I was resistant to the western canon of literature as a youth. Much of it was required reading in school. But, because I was a rebel or had a general non-interest in reading, it escaped me. What a difference few decades make! A voraciuos reader now, I find books like Aldous Huxley’s science fiction novel Brave New World, fascinating!
This futuristic (cautionary) tale of a dystopian (or) utopian society, depending on your perspective, is prophetic in many ways. There can be an argument made for both sides. The book describes a world free of war, disease, violence, grief, mental disease, alcohol and drug addiction. The trade-off is a genetically produced society without monogamous love, family, spiritualism or individual freedoms. Ambition and creativity are frowned upon and extinguished. No personal identity (really) as you are born into a pre-destined class system to do your life’s work. Sometimes you cant help but think, this smacks of Marxism!
I sort of backed into reading Brave New World through my research and development on origins and history of the counterculture movement. Huxley has been called the “spiritual father” of the hippie movement. Aldous Huxley’s science fiction novel was published in 1932, but he wrote another one in 1954 which became essential reading for the 60’s counterculture movement.
It is titled “The Doors of Perception”. (Can you guess which rock band got their name from that?) It chronicled Huxley’s 1953 experience on the “psychedelic” natural substance mescaline. He would continue ingesting psychedelics (including LSD) all the way up to his death November 22, 1963 (same day and 3 hrs after The John F. Kennedy assassination).
A Prophetic Novel
Purchasing the novel today, you will receive both “Brave New World” (1932) and “Brave New World Revisited”(1958). The latter touching on his views, reflections and prophecies of the original novel. Many times he makes heavily biased critiques & comparisons to “1984” by George Orwell (one of his colleagues). World overpopulation, drugs, advertising, politics, dictators, brainwashing and other very controversial topics are discussed and how they will affect the future of mankind. Words of warning from his view in 1958.
Brave New World encourages us to keep a close check on our individual freedoms, autonomy and free will. Make sure we are in control of them. Although this tale is melodramatic and an almost unbelievable fantasy, it unveils the bleak side of World Control (and/or) dictatorship versus democracy and freedoms we take for granted daily. Would it be enough to spark the idealists, poets and artists of the early 60’s to drop out and try a sustainable society of their own? Yes, I think Aldous Huxley’s science fiction and other potent literature, music and art of the period had a great influence on what became the counterculture.
Will Society End Up Like a Brave New World?
Many people you query will say, it’s already here! I’ve heard it. Well, I think thats a nice sentiment (if not an exaggeration) on their part. Even though (since Brave New World) we have discovered cloning and test tube babies, it is doubtful things will ever reach the scale and magnitude of the fictional World State’s Hatchery and Conditioning Centre. A baby factory where new borns are brought up with no family ties or values and conditioned by state behaviorist technicians. After thorough brainwashing as youths, they’re integrated into predestined jobs and class system. It’s not in harmony with what I call “The Way of the World” or Natures Way.
It is a very humbling experience being human. Part of that is because we make mistakes and (hopefully) learn from them. How is one to learn and experience life if everything were perfect? And is that life worth living? It paints a bland, gray and uneventful existence to me. Aldous Huxley’s science fiction novel comes off dystopian, evil and corrupt but the society of a Brave New World will never know. They weren’t condtioned that way, so it’s utopia to them.
Important Links You May Enjoy:
Not to be mistaken for “Jersey Shores” U.S.A., our story comes from across the pond. In August of 1963, world supergroup The Beatles toured The Channel Islands. This leg of the tour incorporated different ballrooms and auditoriums throughout crown dependancies of Jersey and Guernsey in The English Channel. Posters and all types of Beatles rock memorabilia are being made available to commemorate their debut concert tour from 1963. August 6, 2013 (Next Tuesday) begins a 50th Anniversary celebration of The Beatles coming to The Channel Islands. The original tour of the Islands lasted August 6th-10th 1963.
Tracks, LTD. is one of the world’s largest dealer in Beatles rock memorabilia. During the celebration, they are encouraging the public to submit any Beatles artifacts for free appraisal. This (of course) includes rock posters, concert programs, handbills and ticket stubs etc. It works the same way as the TV show “American Pickers”. People have junk in their attic’s or basements they haven’t cleaned out in decades. Only to find artifacts of rock or Beatlemania ephemera that are rare, collectible and sometimes very, very valuable. Tracks, LTD. says for some reason The Beatles rock memorabilia have doubled in value within the last five years. This major increase is much quicker and higher than most other rock ‘n roll collectibles.
Here are a few examples of how much your posters and stuff may be worth:
- A Channel Islands Beatle concert poster may go for as much as $12,000
- Signed record albums could go from $9,000 -$12,000
- Signed record album of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” is one of the most coveted. it will go at auction for around $37,500
- Also, the value of printed pieces, programs and photos of The Beatles has increased tremendously. They are now more collectable & popular than any other rock stars memorabilia.
The general public and collectors are watching rock memorabilia allot more closely and more seriously as investments these days. It is becoming, not just a nostalgic whimsical kind a thing, but something worth investing in. Especially with the sharp increase in value on Beatles rock memorabilia. You actually have a “better than fair chance” of turning pieces around for a profit in a relatively short period of time. Remember, their value has doubled or tripled in the past 2 to 5 years. That’s smart money.
Along with Beatle posters and signed Beatle record albums, written material, autographs, fab four clothing, personal items and original posters from The Channel Islands tour are in very high demand. These items will fetch some high bids when auctioned. Also, artifacts of other rock stars are on the rise. Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Who and Bob Marley. Rock memorabilia from these artists are highly valued, but not as much as items from the fab four.
Links of interest: