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Kurt Voneggut - Harrison Bergeron

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posted on Feb, 9 2023 @ 04:32 PM

We always hear about the modern Orwellian and Huxleyian dystopias, but I ran across this film for the first time the other day and I think it's a lot more "on point" for a lot of the modern situation. Some called it predictive programming, I think the social engineers are just working off the works of authors who have touched on the subjects of controlled societies.

Anyway, there was a lot in this one that parallels modern concerns insomuch as it speaks of the "Second American Revolution" born of economic collapse and the rise of the "common" man who overthrew the Intellectual Elites and the controllers behind the scenes who live and maintain the new society under the veil of secrecy.

Based on the short story "Harrison Bergeron" by esteemed author Kurt Vonnegut (available in the "Tales From the Monkey House" collection).

Take a break and relax with another timeless classic on the dystopian/utopian spectrum!

posted on Feb, 9 2023 @ 08:11 PM
a reply to: GENERAL EYES

That is a great film. I was introduced to this author by a professor of mine. I was an instant fan, and did a paper on this story.
And I agree that this is closer to where we're at. If you mash orwell with bergeron and that's where we'll be soon. Add a little fahrenheit 451 bradbury in with the mix and you can see into our future.

Great post. One of my favorite story's.

This also, sort of reminds me of "A Clockwork Orange." But for everyone, not just the criminally insane.
edit on 9-2-2023 by AOx6179 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 10 2023 @ 12:39 PM
a reply to: GENERAL EYES

Indeed. Much of the focus of this story centers on the homogenization of the masses to a lowest common denominator concept. This was a prevalent cry in the earlier days of the ''boob tube''. The 1950s were when the masses turned from radio to television and the effects of this were concerns of many who could see the possible effects on individuals and society it portended.

Bergeron was published as a short story in 1961 which means that Vonnegut was conceiving and writing it somewhere in the late fifties. Bradbury's 451 came out in the first part of that decade. These were only two of the visionaries who could see where things might go. Remember in 451 the televisions that filled an entire wall in peoples homes? How the TV shows would invite watcher participation? Where the actors would take a moment for the audience to react and then through programming congratulate that person and then go on with the show?

The question though for me is just how much of the pablum that has filled the screens the public watches is controlled by elitists as suggested in Bergeron and how much is nothing more than just ''giving the public what they want'', an excuse for that pablum fed out by TV executives any time they are questioned about that crap on the tube.

For that matter, would anyone have been interested in even watching this small film or reading that short story if it had not had the juxtaposition of a dumbed down world and the elitists who were doing it? Without that, where is the story line to keep people interested if they are just reading or watching for entertainment. And we cannot forget that both the story and the movie were made for entertainment and the money it could make. How many people would have been interested to read that we are so dumb because for all of human history we have demonstrated very little in the way of evidence that we are not...

And in the end of the movie, a moment that seemed all to true to me was when Plummer told Bergeron that only 1.6 % of the people had seen the broadcast he had made had taken off their head bands. He asked ''and then?" And Plumber told him ''they put them back on''.

Anyway Eyes, thank you for posting this video. I read a ton of Vonnegut back in the 80s, most of his novels and a lot of his short stories but do not remember this one.So I was more than happy to watch it this morning. Thanks again. There's a lot of food for thought there.

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