Seattle—Early 20th to 21st Century


 1907 Seattle Theater, courtesy Wikimedia Commons


Back in Seattle’s heady pioneer days, my father Hans Pederson had his hand in building  many early 1900s vaudeville theaters: the Alhambra, Blue Mouse, Pantages, and McGovern’s Music Hall.

Neil Postman’s book, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business notes that by mid century, two vision of future life competed in two best-selling books: George Orwell’s 1984, and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

The two men prophesied different futures. Orwell feared those who would ban books. Huxley feared few would be left who wanted to read them. Orwell feared that Big Brothe would deprive us of our autonomy and history. Huxley figured that people would come to love the technologies that undo their capacities to think. Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.

The September 7, 2017 Delancey Place blog, Orwell versus Huxley, notes that “Postman points out that this book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right.”

What do you think?


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