The Politics of a Bug Fight

blog header (1).pngAs my professor would say, all great science fiction is a thought experiment. Joe Haldeman once said, “Science fiction as a genre has the benefit of being able to act as parable, to set up a story at a remove so you can make a real-world point without people throwing up a wall in front of it.” How would something play out? How will this affect our lives, if this were to happen? It’s a question of world view, and sometimes the best science fiction novels contradict one another on the same key issues.

Everyone and their uncle has heard of Starship Troopers, by Robert A. Heinlein. It’s rumored to be on a few of the U.S. military branch’s reading lists, had a crappy movie made about it that turned into a cult classic, and is generally regarded as one of the great pillars of American science fiction. Alternatively, The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman, is viewed by some as Vietnam-era anti-war propaganda, is of equal status to Starship Troopers as a “classic” science fiction novel, and is thought to be both visionary and very problematic.

Both of won Hugo Awards, both are about soldiers who do war with aliens in space, and are only actually thirteen years apart in publication. Both novels are considered great science fiction. However, that is where the similarities end.

Starship Troopers has always been viewed as a staunchly “conservative” book. The Forever War has always been viewed as “liberal.” Starship Troopers views war and the act of conquering as an inevitable fact of existing in the universe, that this is where man can become great and find glory for himself and his homeland. The Forever War maintains that the inevitable march of war is where men go to get eaten up and turned into soldier-mulch.

Photos courtesy of WikiCommons

One of these books was written by a Naval officer who took his two-years and left the Navy with obviously fond memories. The other was written by a recipient of a Purple Heart. One of these books was written before Vietnam, one written after.

The duality of these two novels exemplifies a tonal shift in American science fiction. The 1960s gave rise to books like Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-FiveBabel-17 by Samuel Delany, and of course Frank Herbert’s Dune. Science fiction had always been a political genre. Even Frankenstein’s Monster, the first proper science fiction novel (written by a woman, I might add) has strong didactic undercurrents. However, this decade gave rise to a level of overt politicization and existential storytelling never explored. If Theodore Sturgeon made science fiction literary with More Than Human, the Korea and Vietnam made science fiction complicated. 

Photos courtesy of WikiCommons

This also came after the commercial shift in the 1960s. The 1950s might have been considered a Golden Age for shoot-em-up laser-fights, but over the next fifteen years the newsstand-rags that were the bread and butter for selling these stories quickly disappeared. Perhaps it was the quick succession of wars, perhaps it was a trend that simply went out of fashion, but ultimately it was at this time that the purely-commercial stuff disappeared.

A bottle-neck effect occurred, and science fiction became very academic very quickly.

One of my favorite parts of science fiction is how each book is a product of its generation. Each story talks about the fears, the dreams, the ideals of its society. Starship Troopers portrays intergalactic conflict as an inevitable march of progress. We have to break a few eggs to make an omelet. After Vietnam, after the economic and tonal shift, Haldeman’s book was published. The Forever War’s stance on war is probably best summed up by this quote:

“The 1143-year-long war had begun on false pretenses and only because the two races were unable to communicate.
Once they could talk, the first question was ‘Why did you start this thing?’ and the answer was ‘Me?”





In Stone

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It’s easy to forget things. It’s easy to misremember. But there are some cases where people say things that… Just aren’t true.


And you’ve gotta wonder… can you rewrite the facts?

I’ve already written about how easy it is to become politically polarized and ignore the truth, but comments like this are on a whole other level of… alternative facts. However, this isn’t just offering an alternative view on what happened, it’s denying what’s happened.

When I saw this headline, I immediately thought of Man in the High Castle, by Phillip K. Dick.

I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Phillip K. Dick. His work and Goodreads Quotes smack of a little too much elitism, and his prose is too dense for me. However, I’d be ignorant myself to say that he hasn’t significantly influenced the genre of science fiction.

Man in the High Castle is a story within a story, in that it is the story of an alternative history that portrays a world conscious of it’s alternative status. It follows several different characters and their adventures through post-WWII America- if the Axis powers had won. Maybe you’ve seen the Amazon Original, which I’ve been told is very good.

However, I can’t truly analyze the two situations, Spicy’s gaff and Man in the High Castle,  because ultimately in one they are ultimately aware of the fact that they are in an alternate history, and in the other they don’t.

So that’s it. That’s all I have.


blog headerI’ve seen a lot of scathing remarks over the years about “PC language.” Usually in reference to someone defending the rude or degrading comment they just made. They follow it up with the idea that somehow being politically correct limits their ability to freely express themselves. For the sake of discussion, I’m going to argue that the language we use is important, and that it does influence how we interact in society. One doesn’t usually categorize “Chik-Lit” as quality reading. The genre, usually written by women, is defined by the female-centered plot, sexual intrigue, girl-time and happy endings. Take The Handmaiden’s Tale for an example. 

The Handmaiden’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is about a woman in a repressive regime that actively treats women as property. The narrator is a “handmaiden,” a fertile woman who has been given to one of the “commanders” of this regime to have his children. Fertility is a prized commodity, and handmaidens are viewed as spiritual icons in this extremely religious government. This is not the point of the story, however.  I’ve been putting off writing this blog post because, quite frankly, this book scared the shit out of infographic

It’s set in an alt-history 1990s. It narrates how quickly society devolved into a place where women have to cover their toes and certain women must cover their faces. A quote from the beginning sums up this new social order quite nicely:

“There is more than one kind of freedom,” said Aunt Lydia. “Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from.” Freedom from sexual assault. Freedom from paying taxes. Freedom from choosing a husband. Freedom from making their own decisions.

The narrator describes how one day she was simply laid off from her job, and the next cut off from her bank account, and how change happened so quickly based simply on who held the power in congress. The book is deliberately vague about what happened. Instead, she focuses on how seemingly powerless women were to fight back, how there was no one person to protest against, how the men seemed to sit by and let this happen. 

The concerns of women are nudged aside casually, almost imperceptibly.

After her bank account is frozen, the narrator’s husband comes home from his job and comforts her, “I’ll take care of you.” The narrator’s husband has no idea what his own wife is feeling, and says the thing she least wants to hear. There is a disconnect established between the sexes in this book that feels very real. I think this gets much closer to what the conflict of the novel is about.

vP4fM4mOur narrator is eventually smuggled to safety, and within the last few pages it’s revealed to the reader that these were ‘recordings’ that have survived over time and are now in the hands of academics who study the struggle of the narrator. They have just given a presentation on the history of this anti-woman regime and the lecturer is giving closing remarks. He jokes about her plight. They question the validity of the story, despite the recordings.

Despite the harrowing experience we just read, the narrator’s honesty is still being questioned by these academics separated by space and time. And that is what frightened me about this book.

It’s often said that female experiences aren’t valid until a man experiences them. For example, this thread on Twitter:

Do you think a woman writing about the same thing would be given as much consideration? If I know the internet- and I do – her experience would be subject to endless vetting. Maybe he just had an easy week. Maybe he has more experience. Maybe you just need to deal with it. Maybe you could work faster. When was the last time you got a raise?

Though that might be unfair. The internet is a hostile place to be a woman. I saw enough backlash on my Facebook feed to know that people thought the Women’s March was too much.  “Don’t women know they already have equal rights?” But not the right to march in support of other women, apparently. Of course, to have the right and to have the support are two totally different things.

It’s like “Freedom to” and “Freedom from.” They’re both freedoms, sure, but their meanings are very different.

Black and Blue and Purple

headerMarvel’s Jessica Jones is a bit more recent than most classic science fiction shows, and most might not even call it a classic. It’s too new, and that’s fair. However, the more I go back over the Netflix Originals, the more I see the rewatchability of them, and I think these shows will be watched for a long time coming. Jessica Jones was the next show to air after Daredevil, and generally thought of as the more drama-heavy of the two, dealing with far more serious subject matter in a more complicated way.

For example: Abortion. Don’t see that in very often in the MCU. It’s also got women writers- more than any other Marvel-Netflix show. 

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*Ratios calculated on first seasons alone

But my favorite thing about Jessica Jones is how it portrays all the messed up things that come with leaving an abusive relationship.

As a quick summary, Jessica Jones, titular character, has recently left the clutches of Kilgrave, AKA the Purple Man. He’s not actually purple in the show, it’s more like a calling sign. Kilgrave has the power of mind-control, and is made of pure evil.

Jessica Jones covers the PTSD, the fear and paranoia, and the lasting harm an abusive relationship has without giving over into Lifetime-movie-esque victimization. Jessica Jones, the detective, is nobody’s victim, despite having been put through serious trauma. And this is addressed by more than just her brusque and sarcastic attitude-, she actively fights against Kilgrave even though she’s clearly scared shiffless about him. She plots to take him out, like any hero would. 

That’s another thing: most heroes don’t know their enemies. They have to figure it out by following the clues and then in the last few episodes somewhere there’s this big showdown. Usually two. Jessica Jones knows exactly who the enemy is, and she knows exactly what he is capable of, but instead of making the tension boring or allowing the viewer to becoming uninvested, this actually creates more tension. We are more invested because nothing is being hidden from us.

Jessica Jones doesn’t treat the viewer as stupid. The plot-twists aren’t predictable nor are they out of left-field, the tactics used by the hero aren’t completely naive or flimsy (looking at you, Iron Fist) and the viewer isn’t mollycoddled about what an evil man with mind-powers will do. It goes beyond, “Oh, he made me give him my wallet.”

Jones knows this first-hand the power that Kilgrave wields. She has, in fact, lost to him before. But she got back up, and decided to try again. This is what makes Jessica Jones so good- this is history repeating itself, but we are all the more engaged for it, and still rooting for the loser. We don’t pity Jones, we look up to her, even if she has lost before. 


Things You Can’t Unsee

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The City & The City
by China Melville is a weird one. It is both a crime novel and speculative fiction, telling the story of a police detective who lives in a city that lives within another city. The trick is that these two cities, with different cultures and histories, are mortal enemies. They can’t acknowledge each other. To see the other city, to acknowledge its existence, is a crime. Men in Black come and take you away. The story is as confusing and delightful as it sounds.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, especially since the inauguration. Specifically, since the viral inauguration pictures.

A Picture and Its Story: Crowd controversy: The making of an Inauguration Day photo

Since when were pictures taken at different times a matter of politics? As a matter of fact, when were facts so dependent on political party? Relations between the two parties and party lines have haven’t been so toxic since the eighties. So have we gotten to the point where we just… unsee the other side?

I am completely serious in drawing this comparison. Throughout the book, protagonist Detective Borlu notes the seemingly sourceless hostility between the two cities, chalking it up to cultural differences. A review in The Guardian by Michael Moorcock says, “Subtly, almost casually, Miéville constructs a metaphor for modern life in which our habits of “unseeing” allow us to ignore that which does not directly affect our familiar lives.” A summary of the play adapted from the novel on The Only Animal by describes the “big question” posed by the book as, “How do communities construct myths of belonging and exclusion?… Who and what do we choose to see and unsee in our day to day lives, and how does that affect our conception of our world?”

blog infographicCreating an echo-chamber reduces the ability to empathize. It was always ambiguous as to how the two cities grew apart. Could this have been how? Was it a simple matter of incompatible cultures? Is the book a metaphor for our need for a world that revolves around our viewpoint? How dangerous is the polarization of the American public, and how did it get to this point? There are many theories. Some similar to theories behind The City & the City, a split in the time-continuum notwithstanding.

For us, the theories most strongly supported are the deregulation of radio news and the shift of public taste from news programming to a more entertaining brand of information. People like to listen to people who are going to agree with them. With the rescindencion of the Fairness Doctrine this allowed more extreme and more niche radio and talking-head shows on cable TV.

People glom onto worldviews that conform with their own. The internet exacerbates whatever talk radio started and now provides a platform to whatever ideology someone adheres to, and this is compounded by the fact that anger is a whole lot more catchy than niceness. A study done by R. Kelly Garrett, Brian E. Weeks and Rachel L. Neo published in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication shows that people who consume sharply partisan news are less likely to admit they’re wrong even when presented with facts. The echo-chamber builds blinders without even making us aware of them. 

In the end, Detective Borlu becomes disillusioned with the separation between the two cities and actually meets The Men in Black characters that keep the cities separate. He is indoctrinated into them, because now he can’t unsee. He knows a whole other world exists, and now he can’t live in either. This whole “price of knowledge” trope has been excersized in science fiction since the first first story, Frankenstein’s Monster, and it echoes through every story ever written in the genre. Detective Borlu’s world changes because of his newfound knowledge. 

We think we know the other side so well because we live with it day after day. But do we even see it? And if we ever did visit the other side, could we come back the same?


F Word

fact or fiction or alternative fact

I am super into comics. I find myself trying to steer conversations towards them so that I can bring them up, and it’s a source of grief that the English department at my university has stopped teaching them. From my experience, one of the biggest barriers between people and comics is how insular the medium might seem.  I feel that most people think it’s all super-ripped white guys saving white ladies in short dresses, right?

Well, that’s not wrong.

Ms Marvel-kamalakhan
Marvel Comics

But now is the best time to be into comics. The industry is changing, slowly but surely, and we have reached a new golden age in comic storytelling. Kamala Khan became the first Muslim superhero in Ms. Marvel: No Normal (and if you’re looking for a place to start, I highly recommend starting there). Thor is a woman, Spiderman is Latino, America Chavez just went solo this month as a Latina LGBTQ superhero with two moms. There are some super exciting things coming out of DC’s Rebirth line. And Marvel and DC are the ones late to the party.

Image is probably the largest and best-known distributor of creator-owned comics. Creator-owned comics can get weird, but I find them generally much stronger in narrative than in re-hashed legacy characters. Creators can go where they feel the story needs to go, and they don’t have to worry about keeping the character alive for the next writer to pick up the character. This means they go places DC and Marvel can never go, and get downright nasty.

Bitch Planet was called a “feminist masterpiece” by the dude who taught the comics class I spoke of earlier. And it is. It’s fantastic. I ain’t even gonna lie.

Bitch Planet calls out all the teeny tiny patriarchal stuff that isn’t even supposed to matter in today’s society. We can vote, we can drive, we can buy our double-shot soy mocha-ciattos; women have nothing to worry about, right?

Wrong, says Bitch Planet. Wrong, wrong wrong. It is the Third Wave feminism that is skewered so often. The very industry that is so toxic to women I can’t even follow half of my favorite female creators on Twitter is the the same industry that produced this great feminist text. Let’s think about that a moment. Harassment is so bad for female creators that a great deal don’t even have social media accounts, yet women account for nearly 50 percent of comic readers. What’s going on here?

Image Comics

Feminism is sometimes treated as a dirty word, or a kind of radical misandry. Some misandrists do masquerade as feminists- I’ve met them, so I can’t say they aren’t real. But at the same time, and perhaps this is the fault of all “ism”s, feminism is painted with a broad brush. All feminists are empowered women. All feminists want men in chains. All feminists this – all feminists that- an entire belief system, with branches and sub-sects and disagreements, reframed in whichever pundit’s or talking head’s convenient argument, for or against.

It then becomes a game of exceptions. “It’s okay if you’re a feminist, as long as you shave your legs.” “Being a feminist is okay, as long as you don’t fight over pronouns.” If, But, Except. There’s a line being constantly drawn and redrawn around the definitions of what feminism means and what’s the acceptable way to practice it.

Why is Bitch Planet great? Because of the variety of women portrayed. It is fearless in its advocacy that feminism is important and the need for feminism is real, but it’s also inclusive of many different types of women and what their idea of empowerment is. Women disagree on what’s best in this comic, and women disagree on where women should stand in society. Now, this is an inherently complicated idea, and people can easily become angry or offended in it’s discussion. I think it works in Bitch Planet because it shows all these different women working together for one goal and fighting against the same evil: patriarchy.

Feminism is awesome- and it’s awesome for different reasons to different people. When we play the game of exceptions, it turns the ideology into a game of acceptability. What is acceptable? Equality for all. Period.

The Tin Hat Club


Wiki Commons and Nick Pitarra

For the half-way point of this journey, I wanted to take a minute and talk about a comic book. There are a lot of great science fiction comic books, and if you count super-heroes as

science fiction then there are tons of great science fiction comic books. Today, however, I’m going to be talking about one that isn’t. It’s a good comic book, but it’s not a great one, and while it deals with science as fiction, it isn’t science fiction.

The Manhattan Projects is a creator-owned comic written by prominent (for comics) writer Jonathan Hickman. Hickman specializes in twisty-tervy plots that einstein-and-harryonly just make sense, that have sub-plots within sub-plots, and a habit of messing with time. A lot of people love him. I think he’s okay, but I do love TMP. Volume one, “Science. Bad.” is a re-imagining of the Cold War as if we had met aliens along the way, and FDR was actually an AI. It’s goofy and incredulous and a lot of fun. Sometimes I think we forget to have fun in science fiction.

The comic itself is cheap satire. Presidents are exaggerated: JFK is a secret sex addict, FDR is constantly trying  to take over the organization, and scientists are too.

It’s often ridiculous but also hilarious. Maybe it’s the times we live in, but it also feels true. I like science fiction because it shows us what is through what could be. All the great stuff is basically a foil for the time it was written in.
And while TMP aren’t going to win a Nebula anytime soon, there’s something to be said for a comic book about aliens and presidents that can feel accurate.

Cardassia was never great

blog-header“Duet,” the 18th episode of Deep Space Nine, is often talked about as one of the finest pieces of television ever produced on Star Trek. To be honest, I was only humoring my boyfriend until this episode by watching Deep Space Nine.  I remember looking at him and him looking at me and us staring at each other, speechless, before turning back to the television.

The plot begins simple enough: Major Kira Nerys of Bajor thinks she has nabbed a war criminal from the Cardassian Occupation of her planet. And then it quickly becomes so much more complicated, in ways the viewer is not expecting. The episode is about dealing with a convoluted and painful past on both a personal and patriotic level. What will it take for Cardassia to admit it’s wrongdoings during the occupation? How will admitting guilt help anyone?

I watched this episode for the first time just weeks after Donald Trump was confirmed as the Republican Party’s pick for the presidential race. What incredible timing. Cardassia, in the show, has this conquerer-complex, in that it feels it must establish itself as a power within the Alpha Quadrant by colonizing other star systems. In this case, that meant Bajor. It was expelled, but only after forty years of occupation that was by no means peaceful or easy for the Bajorans. The whole, “Make America Great Again” slogan felt suspiciously similar to the Cardassian ideal of “retaking” what was once theirs.

So much of what the phrase “Make America Great Again” embodies isn’t just economic prowess, it’s also a twisted-kind of political pride. “Duet” is about the isolation that xenophobia and nationalism not only enforces, but creates. Major Kira practically hungers for retribution from her war criminal, so much so that Major Jadzia Dax, her best friend, starts to worry about her.

Kira says, “As far as I’m concerned, if he was at Gallitep [ a labor camp ], he is guilty. They’re all guilty. His punishment will let Bajor feel some… satisfaction.” She directly addresses her planet’s need for reparations. The occupation ended some time ago, but it still rebuilding from more than forty years of suffering.

Dax, the eternal voice of morality and long-term-consequences, says, “It sounds like you’re trying too hard to believe what you’re saying. You already know, if you punish him without reason, it won’t mean anything. And you already know, vengeance… isn’t enough.”

The war criminal isn’t who he says he is. In fact, he’s just a lowly file clerk, who worked for the infamous war criminal. He has surgically altered himself specifically for the purpose of being arrested and convicted in a Bajoran court. He feels the guilt of his inaction during the occupation, and sees the Bajoran need for closure.

We see Kira grow and understand that reconciling the two planets isn’t as simple as killing off a few war criminals. Instead, she tells Marritza to go back to Cardassia and be a voice for Bajor there.

“Make America Great Again” to me seems like a message of nostalgia. It also seems oversimplified. In “Duet,” Kira and Marritza together realize that to make a difference and heal their own country’s scars they must acknowledge their wrongdoings and aspire to a new ideal. Both cultures, of Bajor’s anger and Cardassia’s refusal to admit fault, need to change in order for both move on.

This is a powerful message of not only forgiveness, but the kind of galvanization that can’t fit on the brim of a trucker cap. It’s not black and white, or a matter of pretending nothing ever happened. What needs to happen between the fictional places of Bajor and Cardassia is much more complicated than that. So I can only imagine how difficult it would be for someone that’s real, like us.

Your Ticket Out of Here

snowpiercerThe middle class is stagnating. 2015 was the first year when the middle-class didn’t make up the largest economic demographic in America. It was a big part of the campaign for both sides, with Trump wanting to “bring back the jobs” and Bernie Sanders advocating for a minimum wage of $15. It is more and more difficult to climb that ladder and more and more expensive to buy a piece of the American Dream.

Snowpiercer, the movie, is about a train in a post-apocalyptic ice-world. The passengers’ stations in life are designated by their ticket. There is no advancement. There is no moving between train cars.

Mason, the frigid mouthpiece for Conductor says: “In the beginning, order was proscribed by your ticket: First Class, Economy, and freeloaders like you… Now, as in the beginning, I belong to the front. You belong to the tail.”

One of the biggest ideas in America is the ability to move up in the class system. It’s not Jacobian Europe, where someone has to be born into the middle class. And yet, it’s obviously not a perfect system either. Money buys good schools and good schools mean more money. Those without the advantage of a private school or a very good public school have to work a little harder. That’s the basic essence of privilege, a term I’m sure we’re all familiar with. This doesn’t mean that life is easy for those who go to a good public school or private school, because life is always hard. But it’s a way to acknowledge that certain chances are statistically more likely to happen to those of a certain income bracket. They can afford intangible things like gap years or second chances. Not necessarily an easy ride, but a ride with safety nets and airbags.

Snowpiercer is more than a story about class, it’s about class mobility. The protagonists have to literally fight their way to the front of the train, dying off one by one until only one man remains to meet the conductor. It’s not even as if the people closer to the engine of the train believed the people towards the back deserved to suffer and starve. They simply believe those in the back of the train are freeloaders, and are lucky to get what they have. They eat bug-jelly made in vats that the “middle-carriage” people supply the poor. The “last carriage” people live by the grace of others. Resources are scarce. The train can only support so many people.

In the end, the protagonist who reaches the end of the train manages to destroy it. He judges that society doesn’t deserve to perpetuate itself if others must suffer under such circumstances. Talking to other people who had watched the movie, some were confused and angry. The characters were presumably the last people on Earth, so surely such suffering was necessary? Though the fact that the system needed to be destroyed and be rebuilt I imagine the writers and director intended this as a metaphor

I think this is a very absolute view of a very nuanced problem. It’s not a simple matter of “haves” and “haves-nots,” it’s also a matter of “wants” and “shoulds” and “needs.” The fact that the middle class is stagnating is a very disturbing problem, but it’s one we need to approach with a flexible mindset. The story of Snowpiercer is, after all, pure fiction.

The Infinite Appetite


A study by Alan Berinsky in the British Journal of Political Science says that repeating a rumor, even a confirmed false one, only increases its power. This was especially prevalent in an election that saw “fake news” actually enter the mainstream conversation. No longer is this just a thing that hardcore journalists worry about. The president writes it in all caps on his Twitter.

Kids don’t want to read cold, objective journalism anymore. In the study conducted by Regina Marchi, teenagers want more personalized, “authentic” journalism. We are told to brand ourselves, as journalists and creators. We have to compete against cute kitty-cats and THE WORLDS BEST BACKFLIP for clicks. That’s something I’m sure Edward R. Murrow hadn’t been prepared for.

Aldous Huxley’s science fiction classic Brave New World talks about a society in which the government will not have to censor the public, because the public won’t care. It does not feel so deeply as to hurt itself, it is not moved so deeply as to change, it is not angered so deeply as to know that something is wrong. People have accepted the lives they are given because they are good lives. Well, good enough. “And if ever, by some unlucky chance, anything unpleasant should somehow happen, why, there’s always soma to give you a holiday from the facts.”

If someone doesn’t want to listen to a news organization who called the demagogue an honest man, they don’t have to. Turn the channel. Close the browser. Hit that handy little block button. Better yet, move on to the next website, who calls the demagogue a tyrant. The academics call this “self-selection bias.”

Our reach is incredible. Our voices can be heard almost everywhere. Edward R. Murrow said, “The speed of communications is wondrous to behold. It is also true that speed can multiply the distribution of information that we know to be untrue.”

And there have been attempts to safeguard against it. There have been news networks that have tried and tried to steer the conversation towards something resembling clarity again, whether by annotating speeches or going so far as to give “Pants On Fire” awards.
However, there is another quote that I think is a nice reflection against Murrow. It’s from Brave New World as well, and summarizes why all these safeguards and all this effort seems to just fly over the heads of those who need to hear it most. “In a word, they failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.”


by Stuart McMillan