Yeast and Sugar


My kids were heading off to go to watch some YouTube star speak yesterday.  I don’t understand YouTube.  Maybe I am sounding old after tapping those words out, but you’re telling me that any old yahoo with a camera can become famous?

I was in the very beginning phases of making a couple loaves of bread.  It’s something I enjoy.

My youngest comes into the kitchen and delivers her generic and emotionless “hello” because I’m pretty sure she thinks that’s funny.  To which I reply with the same lack of emotion.

Then I reply with, “this is the world in a bowl.”

She looks over and sees the yeast and sugar interacting in hot water.  It likely only looked murky to her.

“See, the sugar doesn’t like the yeast so it attacks it.  The yeast reacts by getting active faster and growing.”

I’m not sure if anything I’m saying is what is really going on, but it’s what I see.

“So, sugar and yeast hate each other?”

“Sugar hates yeast and attacks it.  The yeast reacts by growing faster.”

“Oh.”

“So don’t be a sugar.  Be a yeast.”

“You turned that into something philosophical?”

“I told you it was the world in a bowl.”

“Oh.  Yeah.”

“Now I’m about ready to pour a bunch of flour in there and cover it up.  Nobody will ever know what happened.”

She picked up her keys and left with those words.

When I was in high school, I read both 1984 and Brave New World and was assigned the task of a compare and contrast essay.  Honestly this didn’t seem fair.  When you think about it.

Teenagers cannot really comprehend what is happening in the world.

And the groundwork that created what both of those novels were warning was just starting to get underway when I was going to high school in the 1980’s.

Much of Orwell’s future has become a reality, but instead of the government forcing us to be watched, we have volunteered our every move to the corporations that want to sell us goods.  We allow Facebook and Google and our devices to monitor everything we are doing.  To report on every place we go.  To tell them everything we are interested in purchasing and to report all the searches we have done.

Yahoo! recently admitted they wrote a program that searched email and reported certain words and phrases to the government.

Both books use propaganda and censorship as a tool in their future societies.  It always has been a tool.  Rewriting history is a constant.

Here’s the beauty of propaganda in today’s world.  The news organizations now censor themselves.  They sift through the news and determine what to report on and what not to.  They decide for you.  And much of the news is merely opinion delivered as if it’s news.

We are addicted to sensationalism.  But real journalism?

Amy Goodman faces charges of trespassing for reporting on DAPL (Dakota Access Pipeline) which nearly exactly the same pipeline that was stopped a year ago.  Here’s the trick on this pipeline- nobody reported on it.  Nobody discussed it.  And those who did were charged.

Huxley’s future shows a government which acts as a benevolent dictator as opposed to a harsh government presented by Orwell.  As I was reminding myself of some of the major themes since it has been a few years, I found this quote.  A note from Huxley to Orwell.

Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.

Huxley, instead, wrote a future in which people were controlled with distractions and drugs.  They were completely satisfied with their lives because they didn’t know not to be.  They were conditioned to consume so that they would have jobs to go to.

And while Huxley was right on many levels (we do love distractions and to consume), we are a country that loves prison.  We absolutely love destroying people’s one life by putting them away for petty crimes.

Both novels had a caste system.  You were either wealthy and had control or you were a worker.  This isn’t surprising as this has always existed.  Why do you think karma was invented?  But this breakdown?

  • (I) the upper-class Inner Party, the elite ruling minority, who make up 2% of the population.
  • (II) the middle-class Outer Party, who make up 13% of the population.
  • (III) the lower-class Proles (from proletariat), who make up 85% of the population and represent the uneducated working class.

That is becoming increasingly more a reality.

But here’s the thing.  The reason I’m writing this, because I’m not merely making up for lack of understanding or lack of internet from my high school days.  Both novels are a warning of what may happen if Socialism is allowed to rear its ugly head on our society.

But really, both novels are a warning of what happens when the government gives too much control to a small amount of people and dismisses the people’s needs.  Which is where we are today.

War is the answer to everything.  Consumption and distraction.  Propaganda and censorship.  And, yes, Big Brother is watching you and you actually paid good money to let him into your life.

We were warned.

When the sugar attacked, we had a chance.

But we allowed the flour to cover it all up.

Because the bread tastes too good.

There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always—do not forget this, Winston—always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.

— Part III, Chapter III, Nineteen Eighty-Four
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