Friday, September 4, 2015

Agenda 21: The Meeting (Part III)

Agenda 21, pp. 105-107

...been at war with Eastasia. We have always been at war with Eastasia. We have...oh, we're back.

There's one last nugget before we return to Exposition Land:

Then I heard the Authority Figure say, "It has been reported that some in the Compounds have been experiencing early morning awakenings. This is a sign of depression and is of deep concern to the Central Authority. A depressed subject is not a productive subject. You are all reminded to respect the night darkness given to us by the Earth and remain on your sleeping mats until the half-hour warning bell of dawn."

"Respect the night darkness given to us by the Earth"? Ugh. But aside from more overwrought dialogue, this section is also meant to instill a sense of menace. Last chapter, a Gatekeeper made a comment about Emmeline having "early morning awakenings" (Again, ugh) and then the all-powerful Authority mentions it at the big meeting.

Also we find out that someone is reporting all of this, which explains how the evil future government is learning all of this with such a skeleton crew. Well, kinda.

Returning to 1984 for a moment: Orwell gets a lot of credit for his far-ahead-of-his-time depiction of electronic surveillance, but that's not the only way Big Brother kept tabs on the proles. The state also relied heavily on people reporting each other, particularly children reporting their parents. Obviously a chilling and effective image.

Agenda 21 is going a step farther, as there are few officers and their technological equipment is virtually nonexistent. The Authority seems to rely almost entirely on people reporting each other and even themselves. This could definitely work - I can envision a world in which, through intensive social conditioning, people feel compelled to report every minor infraction that they see or commit. This is not that world. We're meant to think it is, that the people - particularly young people - are so brainwashed that they'll report everything.

But thus far, we've seen numerous examples of people speaking openly about their hatred of the government and their intention to break the rules. We've even seen them doing this in plain view of government officials. And the kids we've met seem entirely too petty, immature and self-absorbed to be reliable snitches. There's no part of me that believes that this would work.

Hey, speaking of immaturity:

Jeremy tugged on my sleeve. 
"Where are you going? What are you doing?"

I think Jeremy is aging in reverse. At this rate, by Chapter Eighteen she'll be changing his diapers.

No comments:

Post a Comment