Not so ‘Brave New World’

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As a young adult, I read Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, a brilliant satire of George Orwell’s classic novel, 1984. In this dystopian novel, Big Government is a sweeter, calmer version of 1984’s Big Brother. Everyone is a test-tube baby, and is breed to be content (Breeding for happiness is apparently a hellava lot harder.)

The major concept to be followed is world capitalism feeding consumption (“Buy a new one before fixing the old one”). Everyone is provided a drug called Soma that is a hallucinogen without negative effects and replaces the need for religion. Spirituality, you see, can be prescribed (This is an important point. I’ll be coming back to that in a few moments.)

Naturally, recreational sex is a key part of society. Sex is highly praised while, at the same time, romantic relationships are considered obsolete. Family, you see, doesn’t matter if you originate in a test tube.

Finally, spending time alone and wanting to be an individual is considered perverse.

So, what’s my point? Well, short version: Maybe we are not so far away from this reality. First, we are definitely a consumption society. We consume and become more and more materialistic. We buy but don’t make things anymore. God bless the Chinese.

Second, really short version: Recreational sex is an integral part of today’s society. Marriage is less important in 2012 and an increasing number of people have long since dropped any Victorian ideas about sex, love and marriage. (Goodbye Jane Austin.)

Third, really really short version: Family has become less important, in part because of the enormous number of broken families, in part because fewer people hold it as important as they once did.

Fourth, truly depressing version: Recreational drugs are prevalent throughout society, and those of us who remain righteous in their indignation about drug use should take a long and hard look at themselves. Increasingly, we as a society are becoming more and more addicted to prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs, and any health fad “natural’ product being hoisted on us this week. We take pills to go to sleep, pills to wake up, pills for sex, pills to present the result of sex, pills for heartburn, pills for, excuse the expression, gas, pills to lose weight, pills to gain weight, pill to stay the same weight, pills for about anything. How many pain relievers do you really need? Watch television one night and count the number of drug commercials you see. And what about our drug of choice? Alcohol. It’s as acceptable, and assessable, as water.

Folks, someplace along the line our values shifted, government policies shifted, society moved and we didn’t see the impact or the importance. Someplace, some time, we moved from what we once were and started down a road that is leading to our own special brave new world.

But don’t you worry your pretty little heads about it. Before the stress gives you a headache or the anxiety creates a sour stomach because of the news, cheat on your wife, buy something stupid, have a drink, get a divorce, take a pill. Problem solved.

On another note, due to the clamor of thousands of readers, I would like to fix a wrong I did. Two weeks ago I wrote a “Guess the Slogan” column and somehow managed to leave out the answers to the questions. The answers, in order, are: “You’re In Good Hands, All State; “Fly the Friendly Skies,” United Airlines; “Don’t Leave Home Without It,” American Express; “We’ll Leave the Light On For You,” Motel 6; “Just Do It,” Nike; “Leave the Driving to Us,” Greyhound; “Snap, Crackle & Pop,” Rice Krispies; “The Happiest Place on Earth,” Disneyland; “You Will Never Roam Alone,” Travelocity; “We Deliver for You,” UPS; “We Bring Good Things to Life,” GE; “The King of Beers,” Budweiser; “The Choice of a New Generation,” Pepsi; “Reach Out and Touch Someone,” Joe’s Massage Parlor; “We Try Harder,” Avis; “Innovation,” 3M; “It Does A Body Good,” Milk; “We Love to See You Smile,” McDonalds; and “Think Different,”Apple.

Next week: Famous quotes WITH the answers