.

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.