Friday, October 06, 2006

The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaids Tale - by Margaret Atwood. This is a story made newly relevant by the times, I think. Originally published in the middle of the Reagan years, it seemed like vaguely possible futurist fantasy, a warning and a lesson in the manner of Orwell's 1984.

Today, it's more real, more immediate, despite its relative innocence. Just as an example - the following quote, posted here, will likely earn this blog at least one visit from the relevant governmental authorities, or Eyes (in the novel), because it contains so many keywords:

from Chapter 28
"It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time.

"Keep calm, they said on television. Everything is under control.

"I was stunned. Everyone was, I know that. It was hard to believe. The entire government, gone like that. How did they get in, how did it happen?

"That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn't even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn't even an enemy you could put your finger on."

Sound familiar?

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Two visits from .mil addresses! Naval intelligence? I knew that quoting dangerous fiction would eventually generate a response.

Eye-Eye Captains, and welcome aboard USS Disgruntled.