Friday, January 6, 2012

You Can't. Always. Get. What You. Want. (and you wouldn't like it much if you did)

Having a 3 year old can be tough. She is amazing, funny and sweet. And can be demanding and difficult. Sometimes the things she wants are, well, just not a good idea. She LOVES to stay up late, doesn't enjoy taking a bath very frequently, and if it were up to her, she'd have all 9 billion of her toys out at once.

I see part of my role as her parent to help guide her to do those things that she may not want to do initially, but are good for her in the long term. Sure, it is not fun to take a bath in the winter when it is freezing cold. But you feel better after, you don't smell, and you are clean. It is fun to stay up late, but then you feel terrible the next day. If you go to bed at a normal-person time, you sleep well and wake up happy and have more energy to do fun stuff the next day.

How does this relate to Brave New World, you ask? Because in Brave New World the society has abandoned the idea of long term good entirely. Immediate pleasure is maximized. The whole society functions around immediate wish gratification. Any sort of pull to do otherwise has been conditioned out of people, whether in their test tube gestational bottles, or in the whispered messages to them while they sleep as they grow up. It's basically like living in a society of unparented 3 year olds. Horrifying.

As I read this book I kept waiting for the Savage to figure out a way to save the society, or at least contribute to its downfall. But now I realize that is part of what is scary about the book - the society keeps going. It gets the best of everyone.

I really, really liked this book. Much more than when I read it in high school.

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