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Brave new World vs 1984 according to Neil Postman

Posted by Roberto Macedo Alves on Sep 4, 2008 in Polysyllabic Spree, Rants

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Today I am feeling too tired to blog about anything… so, I am going to quote.

And the quote comes from the foreword of Neil Postman‘s book “Amusing Ourselves to Death“:

“Neil Postman contrasts the world of George Orwell’s 1984 and [Aldous Huxley's] Brave New World: “What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we

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would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.” In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us” (Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death, 1986, foreword).”

Quoted from the Perichoresis Blog

And now I wonder if we are not just getting dangerously close to Huxley’s fears… Or maybe I am just feeling pessimistic today.

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Invitation: INTER/SECTIONS

Posted by Roberto Macedo Alves on Jul 27, 2008 in Art

Sometimes, is hard to create, arrange, organize something. Sometimes, is hard to help a friend. Sometimes, we have to deal with envious people. And sometimes, we have to deal with sick people. And sometimes, we even have to deal with mentally deranged people. But that’s not their fault.

Sometimes is difficult, sometimes is annoying, but in the end, is always FUN.

We managed to gather for a nice collective installation a group of talented young people, that devoted themselves to illustrate their favorite books. On t-shirts.

A nice, fresh, interesting view at the “summer reading suggestions” concept.

Here are some (small) samples of the work produced:

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I am really excited about this project, that actually was born out of a interesting conversation with some friends, about the “best sellers” of all bookstores full of “summer reading lists” that were composed (mostly) by chick-lit and self-help books.
Where is the good literature? I ask. Why choose “The Secret” or “The Secret of the Secret” over “The Island of Doctor Moreau” or Asimov’s “Foundation saga?
I have no idea.
And that’s what inspired us to do this interesting installation on the Mouraria – Galeria de Arte. That opens this thursday July 29th.

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And now for something Completely Different: FOKKE & SUKKE

Posted by Roberto Macedo Alves on Jun 24, 2008 in Comics

I don’t know how many of you know about the delicious politically incorrect humor of Fokke & Sukke:

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Fokke & Sukke is a Dutch comic strip created by writer and illustrator Jean-Marc van Tol, and writers John Reid and Bastiaan Geleijnse. The strip appears in the daily broadsheet NRC Handelsblad.

Fokke & Sukke first appeared in 1994, in the student magazine Propria Cures. The one-panel comic, usually featuring humor of a politically incorrect nature, became very popular in the Netherlands. The strip has gone to appear in numerous Dutch publications, as well as over a dozen compilations. In 2003, Fokke & Sukke were awarded the Stripschapprijs, the Netherlands’ premier cartoon award.

In 2006, the strip began to appear in English speaking countries under the title “Duck and Birdie.” While the creators have pointed out that “Fokke” and “Sukke” are ordinary West Frisian-language names, they decided to avoid unnecessary controversy and use a name that would not be so easily misunderstood.

(source: wikipedia)

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And I am really happy to know that finally there is going to be a TPB publishing some of this stuff (listed on Previews Catalog, this month) if someone wants to order it, there is still time! I am glad they decided to keep the original title (instead of the politically correct translation “duck and birdie“)

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