Blog or Not?

A statistically improbable polymath's views on politics and culture.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003
Lileks on The Handmaid's Tale:

Oh, it’s ripped from the headlines, all right. But they’re headlines in the Arab News. There are theocracies that oppress women, and it’s odd how they look like nothing Atwood describes.

Funny, I always thought that The Handmaid's Tale was the blueprint for the Taliban regime--just substitute "Wahabbism" for "fundamentalist Christianity" and... wait, both were post-devestating-war-with-the-Soviets. Atwood had visited Afghanistan before writing the novel, and claims to have based the outfits in the book partially on the burqa. Most of the author's notes make references to Iran and the Islamic Revolution, as well as fundamentalist Christianity. Really, if Margaret Atwood had sued Mullah Omar over copyright violations back in '96, the world would be a whole lot safer now.

Besides, Brave New World looked nothing like Hitlerism. Except for the eugenics part. And the worldwide government. And the mentions of Nazi-sympathizer Henry Ford. And the weird half-tribal, half-orgastic religion. And maybe a few other details that were floating around in the early thirties.

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