Friday, April 2, 2010

Unholy Thoughts and Deeds On A Good Friday (Re-Reading Brave New World And Such)

History has shown us, time and again, that some of the most prominent thinkers - Archimedes, Plato, Confucius, Jesus Christ, Galileo, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzche, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein to name a few - dared to go "against the flow". These people went contrary to popular opinion, at the expense of reputation, physical comfort, even life. As Marx would espouse, however, conflicts - dissenting opinions - are very much necessary for evolution.

To make the concept less profound and more appealing, thinking like the majority can be really really boring in several instances. To accept things as they are, being lazy to even ask a few questions is downright unacceptable, as far as I am concerned.


Today is a Good Friday, the day that the Christian World commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. I plan to finish re-reading Aldous Huxley's Brave New World today.

Brave New World happens to be a cult favorite. Many people I know (hm, myself included) swear by this book. When I was younger, I enjoyed reading Brave New World more than I did George Orwell's 1984.

It has been said that Aldous Huxley, himself a frustrated doctor, had made striking predictions of the future of the world. In the 1930s, his book was deemed by many critics as shallow and some kind of a joke. Many decades later, Huxley becomes one of the names to quote when a person wants to be "cool" (haha!).

What I really like about this book, however (aside from the highly plausible scientific and medical allusions), is the way conflicts were illustrated even in a so-called radical world. Bernard Marx, the out-of-place alphan, is a grave reminder of how it is to be a lone dissenting voice and what a person would do to want to be accepted.

The self amidst the sea of humanity and a need to go against the grain to EVOLVE: valid subjects for reflection on a Good Friday. (Selfish thoughts? Then sue me.)

(After all, isn't The Christ the grand proponent of going against the flow?)


A nice quote:

"I know quite well that one needs ridiculous, mad situations like that; one can't write really well about anything else. Why was that old fellow [Shakespeare] such a marvellous propaganda technician? Because he had so many insane, excruciating things to get excited about. You've got to be hurt and upset; otherwise you can't think of the really good, penetrating X-rayish phrases... No, it won't do. We need some other kind of madness and violence. But what? What? Where can one find it?... I don't know." - Helmholtz to John The Savage, commenting on William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet", Chapter 12, p. 185, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World

Have a well-spent Holy Week to all.

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