Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Aldous Huxley is important

I’m not finished it yet, but I have to say that I’m really enjoying the book "Island" by Aldous Huxley. No, this isn’t the book version of the movie "The Island" that they tried to get us to watch this summer, it’s something a lot more important.

Let me back up a bit and talk a little bit about Aldous Huxleys other important book "Brave New World". I’m sure you’ve all heard of that one. If you haven’t, I really suggest that you go out and read it as soon as you can. It’s amazing. It is fiction but what it proposes is a society that just may become real in some distant future. At the same time, in some ways it is also a very good commentary on how things are today. I had actually never heard of the book when I was turned on to it by someone quite smart after I had been trying to turn them on to a movie that I was in love with "The Matrix". After I gave them this huge description of the film and how the world was just an illusionary prison she said to me: "...sounds like Brave New World". I immediately bought the book and it’s been one of my top 5 important reads ever since.

So, "Brave New World" describes a future society that is far from a Utopia. "Island" presents us with the exact opposite, a society that is just incredibly perfect in so many ways. It presents us with new ways of looking at child rearing, psychology, medical science, sex and religion. A lot of the ideas I’ve read so far appeal to me on so many levels. It’s kind of like the piece I wrote about winning in Iraq: It just makes so much sense.

The amazing thing is that "Brave New World" was written in the 30’s and "Island" was written in 1962. It’s impressive how Aldous was able to see the future in so many ways. It actually makes me wonder how much has actually changed since then. I bet little or nothing of consequence has.

Anyway, I urge you to read both books, perhaps back to back. However, this only applies to non-red state people. As I’ve said before, red-staters seem to be of one of two camps, the very close minded or the very clueless followers.

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