Jonny Parr 4th
"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." (Huxley 240)
Many people when hearing about dystopian societies just enjoy the books or movies that are often placed in some distant time, thinking to themselves “That’ll never happen.” Well I beg to differ. I believe that we are already living in a dystopian world. Not even as broad as that we are living in a dystopian America.
If we just take a moment and look back on how many things have changed since the 60’s and 70’s. We now have phones we can take with us wherever we go and can call people that are on complete opposite sides of the world, and not only that but our phones can bring us any information we desire to know just by touching a screen. Our phones are more powerful than the computers that were used in the Apollo spaceship. ("American Dystopia More Reality than Fiction." CBSNews. CBS Interactive, n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2013.) This is scary to think about at least for me because if we have this type of technology open to the public, what type of technology does the Govt. have that is secretive and being withheld from civilians.
I believe if someone from the 60’s were to travel in time to our age of technology they would be overwhelmed to see all of the advancements that we have made for the good and for the worse. Having them find out that we can kill people over millions of miles away by an unpiloted aircraft, a drone for Pete’s sake. Drones!!! Have you never watched or heard a Star Wars reference in your life, and we have them here…now! Our phones are also creating a social barrier between people we can’t even stand still and have a nice conversation with someone without looking at our phones and returning a text message or two.
Not only has Technology been turning America into a dystopian society, but so have people. For example the NSA watching us whenever they want and listening in on personal (private) phone calls. Monitoring us and keeping track of everything we do. Not only this but in the novel Brave New World, Huxley writes about casts and how people in certain casts’ can only perform certain jobs.(Brave New World, Huxley) This is true today as well, we have set up casts based on two different things one based upon income, wealth, and money. The second based upon race. We are all told that we’re each given an equal opportunity, but that’s not entirely true people take into account these two things and some people aren’t given the same chance because of their placement in the two casts.
Another form of America being dystopian, which has disturbed me since I found out about it is social security numbers. The govt. issues a number that identifies you, who you are, what cast you fall under. You have to use this number for anything dealing with the Govt. You can know this to be true if you’ve ever visited a hospital or doctor’s office. This number is how the Govt. keeps tract of you, just like a farmer keeps tract of his cattle. The farmer brands his cattle to identify they are his. Just like the farmer the Govt. has branded us with a number to identify we belong to them. If this does not prove we live in a dystopian America I do not know what will.
We have also been testing and experimenting with genetic mutation as seen in Brand New World.(Brand New World, Huxley) Huxley writes about in this futuristic world humans are no longer born they are made. Genetically mutated to fit their cast and help better society. We have successfully cloned animals, and engineered them to be the best of their breed and have less illnesses and disease than others like it. We have also been able to change the sex of babies in the womb, eye color, hair color, and other things that are moving closer and closer towards a total dystopian society like the one described in Brave New World.
I believe we as Americans live in a dystopian world that uses all the benefits and inventions and breakthroughs that we’ve made for our own personal benefit and not for the good of our people. We are obviously not like the hunger games selecting two tributes to fight to the death for their district, but we are dystopian none the less. Our country is changing and evolving into something different, something scary into a dystopian America.
This song by Phineas and Ferb is a great representation of a dystopian world. A dystopian world is a world in which there is no utopia and so people try to create ideas to help them create a utopia and better mankind and the horrible world they are currently living in. Which is exactly what this song describes Phineas and Ferb go to a convention to see ideas that people have for the future and the man tells the all about the gadgets and inventions that are there. Everything is steam powered indicating that it was in the 1800’s sometime. Who are we to say that the people in that time period weren’t living in a dystopian world? Maybe that is why thy had the convention to create inventions to better the world into a utopia, a perfect place .
Take a Stance : Against GMPs
I believe have genetically modified persons is beyond wrong. First of all, I am a Christian and do not believe that genetically modifying people is right. I believe that we should all be born how god intended us to be born from our mother’s womb; definitely not is some test tube. We discussed this earlier when we were reading Frankenstein, by Marry Shelly, that no one should hold the power to give life to another human being that one should have that power and that is God, and I feel exactly the same about this situation. Victor, once discovering he had the power to create man, felt that the creature should praise him and thank him for Victor giving him life. You can already see that the power Victor now possesses is going straight to his head and causing him to think greater about himself than he truly is. This would be similar to what would happen if we started to produce humans from science labs instead of how we were meant to. The “Scientists” would start thinking too highly of themselves and start to demand more praise glory than they really do because in all reality they are still only human.
I realize that we already have GMP’s to a certain degree. We are now so advanced as a society that mothers can have the sex, eye color, hair color, and other factors changed to their children so they are born with the ideal look the mother wanted. I do not know about you but this scares me more than anything; that people with enough money and feel the need can pay a specialist the change the genetic make-up of their child’s genes to make them more physically appealing. The same genetic make-up that will make that child unique and who he/she is. The same genetic make-up that was given half of the genes from his mother, half from his father and that’s what makes that child special to them that they both had a part in creating it, but now they’re going to change some of its DNA to make it more “presentable”? I do not understand how someone especially a mother could do this to, not only another person, but their own child.
When thinking about GMP’s and how they have started to already happen to a degree, and are happening more and more; how long will it be until society accepts this just because majority of people think it’s okay? How long until the world we know and love falls away slowly at first, like an onion being peeled one-layer-at-a-time. Slowly we see the rights we have as Americans / humans fading away from us, but only little things at first. Then they gradually get bigger and bigger and bigger. Until one day our world is ruled by one government. We no longer live in states but in district, each person in said district genetically modified for the task that district does…such as produce textiles. The Brave New World Huxley describes is no longer fiction but a reality, the reality for not just our country but our world if we let things like this even begin in the first place.
("American Dystopia More Reality than Fiction." CBSNews. CBS Interactive, n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2013.)
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: Harper & Bros., 1946. Print.