"You know the kind; where you walk to work, or the kitchen, or wherever you happen to be headed, occasionally shaking your head and muttering “…damn it” to yourself."
— paulverhoevenhasablognow describes his response to the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. And beautifully describes the reaction of someone who cares.
Today, outside a mall;
Two young fellas in Bogan-looking car roll into a disability parking space, loud music playing (Urthboy), all smiles.
Middle class Lady with 4yo, parked in the stroller bay, stops and starts yelling “Where’s your bloody card.”
~18yo Driver “On the other side of the car.”
MCL, still yelling “And who’s the one needing it??!!”
Driver “My mate. He’s got no legs.”
<Unloads fluoro green chair for said mate, who pops a wheelie and a spin; Smiles politely from under his flat brim.>
MSL, drives off aggressively.
"We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn’t, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares. But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell’s dark vision, there was another—slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think. What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions”. In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us. This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right."
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (via sunrec)
Both are such important books but yeah, in terms of information/entertainment especially, Huxley and Brave New World better explain how “free market competition” actually leads to really restricted and trivial mass media