Something For Everyone

Fine art composite photography by Craig Boehman.

George Orwell and Aldous Huxley are two of my favorite reads on the subject/theory of government subjugation of the populace. However, they come from two very different camps. Orwell, as laid out in the classic 1984, imagined a world of mass surveillance through Big Brother. In short, people would behave and subject themselves to total dominance in fear of being "caught" doing something against the rules via monitors in their homes, places of work, public spaces, etc.

Huxley, interestingly enough, had an almost contrary view, and he wrote about it nearly two decades before the publication of 1984 (in 1949). His essay on pharmaceuticals is informative and for me, a better read than his classic A Brave New World, where drugs play the major role in controlling the populace. And in very real contrast to Orwell's vision, Huxley opines that the population will choose drugs and mass distraction willingly. No overt government coercion necessary.

One could argue, quite easily, that both authors have turned out to be more prophetic than storytellers. One only has to recall the revelations of Edward Snowden to come to terms with the mass surveillance programs around the world, specifically through PRISM and the Five Eyes alliance. On the same note and same time, Huxley is also correct. The population at large has been plied with over-the-counter drugs, prescription medications, and illegal drugs for decades. The concept of mass distraction certainly comes into play when considering the Internet and ubiquitous digital technologies like our smartphones. One could argue that we've willingly and most enthusiastically have given ourselves over to various "little masters" in various guises.

"Something For Everyone" is inspired by Huxley's vision. Whether it be drugs, guns, religion, or what-have you, there is certainly something for everyone out there to embrace, enjoy, become addicted to, and enslaved to. Even if one doesn't fully subscribe to the idea that these things are ultimate masters, they are obvious time-sinks, and arguably objects and ideas of distraction which consume our time and our minds: the rest of the world be damned.

"There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it."

-Aldous Huxley

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