1.19.2010

Review for Feed


Feed was an interesting story. I honestly just plucked it at random off the shelf at the library. It's by MT Anderson. He himself doesn't describe the book as a futuristic novel or a science fiction, but rather... " I think of it more as a novel that uses images from an imagined future in an almost allegorical way to discuss things we're dealing with now."

Basically everyone has some little computer chip implanted in their head called a feed. It's a direct connection to the media through their brains. It channels things like ads, music, movies, everything.

I think this was a pretty cool book because it was written in first person and he speaks with a funny dialect that uses "like," "shit," "meg," (as in mega) and "unit" in every paragraph. It was cool, though, and once you got used to it it made sense. The dialect also fits in with his whole imagined future thing, because it's sort of an exaggerated way of how teenagers speak now. It took me forever to figure out what "unit" meant, though, and I'm still not sure. Dude, maybe? I dunno.

But Anderson's whole reason for writing this was to try and show us how we're being manipulated by the media. He says,

"Many people are quite frank about wanting to avert their eyes from the possibility that the world is a complicated place, one in which we all have a rseponsibility and a role to play. For example, a kid I know was talking about his vacation in Mexico. He said, 'It was just so poor down there. Basically you just had to not think about it -otherwise your brain would explode.' That's indicative of our attitude. Another quote I ended up using in the book, in a changed form, came from a teacher friend of mine: in a class discussion about England, a kid said, 'Yeah, I went to England. It was stupid.' I mean, it's a whole country! To me, that's a very dangerous American attitude: insularity. We can only become responsible citizens of the world once we start to acknowledge that there's a complex world out there that's not easy to assimilate."

Powerful and above all very thought provoking. I do recommend this one.

1 comment:

Saje said...

Not sure if I'd enjoy the book, but certainly appreciating your perspective on it. American exceptionalism can be a dangerous thing--it blinds us to those things that we should most consider. Even if America is "The Greatest Country on Earth," (which I'm not saying it is, or isn't, it doesn't mean we couldn't stand to learn things from other peoples and other places.

Hello!

Wow, you really read all that? Danggg. Props! =]

Well, I see you've just had the imponderable joy of stumbling onto the blog of an 18-year-old girl who can't really describe herself in 500 words or less, such as in little text boxes like these. She didn't intend her blog to really become so much like her online diary (she was hoping it would have an interesting, helpful purpose to serve the world and all) but blogging is just kind of fun. This girl's a bit of an environmentalist and a full-tilt vegetarian, a bit of an artist who can't draw, a bit of a writer who can't find time to read, and a completely hopeless romantic. She enjoys white chocolate, coloring, wading in creeks, music, Doctor Who, and speaking in third-person when it's unnecessary like this.

Now go read the rest of the blog and meet her, if you like of course. :)