Archive for January, 2009

h1

Pot and Kettle: A Conversation

January 29, 2009

Um Twin…I don’t mean to pot and kettle you here, but did you just write a post telling me that my last entry had been rather thin in the content department and then proceed to give a list of names as the extent of your literary analysis.

I’d like to just sit here for a second and enjoy the irony.

Ok that’s done (I hope that was irony…I’m never sure if I really know what irony is…I blame Teaching Mrs. Tingle).

Yeah the naming continues…A Benito, a somebody Engels…blah, blah, blah.  I get it, Communism won, pass me some Soma.

I’m waiting for Bernard Marx to bust out as this futuristic dystopia’s Winston or Montag…but Aldous is taking his sweet time…Bernard at a sing-along(that club is definitely lacking some glee–those songs made my soul hurt.)…Come on start bringing down this ramshackle society!

I think Chapter 6 is where this story is really going to get going (I hope, oh for all that is good, I hope).

Reading on,

Jon

h1

What’s In a Name

January 27, 2009

To stick with the “funny” theme of your last post, I couldn’t help but finding it “funny” that for all your talk of being so far ahead of me in Brave New World your last post was awful heavy on Duets (Who can blame you!) and mini tacos (Ok, again, who can blame you!!) and not a lot of talk about this crazy, messed up Brave New World.

I mean, I am not saying anything, but its interesting…very interesting.

So, am I alone in noticing, shall we say, a certain thematic (or ideological?) connection to the names of the characters we’ve met so far in the book. Let’s see by my count we’ve met the following New World-ers so far:

Lenina Crowne
Bernard Marx
Polly Trotsky

Hmm…what could possibly be the common tie between these names? Any revolutionary ideas? What’s next Stalin Peters? 

Okay, so I’ve only read a few pages in chapter 3, and I am not likely  to read too much more tonight. It’s Ernest Borgnine night on Turner Classic Movies, and when Ernie Borgnine’s on the TV, I’m a-watching!

Talk to you after my Marty Party.

Justin

h1

It’s A Little Bit Funny

January 24, 2009

It’s funny to me, twin, of what you think about when you read.  You read of horrific brain washing techniques and you think of wonderful duets sung by highly unlikely duos…when I read of the flower aversion therapy I thought to myself, “They’re electrocuting babies.”

…Okay I wasn’t.  I actually had “Cruisin'” by Huey Lewis and Gwynneth Paltrow going through my head.  Looks like we’re not so different after all.

Because that was another wonderful duet by an unlikely duo (really unlikely, right?  And really wonderful).  I think I’m going to Netflix Duets right now.  (Paul Giamatti + karaoke = Fred Claus, forgiven).

Tonight I came home from work and microwaved myself some mini tacos (you know how I love my food miniaturized)…anyway now my entire apartment smells like mini tacos…still!  It’s been hours since I cooked those up.  I bet Lenina never has this problem.

Anyway its hard to focus on Huxley when you’re beset by the aroma of mini tacos.  

But I’m not apologizing because I’m still ahead of you…just wait till you get to the end of chapter three the quick cuts from scene to scene gets a little antic…like someone slipped some Soma in my soda.

Well I’m going to aerate and then I’ll bend back the cover of my Brave, New World…or go to sleep.  Who knows?!  The world = my oyster!

Adieu,

Jon

h1

You Don’t Bring Me Flowers

January 23, 2009

No worries Twin Brother the title to this post is not an indictment of your botanical thoughtlessness. Instead I confess that as I was reading about the “Neo-Pavlovian” conditioning going on in chapter 2, the dulcet tones of Neil Diamond and Barbara Streisand earnestly duet about lost love started running through my mind.

Which, by the way, only added to the creepiness of chapter 2.

For all the sinister creepiness of the state-run conditioning that goes on this book. (And believe you me, creepy it is.) I am also struck again and again by the funny moments.

C’mon, it’s a little bit hilarious that they condition certain individuals to hate flowers. And then there’s the demarcation of time as “After Ford” or A.F. Not only that but they make the sign of the T (as in “Model T”) on the stomachs in particularly pious moments.

This of course all culminates in the final line of chapter 2:

“‘Oh, Ford!’ he said in another tone, ‘I’ve gone and woken the children.'”

The other question I have been asking myself during the early reading is if I was living in “After Ford”-Aldous Huxley what would I be. Would I be  a grey-wearing Alpha? A khaki sporting Delta?

Oh, Ford! I just can’t figure it out.

Justin

h1

Corrections

January 21, 2009

First, dear twin, there would not be 96 yous and 96 mes there would be 96 people (total) with our exact DNA…and as we prove only too well identical DNA does not make for the same person…so the Trivial Pursuit game would be anyone’s guess…I’m sure there would be some of us that are going to rock the orange wedge, while others of us may struggle answering such questions as “Who has the record for the most stolen bases in the American Division of the National Baseball League?”  (My guess: Ricky Henderson. Or Nolan Ryan).

Second…I’m not completely hopeless at Sports and Leisure (I have too many Trivial Pursuit victories for that to be the case)…I just have to wait around for the “leisure” portion to pop up…or questions about Major League Golf (Lee Trevino for the wedge!).

And…you may have thought Chapter One was a little…sterile.  But just wait until Chapter 2–things start to get a little freaky!  There’s some baby torture and children are being taught fornication games.  Aldous Huxley is proving to be one wild son of a gun!

And…we finally get some characters.  I’m most happy that Lenina (she of the coral smile and metaphor-heavy name) makes a return appearance and it looks like she may be one of our main characters!

I think after another chapter or two I’ll some thought provoking questions to ask, but currently I’m still trying to wrap my head around this world and hypnopaedia and their multi-level social hierarchy.

Still trying to keep the Deltas and Gammas straight,

Jon

h1

What, in the “World”

January 20, 2009

Wow. Baby-making in chapter one. For most books that would be a prime indication that we were in for a steamy, PG-13+ read.

Not so here.

That’s got to be one of the least sexy procreation scenes ever written. White coveralls? The “Fertilization Room”? Eighty-eight cubic metres of card-index? Nothing says “sexy” like cubic meter after cubic meter of card-index.

It’s like sex meets the assembly line…and the assembly line wins.

You’re right. Identical twins = conformity?!?! I don’t like that. Not one bit. Apparently Aldous Huxley must never have met an identical twin (or rather identical twins) in his life.

The hypothetical Trivial Pursuit match you mention is an intriguing idea. Although then one of the 96 copies of me would quickly realize that not one of the 96 copies of you could answer a Sports and Leisure question to save your life, and would then proceed to trounce you.

Not unlike in real life.

Game on,
Justin

h1

Brave New Jon

January 17, 2009

So Twinner I’ve started our newest read, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

Here’s what I like:

  1. The idea of ninety six identical twins…can you imagine the amazing awesome-ness of 96 people with our identical DNA.  Mind blowing.  Think of the games of Trivial Pursuit–epic!
  2. Lenina…”One could see that, for all the lupus and the purple eyes, she was uncommonly pretty”  AND “Her smile flashed redly at him–a row of coral teeth”.  Oh Aldous I like you already!  Except if this ends up being some kind of allegory for communism and you named this girl Lenina…I may demand my money back.

 

Here’s what I don’t like:

  1.  Identical twins as a metaphor for intolerance and conformity.  Our DNA may be the same, but come on we’re as different as a Red Delicious Apple and a Granny Smith (you of course being the Granny Smith).  And I think if there were 96 of us we’d all be unique individuals with our own likes and dislikes…although it would be nice if one of our new 96 twins liked to discuss cat mysteries with me…(wistful sigh)
  2. The science…what’s going on in this factory!?!
  3. Absence of an anchoring character…who’s the protagonist in this book…I thought it might be Foster but he disappears in Chapter 2.  C’mon Aldous…it’s like putting on jeans but forgetting the underwear reading this book!

Well those are my thoughts upon entering this Brave New Book.  I look forward to hearing what you think!

Salutations,

Jon