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Showing posts from September 18, 2011

Bookends: Tales of Shirley Jackson & George Orwell

The two best tales of the last century to fortell the future are "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson and "Nineteen Eighty-four" by George Orwell. The authors were prophets of their time for whom we would be wise to reconsider as their prophecies have come to light a little more than sixty years since the publishing of their tales: Jackson's in 1948, and Orwell's in 1949.

Both tales are a mirror of our times as Jackson wonders how a society could keep doing something absurd, even as it instinctively knows it's ridiculous, and yet keeps following the pattern, because of built in systems or traditions of a perilous nature, including that of hardly ever upsetting the established viewpoints. Nuclear energy programs all around the world are a case in point, as humanity produces extremely hazardous atomic waste by self-replicating caseloads, stuff they have no idea of where to put, but putting it someplace nonetheless, none of which is a good place, and that …