I need to reread these books! I know it’s not very sophisticated, but the kid’s movie WALL E touched on some of these themes. It’s set in the future where everything is done by computers and robots. The humans are amorphous blobs that ride around on hovering scooters, their muscles too weak to hold up the weight of their own bodies. They spend their time eating, drinking, staring at computer screens, never interacting face-to-face with each other. That may well be our pitiful future.

We are so preoccupied with our little gadgets that we walk into public fountains, manholes, and moving buses. Sitting around the dinner table, each person is busy on the phone or the iPad, not talking to each other. Kids and parents text each other from different parts of the same house. Back in the day, while I was in school, kids tried to write their book reports based on the summary on the back cover or by watching the movie. They didn’t see the POINT of actually reading the book. We are self-absorbed, but not self-aware. It’s sad. Maybe that is why so many people are intrigued with the zombie apocalypse, survivalism, etc. We subconsciously crave connection with each other and with nature. We suffer from an impersonal existence where it’s harder and harder to find meaning and purpose. We want to unplug and engage, but think it can only happen if everything falls apart, because we are also addicted to technology and instant gratification.

Great post from Hugh Curtler!


Back in January I wrote a blog about Huxley’s classic Brave New World, which has always been one of my favorite books. I taught it for years and have always found mountains of issues worthy of serious thought and discussion. In 1985 Neil Postman wrote another provocative book titled Amusing Ourselves To Death in which he promises to discuss the question whether Huxley might have been right in his predictions about what was to become of Western culture. Bear in mind that Huxley wrote his novel in the 1930s and he was English.

In his “Foreword” Postman contrasts Huxley’s remarkable book with Orwell’s equally remarkable book 1984. I shall largely ignore what Postman said about Orwell, but will summarize what he said about Huxley since it is most apt. In America, especially, we love to boast about our freedoms, which we would insist are many. Is it possible that…

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2 thoughts on “Prophesies and Portents

  1. It is a great post. Thanks for making it seen by so many. I have not seen Wall-E, so I need to check it out. I think unplugging more is needed, so people can see the world and step around the uncovered, dare I say manholes.

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