The idea of the A to Z Challenge is an interesting one…
Interesting, in the sense of ‘… well, I can see how that might work.’
Not in the sense of ‘holy moly, why didn’t someone think of this before?’
But interesting, none the less.
Imposing some semblance of structure on the subject of my posts will be, I’m sure, welcome news to my hearty and discerning readers – readers who, as you may well be aware, are composed of the cream of the crop, the salt of the earth… and the cherry cheese strudel of the desert cart, as it rolls around trying to tempt patrons with the sinful concoctions of those evil, evil bakers at the Hungarian Pastry shop (mmmm, MMMM!!!) – readers who (I’m sure) really only ever tune in to see what kind of grammatical train wreck I happened to have gotten myself into today.
“His writing is rather gruesome… horrifying, really – like an accident on the highway, between a semi-deranged fruit tree and a 4-passanger donkey colliding in the fog of our political system, as most obscurely and convincingly exhibited by the Electoral College. And yet, we can’t seem to keep ourselves from looking… ”
Oh, my goodness, he stuck the landing.
But the second word in that last sentence fragment is not the subject of today’s post; even though we are on the 4th day of the current challenge.
If I were you, I wouldn’t necessarily expect this type of thing to continue throughout the month. Not on this particular blog. The days ahead look to be piling up as we get further along – much like the aforementioned flora and the fauna in the fog.
A writing challenge?
During tax month?
What were they thinking?
But I digress… digression being also not the topic of the day…
I could do this all day long…
But I shall be merciful.
The Dosadi Experiment is a most remarkable book, by the truly remarkable writer Frank Herbert.
Perhaps you might have heard of him.
He wrote a little thing somewhere along the way called Dune, which is only the best selling sic-fi book of all time…
I just realized that Dune could have been the subject of today’s post.
… but it’s not…
The Dosadi Experiment concerns yet another fully realized universe in the Herbert canon; the others being Dune and universe of the series starting with Destination: Void.
In this particular book you’ll find many of the same themes you’ll find in his other series, but the overall focus is, I think, government, justice and the law.
Topics which I, myself, am somewhat philosophically interested in.
If you hadn’t gathered that by now, then you haven’t been paying attention.
You need to put the cherry cheese strudel down, and slowly back away from the table… and no one get’s hurt…
Dosadi is at once an astounding look at one of the more fully realized worlds I’ve ever had the pleasure to be exposed to, and a scathing commentary upon the workings of our (humanity’s) own political system. Written in 1977, were you to read it today, you might feel he had lived through the last seven years with the rest of us.
For my money, that’s what makes a book great – a continuing relevance long after the book was published and the author has died.
I could go on and on about this book, and never do it justice.
Read the book.
It’s not that long – certainly a much quicker read than Dune – and there’s nary a worm to be found.
The following random quotes are from chapter headings. These quotes may have to do with what immediately follows, but more often don’t. Herbert began using this method in the Dune series, and continued it in many of his other books. It was a way to further flesh out his worlds, by interjecting bits of wisdom, or tidbits about the people – and thus creating a much more diverse picture of the society he’d created. As another author once said, the more diverse the individual parts of a work, the more massive the unity of the work as a whole.
“If you think of yourselves as helpless and ineffectual, it is certain you will create a despotic government to be your master. The wise despot, therefore, maintains among his subjects a popular sense that they are helpless and ineffectual.”
“There are some forms of insanity which, driven to an ultimate expression, can become the new models of sanity.”
“The music of a civilization has far-reaching consequences on consciousness and, thus, influences the basic nature of a society. Music and its rhythms divert and compel the awareness, describing the limits within which a consciousness, thus fascinated, may operate. Control the music, then, and you own a powerful tool with which to shape the society.”
“Does a population have informed consent when that population is not taught the inner workings of its monetary system, and then is drawn, all unknowing, into economic adventures?”
“Does a population have informed consent when a ruling minority acts in secret to ignite a war, doing this to justify the existence of the minority’s forces? History has already answered that question. Every society […] today reflects the historical judgement that failure to provide full information for informed consent on such an issue represents an ultimate crime.”
“Given the proper leverage at the proper point, any sentient awareness may be exploded into astonishing self-understanding.”
I, myself, continue to search for that leverage to this very day.
Image found here.