Late Night: On the Road to Dystopia
(Hang on here for a minute while I adjust the tin-foil.)
As I have mentioned often, I love to read. Starting early, I devoured books from many different writing genres over the years. For some reason, I did not read very much science-fiction or fantasy until I was in my twenties but since then have read many of the “great masters” of the genre – Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, Herbert, Dickson, and so on. For the record, I did read 1984, Brave New World, Nova, and The Handmaid’s Tale in my high school days.
A couple of things that always struck me about the writings of Asimov et al is the inherent optimism each of these authors showed in their writings. It seems, in their “future histories” that there is/will be a dystopian interlude that humanity has to struggle through, maybe even more than one. I have always found these to be optimistic that we will reach the stars and do so before we kill ourselves and all living creatures.
After these past few days and weeks, I’m beginning to believe we might be entering one of these dystopian periods. Now I recognize that it seems to be human nature for just about every generation to look at things and proclaim “Why am I in this handbasket and where exactly are we going?” Yet, in just the past week, we have an oil pipeline spill in Arkansas and an oil spill in Minnesota from a train derailment. We have legislators in North Carolina proclaiming the state is not subject to the First Amendment of the US Constitution as they introduce legislation to have an “official state religion” (without of course specifying which Christian sect will be the “official” version.) In Tennessee, we have proposals to cut a family’s welfare if the children are not doing well in school.
Now these are just a few of the issues we all see and try to fight each day. Marriage equality. Women’s rights in all areas from equal pay in the work place to control of their own bodies. Affordable health care for all. Affordable educational opportunities for all. Rights for workers in all areas and rights for LGBT for equal treatment. Stopping the poisoning of the air, water, and earth. Stopping governmental spying on individuals. Stopping torture and wars. The list is seemingly endless and like the hydra.
But as our friend SouthernDragon always said, “Never. Give. Up.”
And because I can: