Book Quote of the Day: And Then There Were None

  

Ten little Indian boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there where Nine.

Nine little Indian boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were Eight.

Eight little Indian boys travelling in Devon; One said he’d stay there and then there where Seven.

Seven little indian boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in halves and then there were Six.

Six little indian boys playing with a hive; A bumble bee stung one and then there were Five.

Five little Indian boys going in for law; One got into Chancery and then there were Four.

Four little indian boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were Three.

Three little Indian boys walking in the Zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were Two.

Two little Indian boys sitting in the sun; One got frizzled up and then there was One.

One little Indian boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself and then there were None.

And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie, 1939

Book Quote of the Day: The Sea of Trolls

  

Don’t be angry,” the Bard said. “Most people live inside a cage of their own expectations. It makes them feel safe. The world’s a frightening place full of glory and wonder and, as we’ve both discovered, danger. Flying isn’t for everyone.

– Bard, The Sea of Trolls, Nancy Farmer, 2004

My Favorite Movies: 30-21

More and more animated films will leak onto my list. Just a heads up. 

  
30. Rebecca (1940)

This is one of the few times where I loved the movie more then the book. Based on French author Daphne du Maurier’s novel Rebecca, many critics and Hitchcock fans consider this film to be one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best. I have to agree with them. It is the way Hitchcock handled the material. He changed the ending and kept the main antagonist Rebecca hidden throughout. Not even a picture of the chilling beauty appeared. 
  

The tragedy of this story is the fate of the main character, the new Mrs. De Winter. Despite her love, there was the nagging omen Rebecca causing her to doubt her worth. By the end, it is too late to bring back her far away lost look and innocence. The love story takes a long time to unfold but by its end it feels so real. Not everything is what it’s seems but that is where the brilliance shines the better.  

Favorite Quote(s): 

1. Maxim de Winter: I can’t forget what it’s done to you. I’ve been thinking of nothing else since it happened. It’s gone forever, that funny young, lost look I loved won’t ever come back. I killed that when I told you about Rebecca. It’s gone. In a few hours, you’ve grown so much older.

2. Maxim de Winter: You thought I loved Rebecca? You thought that? I hated her!

3. Mrs. de Winter: [about her father] He had a theory that if you should find one perfect thing, or place or person, you should stick to it. Do you think that’s very silly? 

Maxim de Winter: No, I’m a firm believer in that myself.

 
29. Life of Pi (2012) 

This film is impossible to make without computer effects. Yet, it does not feel computer generated. The story is meant to make you believe in God. I think “make” is the wrong word. There is nothing in this world that can make one believe in God and stay true to Him. No, it does it into another way. But that is the personal journey. 
  

It is rare for a film to be so openly spiritual. Yet, I believe there is beauty hidden in it if only people will lift their eyes from the shield of doubt. It is obvious why I love this story so. To believe takes an open heart. And those  who go through such hard trials come out the stronger if they endure it well. I know to believe is not popular but when has popularity ever supported truth? 

Favorite Quote(s): 

1. Adult Pi Patel: So which story do you prefer? 

Writer: The one with the tiger. That’s the better story. 

Adult Pi Patel: Thank you. And so it goes with God. 

2. Santosh Patel: We will sail like Columbus. 

Pi Patel: But Columbus was looking for India!

3. Adult Pi Patel: Faith is a house with many rooms. 

Writer: But no room for doubt? 

Adult Pi Patel: Oh plenty, on every floor. Doubt is useful, it keeps faith a living thing. After all, you cannot know the strength of your faith until it is tested.
  
28. Jesus of Nazareth (1977)

Technically this is a miniseries commissioned by the Roman Catholic Church. There were many big name actors and actresses throughout including Laurence Olivier and James Mason. But I did not know those famous people when I saw it as a child. This a powerful watch. Some may say it is a bloated push to force Christ at people. But again, this is a situation where the message and beauty is there if people are willing to see it. 
  

Though it is impossible to truly portray Christ, because only imperfect people can play him, there is power in revisiting his life and ministry. My family and I watched this every Easter and it implanted deeply in me a spiritual perspective on the season. 

Favorite Quote(s):

1. Pontius Pilate: Do you realize I have the power to release you or have you crucified? 

Jesus Christ: You wouldn’t have had that power over me if it hadn’t been given to you from above.

  
27. Song of the Sea (2014)

Though I also like Secret of Kells, the beauty and innocence of this film struck me hard the first time I saw it. There is no antagonist nor any impressing doom. What permeates, is this sad feeling that old things are passing away. I have always had a strong love of old tales and cultures. Irish folktales have a particularly somber tone. Yet, there is reprise and happiness found at the film’s end. 
 

There is beauty in childhood innocence and true love. It is funny how alongside great sadness there is always found great happiness. Perhaps that is why I love this story. I watched a show once called Kino’s Journey (2003). The premis is “The world is not beautiful therefore it is beautiful.”. I think the same can be said about this movie. Bronagh must leave behind her husband and son for the sea. But there’s love still there. That is much makes the journey in this film so memorable. 

Favorite Quote(s):

1. Bronagh: My son, remember me in your stories and in your songs. Know that I will always love you, always. 

 26. Hotarubu no Mori E (2011)

Before I saw this movie, I saw a short video on YouTube dedicated to it. I wept. Then I saw the movie and cried again. It had been a long time since a story had touched me so. The story centers around a girl named Hotaru who meets a young man Gin who is trapped between life and death. He cannot touch her or else he will disappear from her world. 

 This film shows that love is not dependant on physical interaction. The fruit of love is companionship and friendship. It was hard to see two people growing together and loving yet separated by unimaginable forces. But there was more beauty and love shown in this obscure animated film then I have seen in a long time. Though I cried for their inevitable parting, something in me knew it was a wonderful thing. In The Return of the King (1955) Gandalf said, “I will not say do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.” In seeing this film, I believe him. 

Favorite Quote(s):

1. Hotaru: Gin, I thought of you during the winter. Even during autumn and spring. Gin, don’t forget about me.”

2. Hotaru: Time may separate us someday. But, even still, until then, let’s stay together. 

3. Gin: I can’t wait for summer to come around. When I’m away from you, even though I can’t be around crowds, I want to go see you.

4. Hotaru: I probably won’t be able to look forward to summer for a long time. My chest will hurt. My tears will be overflowing. But this warmth in my hands and these summer memories will live on in my heart. 

  
25. Coraline (2009)

I love creepy children’s films like this. I believe that is my German soul speaking to me. I think this is because I love to see evils like the other mother be defeated. The original novel written by Neil Gaiman painted a startling picture of a more modern day boogie man. It also shows that children are often more perceptive than adults to the evils that surround us. That is the tragedy of our age. The child is being driven out by our media and grown ups become all the more oblivious at an earlier age. 
  

The imagery is so colorful and out of all the still motion pictures made I think this is the most beautiful visually.  I also like how “not” childish this movie feels. It does not rely on corny jokes or dating references. It tells a story about temptation and finding that what we always wanted is more often sitting right in front of us. 

Favorite Quote(s): 

1. Coraline Jones: How can you walk away from something and then come towards it? 

Cat: Walk around the world. 

Coraline Jones: Small world.

2. Miss Forcible: [reading tea leaves] Well, not to worry, child: It’s good news. There’s a tall, handsome beast in your future. 

Coraline Jones: A what? 

Miss Spink: Miriam, really, you’re holding it wrong. See? Danger! 

Coraline Jones: What do you see? 

Miss Spink: I see a very peculiar hand. 

Miss Forcible: I see a giraffe. 

Miss Spink: Giraffes don’t just fall from the sky, Miriam. 

Coraline Jones: Well, what should I do? 

Miss Spink: Never wear green in your dressing room. 

Miss Forcible: Acquire a very tall step-ladder.
  
24. The Incredibles (2004)

Ahhhh I remember when this came out. This is yet another film I watched with my brother Spencer. The trailers made us laugh so hard! A sign of a great movie is one that makes you never forget the first time you saw it. There was something so human about this one. It is about a man stuck between a life he used to have as a superheroe and the daunting, dull life he thinks he has. 
  

One of the most powerful moments is when he hears his wife on the receiver at Syndrome’s lair and his family’s supposed death. There, he thinks he has lost everything he loves and unashamedly weeps. That was the time when he realized his family was the treasure he had been seeking all along. It is funny, cleverly written and a remarkable addition to the  super hero film genre. 

Favorite Quote(s):

1. Lucius: Honey? 

Honey: What? 

Lucius: Where’s my super suit? 

Honey: What? 

Lucius: Where – is – my – super – suit? 

Honey: I, uh, put it away. 

[helicopter explodes outside]

Lucius: *Where*? 

Honey: *Why* do you *need* to know? 

Lucius: I need it! 

[Lucius rummages through another room in his condo]

Honey: Uh-uh! Don’t you think about running off doing no daring-do. We’ve been planning this dinner for two months! 

Lucius: The public is in danger! 

Honey: My evening’s in danger! 

Lucius: You tell me where my suit is, woman! We are talking about the greater good! 

Honey: ‘Greater good?’ I am your wife! I’m the greatest *good* you are ever gonna get!

2. Bob: Weren’t you in the news? Some show in, Prayge… Prague? 

Edna: Milan, darling. Milan. Supermodels. Heh! Nothing super about them… spoiled, stupid little stick figures with poofy lips who think only about themselves. Feh! I used to design for *gods*!

3. [Bob is explaining an insurance policy loophole to a Mrs. Hogenson]

Bob: [whispering] Listen closely. I’d like to help you but I can’t. I’d like to tell you to take a copy of your policy to Norma Wilcox on… Norma Wilcox, W-I-L-C-O-X… on the third floor, but I can’t. 

[Mrs. Hogenson scribbles details of Bob’s loophole on a small notepad]

Bob: I also do not advise you to fill out and file a WS2475 form with our legal department on the second floor. I would not expect someone to get back to you quickly to resolve the matter. I’d like to help, but there’s nothing I can do.

4. Mr. Incredible: Wait here and stay hidden. I’m going in. 

Elastigirl: While what? I watch helplessly from the sidelines? I don’t think so. 

Mr. Incredible: I’m asking you to wait with the kids. 

Elastigirl: And I’m telling you, not a chance. You’re my husband, I’m with you – for better or worse. 

Mr. Incredible: I have to do this alone. 

Elastigirl: What is this to you? Playtime? 

Mr. Incredible: No. 

Elastigirl: So you can be Mr. Incredible again? 

Mr. Incredible: No! 

Elastigirl: Then what? What is it? 

Mr. Incredible: I’m not… 

Elastigirl: Not what? 

Mr. Incredible: Not… I’m not strong enough. 

Elastigirl: Strong enough? And this will make you stronger? 

Mr. Incredible: Yes. No! 

Elastigirl: That’s what this is? Some sort of work out? 

Mr. Incredible: [shouts] I can’t lose you again! [calms down]

Mr. Incredible: I can’t. Not again. I’m not s-strong enough. 

Elastigirl: [kisses him] If we work together, you won’t have to be. 

Mr. Incredible: I don’t know what will happen… 

Elastigirl: Hey, c’mon. We’re superheroes. What could happen?
  
23. Ratatouille (2006)

I did not like this movie as much the first watch. At the time, it never struck a chord with me. With further contemplation though, I came to love it. A movie about acceptance, companionship and family, it is told from the perspective of a rat Remi, who feels out of place with his family. 
  

I think I love it most for its end. Gusteau’s restaurant gets closed down, most of the workers abandon them and Anton Ego loses his place as France’s top food critic. All for believing in a rat. But where there is glitter there is gold. Remi, Linguini and Collette open a new restaurant, Ego visits often, a changed and happy man and Remy’s family finally embraces his talent. Sometimes what we need is not immediately apparent. More than not it is waiting behind a closed door. 

Favorite Quote: 

 [when the restaurant is empty Linguini and Colette bring Remy to meet Ego]

Remy: At first, Ego thinks it’s a joke. But as Linguini explains, Ego’s smile disappears. He doesn’t react beyond asking the occasional question. And when the story’s done, Ego stands, thanks us for the meal, and leaves, without another word. The following day, his review appears: 

Anton Ego: In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the *new*. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new: an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s famous motto, “Anyone can cook.” But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist; but a great artist *can* come from *anywhere*. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau’s, who is, in this critic’s opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau’s soon, hungry for more.

  
22. Stairway to Heaven (1947)

A funny sort of story is attached to this film. The first time I saw it, I was sitting next to my younger brothers who were playing a computer game. I started the movie and gradually within the next five minutes they forgot the game and squeezed next to me to find out what happens. A war film on the surface, what it is really about is a man who challenges his fate to be with a woman he came to love. 
  

The man, Peter Carter, falls from a burning plane into the ocean after talking to June, one of the workers for the USAAF. He survives because his angel misses him in the London fog. Once he wakes up he meets June, whom he had never personally met, and they both recognize each other and fall in love. This is yet another powerful love story I adore for its genuinity. There is definitely more to this movie then initially meets the eye and it is a deep look into humanity’s perspective on death and the mind.

Favorite Quote(s): 

1. Peter: [over radio] Where were you born? 

June: Boston. 

Peter: Mass.? 

June: Yes. 

Peter: That’s a place to be born, history was made there. Are you in love with anybody? No, no don’t answer that. 

June: I could love a man like you, Peter. 

Peter: I love you, June. You’re life and I’m leaving you.

2. The Judge: Members of the jury, as Sir Walter Scott is always saying… In peace, Love tunes the shepherd’s reed; In war, he mounts the warrior’s steed; In halls, in gay attire is seen; In hamlets, dances on the green. Love rules the court, the camp, the grove, and men below, and saints above; For Love is heaven, and heaven is Love. Will you please consider your verdict.

3. Abraham Farlan: You claim you love her. 

Peter: I do love her! 

Abraham Farlan: Can you prove it? 

Peter: Well give me time, sir. Fifty years will do. 

Abraham Farlan: But can you prove it? 

Peter: Well, can a starving man prove he’s hungry except by eating? 

Abraham Farlan: Would you die for her? 

Peter: I would, but, er, I’d rather live.
  
21. Wizard of Oz (1939)

1939 was an incredible year for films. Classics like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Gone with the Wind, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Stagecoach, The Hound of the Baskervilles and Love Affair are considered some of the greatest films ever done. My favorite however is The Wizard of Oz. The book really is not that memorable for me. It is this movie that established my dreams for adventure and magic. 
  

Timeless in its music, effects and acting I believe this is one of the few movies that is nearly perfect. This is not because there were no mistakes made here and there with the backgrounds or costume design. No, it is an enchanting, universal almost indescribable feeling that rests throughout it. Roger Ebert put it best in his review. 

The elements in “The Wizard of Oz” powerfully fill a void that exists inside many children. For kids of a certain age, home is everything, the center of the world. But over the rainbow, dimly guessed at, is the wide earth, fascinating and terrifying. There is a deep fundamental fear that events might conspire to transport the child from the safety of home and strand him far away in a strange land. And what would he hope to find there? Why, new friends, to advise and protect him. And Toto, of course, because children have such a strong symbiotic relationship with their pets that they assume they would get lost together.

. . . its underlying story penetrates straight to the deepest insecurities of childhood, stirs them and then reassures them. As adults, we love it because it reminds us of a journey we have taken.

That is also why The Heroes Journey works so well for us as people. It is the idea that when all the war and hardship is over there is a place we all can go to for peace. That is how I feel about this movie. It’s magic lies in its heart and it means the world to me. 

Favorite Quote(s): 

1.Scarecrow: First they [the Flying Monkeys] took my legs off and they threw them over there! Then they took my chest out and they threw it over there! 

Tin Woodsman: Well, that’s you all over!

2. Auntie Em Gale: Almira Gulch, just because you own half the county doesn’t mean that you have the power to run the rest of us. For twenty-three years, I’ve been dying to tell you what I thought of you! And now… well, being a Christian woman, I can’t say it!

Book Quote of the Day: The Count of Monte Cristo

  

Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into that storm and shout as you did in Rome. Do your worst, for I will do mine! Then the fates will know you as we know you.

-Abba Faria, The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas 1844-1845

Book Quote of the Day: The Hourglass Door

  

The river is now. This moment. This breath between us. The space between your heartbeats. The moment before you blink. The instant a thought flashes through your mind. It is everything that is around us. Life. Energy. Flowing, endlessly flowing, carrying you from then…to now…to tomorrow. Listen: you can hear the music of it. Of the passage of time.

-Dante, The Hourglass Door, Lisa Mangum, 2009

Book Quote of the Day: East

  

East of the sun and west of the moon. As unfathomable as the words were, I realized I must figure them out, reason it through. For I would go to this impossible land that lay east of the sun and west of the moon. From the moment the sleigh had vanished from sight and I could no longer hear the silver bells I knew that I would go after the stranger that had been the white bear to make right the terrible wrong I had done him…. All that mattered was to make things right. And I would do whatever it took, journey to wherever I must, to reach that goal.

-Rose, East, Edith Patou 2003 

Book Quote of the Day: Brave New World

  

‘But if you know about God, why don’t you tell them?’ asked the Savage indignantly.

‘Why don’t you give them these books about God?’

‘For the same reason as we don’t give them Othello: they’re old; they’re about God hundreds of years ago. Not about God now.’

‘But God doesn’t change.’

‘Men do, though.’

‘What difference does that make?’

‘All the difference in the world,’ said Mustapha Mond.

-Mustapha Mond and the Savage, Brave New World, Aldous Huxley 1931

Reflection on the World Today: What entertains us DEFINES us. 

  (The Thinker, by Auguste Rodin) 

These are just my personal thoughts. Many things have been nagging me for a long while now. There is no denying that often I feel alienated from those around me. Why do I feel this way?  It is not that I do not talk to people or have good relationships. No, it is something else altogether. I refuse to become part of the popular culture system.

  

What do I mean by this? I make my own opinions. Regardless of if something is widely considered great or not, if I do not like it I will not pretend in order to be accepted. Many great classic films like Titanic (1997) I abhor and my taste in books ranges from classic literature to manga, my opinions of each determined with equal scrutiny. In other words, while I can enjoy the dark Romanticism of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), with a simple mood turn I can become engrossed in the captivating series Mushishi (2000-2008). 

 (Cover art for Mushishi by Yuki Urushibara, 漆原 友紀)

But this just determines that I have different and eclectic tastes. What sets me apart then? Simply put, it is a guiding moral compass. I think deeply about what I allow into my brain. Every time I read a new book or watch a new film or TV series I ask myself, “What is it really trying to tell me?” (Aka the deceptive tool subliminal messaging.) 

I do not think people realize how much entertainment rules our lives. Yes, they think about it for two seconds after reading an inspiring quote about connecting more to family and nature on Twitter or Instagram. But does it really sink in? 

  

As many of you know, I was a music teacher in a middle school last year. I experienced first hand the detrimental effects bad entertainment has on people. I saw it through my students. They are constantly plugged in and though they have access to more information than in any other time period they use it to play games, watch Jennifer Lopez and some other chick rub their bodies against each other, and check the all too important status update. 

Trying to teach them about music proved to be insanely difficult. There was a constant demand from my kids to be entertained. If the lesson was not fun or engaging enough . . . I was not considered a good teacher. They made my life miserable.They were 13 and 14 years old and had little to know comprehension or experience in musical training. Classical music was automatically labeled boring. Anything more than six months old was obsolete. Their favorite artists included Wiz Kalifa and Two Chains. Rap was superior to Opera or Ballet. Why? Because it was hip. It was trending. It was popular. 

There is a problem with this. Unbeknownst to them, they are molding themselves after a flighty, aging and traitorous system. Let’s take for example the song “Anaconda” performed by Nicki Minaj. I heard it all over my classroom everyday. They asked me repeatedly if I could play it for them. I refused. They asked why. In return I asked if they knew what the song was about. With blank faces they shook their heads most of the time. 

  (Picture of Nicki Minaj from The Rolling Stones)

Here is one verse. (For the sake of my sanity I edited the swearing.) 

This dude named Michael, used to ride motorcycles

$&@! bigger than a tower, I ain’t talking about Eiffel’s

Real country-&@$ $&@6, let me play with his rifle

Pussy put his $&& to sleep, now he calling me NyQuil

Now that bang, bang, bang

I let him hit it ‘cause he slang cocaine

He toss my salad like his name Romaine

And when we done, I make him buy me Balmain

I’m on some dumb $&&@

By the way, what he say?

He can tell I ain’t missing no meals

Come through and $&&@ him in my automobile

Let him eat it with his grills, he keep telling me to chill

He keep telling me it’s real, that he love my sex appeal

Say he don’t like ‘em boney, he want something he can grab

So I pulled up in the Jag, Mayweather with the jab like

My anaconda don’t

My anaconda don’t

My anaconda don’t want none

Unless you got buns, hon

In less the ten sentences Miss Nicki advertised premarital sex with a random stranger, cocaine, NyQuil and even more than that. What do young kids hear? Catchy, catchy bass notes and other delightful noises mixed with rapping and a chorus they do not fully comprehend. 

But what sticks with them? For boys, to be a man you need a big $&!? and be good at sex. For girls, in order to be sexually attractive, you need a big butt. There is also a dominating push for girls to become sex objects. (Aka girls become that way so you can become a man’s toy. If you do then you will be wanted and accepted) There are even more horrible evils hidden in plain sight: drug references, horrible swearing, and an ultimate testament to lustful behavior. That is really what it is about. It states, quite plainly, that lustful relationships are the norm and should be accepted. 

And yet, it says nothing about the consequences: broken families, unplanned pregnancies, abortions, drug addiction, crushed self esteems, depression, suicide, divorce, inprisonment, murder, and the exponential count of children’s children caught in a cycle of self-destruction. 

Nicki Minaj is an icon, one to follow because it is popular to do so. She does scandalous things for attention and lives on the shock value of her actions and music. But it will not last. She will disappear and be replaced by another. That is how it works. But people are too concerned with the now to notice when people like her disappear. Ironically, this song is no longer popular or really remembered. People have moved on. 

  

Another example is the show Good Luck Charlie. Yes, there is the famous lesbian couple episode but I did not see that one. While I worked at a teen center, an episode came on with the family going to visit the place where the parents met. While there, they find out that they were never married at all. The show treats it as a funny misunderstanding. The first thought that came to me was “What have they done?”. The children did not feel bad about it or state the obvious problem: that their parents had been living a lie their entire lives. They simply had another marriage ceremony and moved on. 

The overwhelming message was very clear: you do not need marriage to have a family. Plain and simple. It bothered me. A lot. What does that teach children? What most do not want to admit is the negative effects the “no strings attached” attitude has on couples and children. What holds the relationship together? There are no boundaries of respect, no legal commitment, no MORAL commitment and it usually, no, most of the time ends horribly. Children need to be raised in a home with a mother and father. There are so many studies on it. But it is after the fact. The damage to our culture is already done. 

  

There was an excerpt I read in college by Neil Postman entitled Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business.  It opened my eyes to something I had never considered while reading Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1931). 

We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn’t, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares.

But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell’s dark vision, there was another – slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.” In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us.

The last sentence, “Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us.” is especially chilling. Everything Powell outlined here is all too real. It is happening. Now, under our very eyes and yet most are too blinded by self gratification to see it. It is frightening because it is reality. But most do not fear what they have become numb to

In the book itself, the character the Savage and the director Mustapha Mond engaged in a saddening conversation after the Savage sees the world outside his reserve. Disgusted, frightened and torn between his birth world and his mother’s “paradise” he challenges the director’s system of “stability”. 

‘But I like the inconveniences.’

‘We don’t,’ said the Controller. ‘We prefer to do things comfortably.’

‘But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.’

‘In fact,’ said Mustapha Mond, ‘you’re claiming the right to be unhappy. Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer, the right to have too little to eat; the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what may happen tomorrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured by unspeakable pains of every kind.’ There was a long silence.

‘I claim them all,’ said the Savage at last.

Mustapha Mond shrugged his shoulders. ‘You’re welcome,’ he said.


Brave New World, though I am loathe to admit it, is a book everyone needs to read. It is shocking, uncomfortable but the ultimate example of what I like to call “a how not to live” book. 

Stop and consider what entertains you. For it defines you. How? Because it shows what you deem acceptable, what you will allow to change you. It becomes an indespensible part of your personality. 

That is the biggest part of it. All these entertainments are merely a means for human beings to destroy themselves. That is what troubles me. 

It disturbs me that Fifty Shades of Grey is considered a beautiful love story. (Frankly, it is porn for women.) It concerns me that I need to worry about homosexuality and transgender characters slipping into mainstream animation. It irks me that Trainwreck is one of the highest grossing films this summer. 

But what troubles me most is that most do not care. We live in a troubling world. But what do we do about it? That is entirely up to us as individuals. The actions of one has a startling effect on the world. 

We must not allow our individuality to become overwhelmed by the majority. We must consider morality, goodness, and beauty above all else and not let amoral, evil and destructive forces purge us of what we instinctively know is right. 

  

In short, we must become as the lotus flower that rises above all these things,  pure and untouchable. 

‘One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water.’– Bhagavad Gita 5.10

I say this knowing full well the reprocutions. I believe in a Heavenly Father and his Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. I believe in morality. I believe in living a virtuous lifestyle. I am not and will never be ashamed of this. Because of His teachings, I have a happiness built on beauty and everlasting truth. 

Remember this from Brave New World. 

‘But if you know about God, why don’t you tell them?’ asked the Savage indignantly.’Why don’t you give them these books about God?’

‘For the same reason as we don’t give them Othello: they’re old; they’re about God hundreds of years ago. Not about God now.’

‘But God doesn’t change’

Men do though.’ 

‘What difference does that make?’

‘All the difference in the world.’

. . . Yes, we inevitably turn to God; for this religious sentiment is of its nature so pure, so delightful to the soul that experiences it, that it makes up to us for all our other losses.'” Mustapha Mond shut the book and leaned back in his chair. ‘One of the numerous things in heaven and earth that these philosophers didn’t dream about was this’ (he waved his hand), ‘us, the modern world. ‘You can only be independent of God while you’ve got youth and prosperity; independence won’t take you safely to the end.’ Well, we’ve now got youth and prosperity right up to the end. What follows? Evidently, that we can be independent of God. ‘The religious sentiment will compensate us for all our losses.’ But there aren’t any losses for us to compensate; religious sentiment is superfluous. And why should we go hunting for a substitute for youthful desires, when youthful desires never fail? A substitute for distractions, when we go on enjoying all the old fooleries to the very last? What need have we of repose when our minds and bodies continue to delight in activity? of consolation, when we have soma? of something immovable, when there is the social order?

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World