Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A naïve new world

Everyone has read Brave New World or has seen a movie adaptation, right? I’ve been thinking about that book quite a bit lately. Specifically how the dystopia maintained the utopist illusion through use of emotionless sex and mind-altering drugs.

The central theme is that the “utopia” was not created by making people happier, but by changing people’s concept of what “happy” was through conditioning.

Carrying these thoughts through to modern society, I’m scared shitless. How many ecstasy-laden raves and Girls Gone Wild videos will it take before we start branding things with the Model T?

I’m not a prude, but there is such a disassociation between emotions and sex today that I’m frightened that that concept of happiness is changing. Not that all change is bad, but this is not a change for the better.

One of the main precepts of our society is the central family unit. Our society and our laws are based on the family and the family’s concept of right and wrong. These concepts grew from a desire to protect the family and the family’s ability to prosper.

The family was seen as the best place to instill in people the morals and values to turn them into well-adjusted and productive citizens. Well-adjusted and productive because what made them happy was their family and doing what you needed to do to keep your family strong.

Of course, one of the central elements of a strong marriage and family is love. But if attitudes about relationships do not reflect this love (and respect) to our partners, what values are our children learning? If Mardi Gras, Cancun, and the girls of Gone Wild are any indication, not a whole lot.

Our selfish sense self-importance has led to an era where we cannot judge anyone’s behavior. Remorseless behavior has led to a generation of young adults who have little sense of responsibility. This lack of personal responsibility is in turn leading to the kind of hedonistic attitudes so prevalent in Huxley’s novel.

Brave is the very last thing this world is.

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