I’ve always been a Dan Brown fan. He’s fun, includes lots of true history and science, and gets you thinking. I have always particularly enjoyed his suggestion in most of his books that science and religion are all part of one bigger Truth (we will see what he hints at by the end of Origin, since I’m 1/4 through). His book that deals with the science/religion question head on, apparently.
Inferno, though, really annoyed me. It was fine until the end. But it almost seemed as if he was making his villain a hero or at least suggesting the ends justified the means–a guy who created a virus to sterilize 1/3 or more of the population, a way to cull them out. Got away with it: He had succeeded in infecting the world. Brown seemed to suggest this was good–and/or immunizing people the same way against their will, was or might be good. (Actually the live polio virus did just that in the 60’s–the vaccine “shed” virus and inoculated people who had not actually taken the vaccine themselves, something they considered a plus–it also gave a huge amount of the population polio, so it was ended. However, they did that without our consent). I am not sure if Brown’s population crisis in the book is accurate–we will all die out by the year 2040 in a horrible way–but regardless, there has to be better ways to deal with it. The climate change people aren’t even talking about that specifically. But I’d rather die out than have governments and scientists sterilizing people or doing anything to our bodies against our will–let the earth, the universe, God, whoever you think runs things–some power bigger than us,anyway, decide that. We can’t turn into monsters. If we can’t be persuaded to limit procreation to two children. Talk about Brave New World. Writers used to write things and caution us about this–now they are writing them in defense of this collective/power mentality? His characters even have numbers for names. He also seemed to suggest that developing a superior human with DNA changes might be ok for the world, even though he did seem earlier in the book to condemn this since it clearly could be abused and used for ethnic cleansing or other types of genocide (all this is what Hitler was doing). He also admits that any time you change DNA, you have no idea what ELSE you are changing. This worries me no end about genetically modified FOOD, let alone humans. And, they are genetically modifying humans already, illegally, apparently. Without any idea how this will affect us long term. In Denmark, they brag about having absolutely NO Down Syndrome children born there–they are all aborted. What a very sad world.
Yet, he seemed to make this guy a sort of hero in the end and talked of them setting up societies to continue his work. Even Robert Langdon, who throws out a half-hearted caution, seemed to be persuaded at book’s end. At any rate, he certainly wasn’t condemning this. Maybe it’s ok if you are not one of the sterilized or even IMMUNIZED ones–all against your will.
I hope I don’t have to say much about how appalling this is, other than to remind people: there is NO “greater good” that includes sacrificing even one individual to a bloodless collective ideal. “Sacrifices” have to be made BY individuals not decided FOR them. As they have been throughout human history. And always will be. People are good and bad, both. It’s sad but not that surprising that people do selfish things. But what is surprising is how many people are heroes and make ultimate sacrifices for others. Don’t let anybody tell you the whole human race consists of monsters: just look around. How many people drown every year saving someone else or even a dog?
Happy Monday. I’m writing today, of course, having some leftover chicken and some organic broccoli/cauliflower/carrot mixture. Exercise.
Dreams: I dreamed I was freezing, sleeping in a bathtub with just a sheet over me–woke up to find I had no covers on. The wind chill was -25 last night here in Elk Rapids. Then I dreamed I was waiting for someone, maybe my husband, to arrive by plane, so we could all drive up north. A whole crowd of friends had vacation plans together. There was more to me driving around in a car, but the gist was that I couldn’t get where I wanted to go, get this person picked up–one of those paralyzing type dreams. There seemed to be more at stake, too. I couldn’t get my husband picked up and on the road like I was supposed to be. Once, years ago, I dreamed I was on a huge bright red tractor in a big field, stuck, just spinning my wheels–you don’t need a shrink to decipher some of my dreams.