I did manage, thank God, to go out last night, but it was on all accounts it was rather boring. It scored my a bit of a hangover, which combined with a bit of natural lazyness meant that today I decided to do nothing but read and work on some personal things. Most of which are on no interest. Having finished reading Huxley’s Island, I wrote my brother an email about it.
I wanted to thank you again for the gift. Over the past few years both Mom and Dad have hesitated about giving me books as gifts, despite the fact that they are always welcome and appreciated as far as gifts go. I guess I reached a threshold where, in mom and dad’s eyes, I have become too well read for them too shock me with books. I think I am far from that point, and I also think that to be well read is not something you achieve, but something you painstakingly maintain. That being said, I really do appreciate both this book, and the one that you got before me, and I appreciate that you gave them to me without to many screams of ‘Haven’t you read everything yet?’
Complaints aside, I am writing to tell you that today, after a long night of drinking last night, I finished reading Huxley’s Island. I found the book to be rather enjoyable, and it makes me wonder whether or not I should reread Brave New World. I read it when I lived in Boston and I am entirely unsure about whether I really had the maturity to enjoy it at that age. It certainly could use a reread. It is a strange sentiment to have, considering memory (and I have long ago learned not to always trust memory) recount my having enjoyed Brave New World.
Huxley was rather ambitious with this novel, and perhaps to much so. I think you would agree that it is not so much a novel as a philosophical treatise about, at the most basic level, political philosophy. I am going to ramble off a little about things I have pretty much just finished learning for an Ideologies class, so please forgive me. By Political I mean not Politics, which is the every day happenings of life and politicians, but about a theory of conflict. It is, oddly enough, the word Politics whose etymological meaning is something to the affect of ‘How to get along in the city’, but in academics these things tend to get inversed. So what I was saying was that Huxley has written a theory of a society that gets along. It is in a respect a Utopian novel, despite the fact that we see the bulldozers at the tail end of it, ready to knock down paradise. I see how this stand along side BNW, but if this was supposed to be a model of how a utopian society should be, i think it falls short. Mostly this is because I do not see the possibility of a Utopian society, ever. Huxley seems to lament not progress, but the massive amount of waste and all other non necessities that accompany the society we currently live in. And while I agree on many respects about how he sees this society and its future (better argumented in BNW) I dont really see how this society would function at a global scale.
People nowadays argue heavily against globalization, in that it has a very unfair distribution of resources (and in turn, wealth). What Huxley is arguing here is for is globalization’s opposite, localization. The problem with this that it requires that each community have enough resources to maintain itself. And while we may all live by our means, we may desire more. Each community can recognize how much food it can produce, but does every community have enough silicone to maintain something like a personal world wide web. Likely not.
But the bigger problem is in human nature. We are all possessive in our nature, and that possesiveness is rather deep seeded. And, despite the way this society is structured, at some point someone will simply want something that they cannot have. We saw a bit of this in the case of the young girl who feel in love with the Raja who wanted nothing to do with her, but I think I disagreed with the extent of her getting over it. People do not easily get over things, and blessed are those who do. I sometimes still think about a relationship that failed five damn years ago. If I had another chance, what would I do of it? Probably nothing, but I am (and here you will disagree with me) rather tame in my temperament. What would a worse person do? A society presented as this one is does not take into account the massive amounts of differences in taste that naturally occur within individuals. We have people like Hipsters, who will only like things based on its obscurities. And then again, we have large people who like whatever is presented to them in terms of music and arts. And I think this represents a lot about how people function in society. Some will want to be a part of it simply because everyone else is, and others will want to be apart from it simply because everyone else is a part of it.
I could go on, but my energy for one writing is just about spent.
How have you been since returning to S-? We really didnt have a chance to chat much, and I recognize that on this trip it was largely my fault, but what can I say, I needed out of V-.
Hope all is well, drop me a line when you can.
And thank you again.
Papers left to write: 2
Homework assignments left to turn in: 0 (I think)
Pages completed of my thesis: Just broke pg 1 ( about 1.478 words )