Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way Out Of The 'Bunch Of Grapes' Bookstore

It's in idyllic Martha's Vineyard where President Obama happens to be vacationing. He was spotted in the bookstore carrying a stack of books, one of which happened to be the Aldous Huxley dystopian classic, Brave New World.

Oh my.

News of Mr. Obama's purchase touched off something of a viral eruption on the internets, across the ideological spectrum. The snarky right wing blogosphere which smears first and asks questions later, was quick to feed its commercial paranoid delusions of the President as a scary black Kenyan socialist out to re-engineer our liberties away. Here's a typical offering from the libertarian right that equates universal healthcare with sacrificing one's liberty — to die of terminal cancer in the gutter. (What's the difference between the Tea Party and libertarians? Libertarians are college-educated Teabaggers who want to get laid and hang out with Dylan Ratigan and his harem of lovelies.)
Interesting that the president would chose [sic - it's "choose"]  for relaxing vacation reading, Brave New World, Aldous Huxley‘s famous 1932 novel. Maybe he has never read it, or maybe he wanted a refresher read.

In either case he may find some similarities between Huxley’s seemingly ideal but actually twisted dystopia and the destination to which his own stultifying governing policies would lead.


I do hope the president gets Huxley’s basic message: that the unacceptable price of government-controlled universal happiness will be the absolute sacrifice of our liberty — in exchange for an insipid “happiness” that is anything but.

You’re feeling a bit nervous?

Here – take a soma.

Obamacare anyone?

Have a nice day!
But others should know better; like the Gray Lady's frivolous "flame-head flamethrower" Maureen Dowd, who found her column's hook when President Obama chanced upon a town called Alpha, Illinois (seriously) then was fortuitously seen purchasing Brave New World at the 'Bunch Of Grapes' bookstore. (MEMO to President Obama: Next time order the book through a proxy — Valerie Jarrett? — and make sure it arrives in plain brown paper wrapping.)

As our libertarian pal explains:
Embryos are mass produced conditioned to belong to one of five official castes: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, or Epsilon. ... The Alpha embryos are destined to become the leaders and thinkers of the World State and view only MSNBC-TV.
Gee, now that's a cheap shot; everyone knows the future "leaders and thinkers of the World State" watch Fox and the caste system predicted in Brave New World is already a reality. Just ask Warren Buffett. He said all this "class warfare" talk is old news to keep the Tea Party zombies riled up. They've already had a class war and, Buffett noted wryly, "my class won."

Here's Maureen Dowd on President Obama:
There were no pictures allowed of him at the Vineyard Golf Club, only shots of the president shopping for books with his daughters. He was seen in the Bunch of Grapes bookstore on Friday holding “Brave New World.” Maybe he was brushing up on dystopias and alphas.
There's only one problem with all this kerfuffle over the President's Brave New World purchase. It wasn't for him. The LA Times reports that "[i]t was unclear which books Obama ultimately purchased at Bunch of Grapes, but “Brave New World” was most likely for his 13-year-old daughter, Malia. The book is required reading for eighth-grade students at Sidwell Friends School, where she attends.

Oops. To which I can only say:

BIG BROTHER DOES NOT APPROVE of Malia's school assignment. So here's a little assignment for those myopic (read that, lazy) commenters who jumped the shark on the President's book purchase — no excuses for Maureen Dowd who should have (?) some of the best researchers and fact checkers in the business just down the hall ... refresh your observational skills by figuring this out:

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