I finished up Brave New World on audiobook. It seems much more of an insipid and worrying dystopia than many others such as 1984. The world is run by a benevolent dictatorship intent on giving the masses exactly what they want. Of course the people are biologically made to be happy and satisfied with what they have which is why it's a dystopia instead of a utopia, however the people in charge honsestly seem to think they're doing what is best for the population. And it's interesting to note that apparently everyone rejected the changes proposed for the new society right up until the point where a big war involving biological weapons broke out, at which point people were more concerned with safety and security than with liberty. That certainly doesn't resonate with modern times at _all._ I don't know if the antithetical character was intended to be so antagonistic or not. The book was written in the 30s, so perhaps such a repressed and moralistic character seemed more reasonable to them (i can't remember the characteristics of that particular decade off the top of me head,) but for me he bounced back and forth between being an interesting counterpoint and an annoying fundamentalist.
Given a choice i'd rather be in Brave New World than 1984, but that's part of what makes it scary. It seems the easiest and most acceptable dystopia to fall into. Some people would probably argue that it's the one we've actually come closest to "achieving," especially if you focus on the consumerist and group mentality aspect.
Oh, and speaking of books, the first set of books i ordered from SFBC showed up yesterday. I wonder when the second and more exciting set will get here. Currently i'm stuck in the middle of "Singularity Sky" because i haven't had much time at home to read the last week or so. I need to speed that up so i can be ready to dive into cool new books when they arrive :)
Apparently the nuclear option fell through in the senate. Yay! Of course part of the deal is that three of the five crazy judges go up for a vote. Boo! Apparently another part of the deal is thtat the whitehouse is supposed to "consult" or something with the senate before deciding on who to appoint for the supreme court, but i'm not sure how much impact that will actually have. Oh well, they can always still fillibuster anyone they really don't like with the current deal, so that's still good. At least till the Republicans decide to throw a snitfit about it again of course. The Republicans seem to be benefiting a lot from this good cop/bad cop routine. The far religious right members go insane and threaten to make a mess of everything if their over the top desires aren't met, and the democrats are then forced to make a compromise with the moderates that ends up being a lot more harsh than it would be without the presence of the extreme loonies to push the middle line so far out of whack