We’ve been going through the chapters about two at a time, and pondering questions which Derrick asks about them. I’m finding my reaction to having the proofs that this society is insane paraded before me is more analytical than when I first read this important book (two books, actually, but Vol 1 is the heavier-hitter from a neophyte point of view).
Don’t get me wrong – I’m still angry as all hel that we’ve allowed this destructive, deathly culture to prosper and dominate. I’m just in a better position to look more closely at the signs of this sick society.
“What are the signs of a sick society?” Dr. Baldwin asks Friday. The last and most telling sign, in Heinlein’s opinion, is a loss of good manners. That the society exhibiting such a loss feels that this is a sign of its strength is moreover the sign of a dying society.
I offer Heinlein’s view as an example of one person’s opinion.
As we read in Endgame, the producer Brian de Palma, upon being criticised for putting females in positions of mortal peril in all his movies, opines that this is merely ‘..a genre convention..’, somewhat akin to using violins when people fall in love.
Let me get this straight Mr. de Palma – chopping up the female body in extremely violent scenes is a genre convention? What sick, leprosy-ridden genre are we talking about here then? Oh yes, snuff flicks.
If the public appetite for such fare does not start you thinking there’s something wrong here, well – there’s something wrong, here.
So I’m on the highway this morning, predawn, a very good time for thinking, and I’m turning over a couple of examples I’ve bumped my nose against recently that point to the ill health of this culture.
Firstly, I recall a couple of days ago seeing a beautiful young woman who had called in to our offices. She was, I was told, a “Life Coach”.
What the fuck?
We’ve actually reached the point where we’re willing to pay people quite a lot of money to teach us how to live? I don’t think I need to elaborate, except to note this – said Life Coach is the mother of 6 offspring.
The other example I had in mind was Viagra. I’m not sure that any but a sick society would give so much hype, so much money, and make quite so much use of an expensive blue pill which allows men to get their erections back.
I suppose there must not be enough unnecessary death and suffering on this globe after all, if we can afford to chase the maintaining of the male organ in a state of uprightness so seriously.
There are many signs that this society is sick. When I turn them over for more than half an hour in my mind I reach the same conclusion every time:
Not just sick, but insane.
Premise Ten: The culture as a whole and most of its members are insane. The culture is driven by a death urge, an urge to destroy life.
Pic: Dave Ehlen