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29623. Ms. No - 3/22/2016 9:24:29 PM

Wasn't sure exactly what thread to put this in, but philosophy seemed a bit more appropriate than politics.

So, I've got several ideas mixing around in my brain that will eventually be a unit tying dystopian fiction to WWII and the Holocaust and maybe looking at what kinds of global events bring about a rise in Dystopian literature --- hello The Giver, Hunger Games, Divergent etc.

And I was struck by how white all of it is. And then I was thinking about the elements of a dystopian society:

All-powerful and capricious government/rulers
Repression of individuality and humanity
Oppression of the workers
Eugenics
Daily existence ruled by fear, want, and hopelessness

And I realized why we don't have or really need black dystopian fiction. 300 years of slavery pretty much cured us of that.

I can't be the first person ever to notice this or point it out, but I'd never heard anyone make this connection, so I want credit for originality.

29624. arkymalarky - 3/22/2016 10:30:02 PM

I haven't read much of that type of fiction, but I just got finished teaching The Giver. It's interesting how popular that type of fiction has been with mostly junior high and high school in the last decade, when before it was mostly fantasies like Harry Potter the Percy Jackson series. I wonder why the shift, and whether it's simply attributable to the post 911 era, then I listen to panicky adults every time something happens like what happened today in Brussels, and makes a bit more sense. Sorta like the Devo song Freedom of Choice.

29625. Ms. No - 3/23/2016 3:46:20 AM

I read a lot of it my sophomore year of high school ---- A Clockwork Orange, The Trial...others were on the list but I can't remember all of them. I know 1984 and Brave New World were possibilities. I read Slaughterhouse Five and Stranger in a Strange Land.

I think Fahrenheit 451 was 7th grade. That may have been the year for Harrison Bergeron, too.

I'm a glutton for punishment and love my dystopian literature. I've got an anthology called Brave New Worlds that I'm getting ready to start working my way through. It's kind of a downer if you read them all at once.

Especially since I just picked up a copy of Susan Mayer's Dark Money.

I'm going to have to watch nothing but cartoons for a week once I get done with all of this. ;-)

29626. arkymalarky - 3/23/2016 4:28:10 AM

Dad just read that. I'm going to borrow it from him. Right now I'm on spring break I'm sick with a stupid sinus infection so I'm not reading Squat, and not doing squat. I'm just so pissed.

29627. arkymalarky - 3/23/2016 5:33:35 PM

Spook loaned me The Human Stain, and I thought I would start it, but I think my reading list will have to wait until summer. I think, wrt your original post, you're absolutely right: people who have are focused on keeping it (white), while people who don't are focused on getting it or at least gaining some ground (non-white).

29628. Ms. No - 3/23/2016 11:49:22 PM

moving response to Adventures in Teaching -- I probably should've started there to begin with. ;-)

29629. Trillium - 3/24/2016 2:44:55 PM

One local community college instructor teaches a class on "History of Cinema" (among others things). In one class, she mentioned that she tries to be mindful of suicide statistics when she assigns topics, because many young people are unstable. As a parent I am grateful for her mindfulness. When I read the education discussion about dystopian books aimed at teens, that particular teacher came to mind again.

29630. Trillium - 3/24/2016 2:48:00 PM

When teaching about dystopian themes, these make no sense without a discussion of utopian themes first. Utopian schemes are often rooted in religious movements. Thomas More (St. Thomas More for Catholics) wrote the first "Utopia" book (although there have been many earlier Christian utopian experiments, including religious monasteries)
Thomas More's Utopia

29631. Trillium - 3/24/2016 2:49:34 PM

The idea of engineering life for better living is not restricted to mechanical devices; "living the good life" underlies most religious, philosophical (and political) movements. The United States began essentially as a utopian experiment. The early U.S. hosted many smaller attempts at utopian communities.

Pleasant Hill Shaker Community

Robert Owen's "New Harmony"

"...although Owen provided New Harmony with everything he could imagine that it would need to succeed, it was missing the essential component that made other communities, like the Shakers, cohesive. Because Owen did not believe in God, their was no central covenant that committed the residents of New Harmony to their enterprise. Although they were united by their communal labor, and to the idea of utopian life, the very rational concepts upon which Owen had based the community were antithetical to communal life. Because they lacked the strong central belief which served to unite other utopian groups, the members of the community were lacking the commitment to carry out the mission that Owen envisioned. New Harmony dissolved in less than three years..."

29632. Trillium - 3/24/2016 2:55:06 PM

Up above, I noted Arky's accusations of racism towards me because I objected to an incident last summer where a woman received death threats in McKinney, TX.

There didn't seem to be any point in getting mired in that mischaracterization. Most people at this site apparently see the world through racist lenses. I don't, and I disagree with much of what is written here. I don't expect everyone to agree with me. I reiterate that death threats are over the top, and cross a boundary that should not be crossed among rational people.

29633. arkymalarky - 3/24/2016 4:19:31 PM

No, you posted a defense of your position from a racist site. Your views are pretty transparent, however I don't much care to try to help you see that, since I get more than enough of it irl.

29634. Trillium - 3/24/2016 10:07:07 PM

The site of the information doesn't matter, the veracity does. You can find the same info by googling in multiple places, if the site that I posted is on your list of forbidden reading. This is from KTLA:

Witness to Texas Pool Party Subjected to Death Threats, says Attorney Gloria Allred

It was and is a disgraceful situation, and it is disgrace to the posters at this site who are silent, complicit, and willing to gloss over a substantial ethical and civic offense.

I'm not trying to convince you, Arky. Your view on this is abundantly clear. I do disagree with your position on this. Strongly.

29635. arkymalarky - 3/24/2016 10:48:24 PM

Omg. Please put your shovel down already.

29636. judithathome - 3/26/2016 9:27:25 PM

I wonder if you know exactly who Gloria Allred is, Trillium?

Doesn't matter as I'm not sure I'd believe anyone who thinks Arky, of all people, is racist!

Just my luck...haven't been able to get into the Mote for over a week and I come back to a discussion being dredged up from 6+ monts ago...go figure.

29637. judithathome - 3/26/2016 9:31:09 PM

Oh great...haven't been able to get into the Mote for over a week and I come back to a discusion being dredged up from 6+ months ago....by someone who is charging Arky, of all people, of being racist!!?

Total bullshit.

And I really wonder if you, Trillium, even know who Gloroa Allred IS...never met a front page "victim" she couldn't get her mug on camera with!

29638. judithathome - 3/26/2016 9:33:41 PM

Well...I guess the Mote has a new posting protocol....ha!

First one wouldn't post so I wrote a second one...now this one probably won't post, either....

29639. arkymalarky - 3/27/2016 12:48:20 AM

Back when Katrina hit, a bunch of my high school students at a party got into a big huge fight, over one kid using the n-word talking on the cell phone with somebody and some other kids overheard her. There were black kids and white kids at the party, and iirc this white girl was dating a black guy, and all the kids at the party had been friends for a long time and hung out together all the time. The police were called, some kids got minor injuries including one girl ended up with a broken arm. Of course the kids had no business at a party, and I'm sure alcohol was involved, but when we had an assembly at school the following Monday, none of that was mentioned. Instead, the deputy sheriff shamed all of those kids because he had just come back from volunteering in Hurricane Katrina and saw how horribly some people were doing there, and he felt our kids were very ungrateful and oblivious to things that are really important. Kids fighting say stuff, they get outraged and that's just part of being a teenager. People need to know how to handle that, and people who are going to go bats over stuff they say when they're upset, as opposed to addressing it sensibly like our Deputy did, just need to stay away from kids. As far as I know everyone involved turned into productive adults. I can't think of any of them who are in jail. I can think of former students who are in jail, but not out of that bunch.

And that's apart from any of the drivel that Trillium has had to say about race. I quit paying attention when she linked that racist site. I really don't care what her opinion is wrt any of that. I see what I see and I know what I know.

29640. arkymalarky - 3/27/2016 12:51:22 AM

A black kid says something threatening and certain people's hair sets on fire, but a black mailman is aggressively arrested for delivering the mail and all you hear from those same people are crickets.

29641. arkymalarky - 3/27/2016 12:53:22 AM

If the mote stays up for 5 minutes and anybody feels compelled to move this conversation, that's fine with me. I don't know why Trillium brought it back up and back in the religions thread. She should have posted her comment in The Inferno. It's not like nobody would see it.

29642. arkymalarky - 3/27/2016 1:22:05 AM

Just re-read my post and don't think I made it clear that the white girl was the one who was overheard on the phone.

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