Passover: the Best Experience I’ve Ever Had

Dear readers,

I’m going to take a break from Brave New World the show and book comparison shenanigans, and I’m going to talk about Passover. This is something I’ve been a big part of for some time. Passover is a holiday commemorating the Jewish freedom from slavery on their own terms, but the story goes back further than just that moment when they fled Egypt crossing a low lying Red Sea.

First, we go back to the time of Exodus, maybe even further back. The Egyptians had a big problem. There were twelve sons of Israel, the Sons of Jacob (not to be confused with those nasty commander types but we’re talking about Jacob of Bethel, or Israel that became known as Bethlehem, the burial place of Rachel and he still had a wife named Leah.) So he had twelve sons, as written in Genesis. Those sons tried to get rid of Joseph, right? But Joseph had God on his side, went to Egypt, and escaped danger because he could interpret the dreams of his fellow inmates in prison where he was sent because some stupid woman lied on him, some wife of an Egyptian lied on that guy. No, Joseph wouldn’t do anything wrong, right? Even when the Egyptian bureaucrat’s wife, I forget her name, asked him to sleep with her, he refused and she lied on him. So he was in prison, and he interpreted the dreams of his fellow inmates. So Egypt exalted Joseph son of Jacob, but when Ramses II ascended to the throne of Pharaoh, became the Egyptians’ living god at that moment, guess what? The Hebrews became the problem, and Ramses’ royal administration decreed they were slaves. Then, the trouble starts.

After the Israelites were enslaved, they multiplied a lot. So there were two midwives who were instructed to kill the baby boys, but God had a way of getting to those women. Shiphrah and Puah did not do as Pharaoh instructed, only what God did. According to the sacred texts, these women were rewarded with families of their own. What they did say to Pharaoh was this, “Oh, those Hebrew women deliver too quick on the stool before we can get to them.” They were clever and they probably saved a lot of baby boys from being killed. Now, the trouble was that pharaoh didn’t want boys and as any taskmaster would do, the overseers would whip slaves, probably rape their women, and do other things that would try to undermine the Hebrews’ ability to stay together as a people. But they wouldn’t have any of it.

The hope came to the Hebrews when Jochebed, the wife of a man in Levi’s tribe, family, whatever, gave birth to a little boy. Jochebed was a Hebrew woman who was enslaved like the others, but she was clever. She decided to hide her baby boy in a basket, and guess who picked up the baby? The Pharaoh’s daughter, in some sacred text she is called Bithia, and she said the Nile god brought her a son. She named the baby Moses, which had something to do with him being drawn out of the water. I won’t go into Moses’ story as a young boy growing up in Egypt and all that stuff, but I will say he had a wife called Ziporrah and two boys, one of whom was called Gershom, but I’m sure I’d like to use that for a boy because it has nothing to do with war or ruling. Gershom is a name that means, “an alien there” or “stranger.” So Moses left his wife and children to go free the Hebrews, and we all know the story of the Burning Bush, right? It’s written in both Biblical and Torah readings.

The trouble for Egypt began when Moses said the famous words, “Let my people go.” Moses said to Pharaoh that enough was enough, let my people go or you’ll suffer the consequences. God had it down, he put down ten plagues, I won’t say in order, but it began when the river Nile turned into blood, and crocodiles were eating bloody food. Then dead fish floated to the surface. Then you had frogs, flies, gnats, boils, the livestock died, locusts, three days of darkness. Then worse, there was a lightning storm among those plagues that lasted days and days, and hail. Oh boy, those Egyptians were mad. But then, God decided to show the ancients what a god he really was. His thought was that “I can kill anyone, just anyone. I’m not kidding. If you don’t let the Hebrews go, I can do something terrible.” And terrible it was.

Here’s how Passover gets started. God said to Moses to bring all the families together. First, they had to fatten and slaughter a lamb. That lamb’s flesh was for eating, if I may say, but the blood was to be sprinkled on the top doorposts of the slaves’ dwellings, and if that was done, all would be fine. But the Egyptians? Well, let’s just say Pharaoh and his people lost their firstborn sons. God killed the firstborn son of Ramses II and went all the way down to the son of a slave girl, as it says in the ancient texts. So what did the Jewish people do? They said, oh okay, we’re done with Pharaoh and his awfulness, so let’s go. Moses had instructions, they couldn’t make dough with flour for bread, so they used unleavened wafers instead. They fled across the Red Sea, and legend has it Moses parted the Red Sea. then, it gets better. Ramses II was all, oh no, my slaves have gone. This after he said, “Go, you stupid people you killed my son and you killed everybody and ruined my country.” Well, what do you do when you enslave an entire monotheistic people and try to force them to be like you, sir? Well, you get punished, sir. Right?

So the Jewish people fled across a parted Red Sea, and they ended up wandering the desert for some time. Probably a hundred years, I forget the whole thing. But the Passover feast was mandated from then on. I could go on for a few lines more and talk about the Ten Commandments, but I can’t do that because it doesn’t have anything to do with Passover as a whole.

So what do the Jewish folks today do to commemorate Passover? Well, symbolic foods are eaten, including bitter herbs and radishes to represent the enslavement of the Jewish people, and the boiled eggs and so on. There are clear instructions on how to celebrate Passover, and I forget what the book is called, but there’s a lot to it.

One tradition I savor in a Passover seder is this: when you have a young child who is able, they have to ask, “How is this night different from all other nights?” I think that’s the tradition, don’t quote me, but I”m sure the youngest is quoted as saying such. What we do as a community in such celebrations is pass on the wisdom of the story of Moses to the youngest children and we want them to know what happens when you mess with people who stand behind a strong faith. People obviously don’t see that sometimes, and like Ramses II, they can get caught up in their selfishness. Ramses said he was God, but that got him in lots and lots of trouble. Passover is just one big huge result from the trouble Ramses caused a whole tribe of people who said, “No more.”

For more on the Jewish traditions, do feel free to read Your Guide to the Jewish Holidays: From Shofar to Seder by Cantor Matt Axelrod, written in plain English. I like how he writes about the Jewish stuff, including how he talks about each holiday and each thing that occurs in Jewish tradition. It’s not boring, I promise.

If you want more interesting fun facts about the Jewish tradition, do read the Newish Jewish Encyclopedia, which to me is pretty like a mini encyclopedia compared to Britanica, but it’ll do. It has all the different stuff in it pertaining to Passover, Hanukkah, and all the holidays between, plus celebrities and famous people’s bios and names and all sorts of fun stuff. Enjoy.

Beth

John’s Story: A Brave New World Comparison

Dear readers,

“Good morrow” is the first quote we hear from John, the young man in Brave New World who discovers English people for the first time in his life. “A most unhappy gentleman,” he says, and goes on to tell his story. In the Brave New World Netflix UK show, is a bundle of curiosity. In the book, however, John is like, I hate twins, meaning he doesn’t like the uniform clones everywhere. But something really weird happened to John in the show. Let’s take a look at the highlights.

I can’t just talk about John without covering the gist of the whole show. I forgot to add that Helmholtz, Bernard’s friend, is a woman in the show as well. Like what the hell is with the producers changing up the source material in the name of a certain look? Like I understand the need for progress, but quit trying to change the source material.

With John, I kind of wanted the whole “Good morrow” thing to get crazier. John is depicted as an American, not a British born boy, but at least is decent enough to do some good. In the show, he warms up to one of the Epsilon Jack workers, CJack60, as he is called. The guy hands John a thing of meat, and he eats it. John is hanging out with Epsilons in the dining hall, something unheard of in the book. John originally said he hated “twins”, and wretched all over the grass. In other words, John got terribly sick because everybody looked alike. In the book, see the prior post on Linda, John hit one of the Delta boys by his dying mother’s bed. Well, John never hung out with Epsilons in the book, so why? Why was he hanging around Epsilons, and it seems CJack60 is going to be more prominent, but we gotta watch more. John watches a training video to understand the New London lifestyle, but in the book, he flies around and explores the city. The big problem with John in the book is the problematic portrayal of him speaking Zuni and other Native tongues, using the words in the stereotypical fashion. But then he laces his insults with Shakespeare. Weird. John tals to Lenina and calls her an “impudent strumpet” in a classic Elizabethan insult. He went off on her for being who she was, and taking off her clothes, she was about to just have him like civilized people do in the Brave New World, when he went off on her in the following manner: “Strumpet, fitchew.” No such insults were in the show, and what is with CJack60 hanging out with John at all? Perhaps John understood something about Epsilons we don’t understand. But will John fall for Lenina and then call her a whore? that’s the worst of it, but no Elizabethan insults could possibly have been hurled at her. In any case, stay tuned.

Beth

This is ridiculous

TW talk of death, CW talk of racial issues and extreme weather.

Dear readers,

I hate to write this on such short notice, but I’m done. I’m drained, I’m floored, flustered to the point of no return. We aren’t getting services tomorrow at home where they should be at eight to twelve, and I don’t blame necessarily my caregiver for this, but I’ve had caregivers not show up for long periods of time, and I don’t want to hear about the weather here in Colorado. Before you start spouting to me, move to Florida, think about where I was running from. Isolation, overmedication, liquidation, visitation, guardianship Hell. I would indeed happily sell my whole kin on e-bay before I move to a state whose body politic is made of nothing but white people, whose black population acts a certain type of way about me and blindness, whose other populations don’t get it at all. I would gladly upend my dad’s house, sell the trumpet he gave my brother for marching band, pillage the posters and wallpapers on every bedroom wall, and sell the house flipped before I even think of living in Titusville. I would never live there because there is nothing for me. No jobs, no friends, and this is where I am now. I have barely any friends, barely any time to do things, no essential caregiver for Monday, so that means we have to wait till Wednesday for any food and cooking, which puts us at a disadvantage, particularly me, and it’s not even the blindness. I’m sick of cooking and cleaning, not knowing what foods I bought, and during a goddamned pandemic? Give me a break! I can’t imagine what people are doing half buried in snow, but nobody gave me the consideration, the consequence being that I had things in my mattress, namely bedbugs, and the other consequence being that food was made, but it wasn’t healthy food that both myself and my Trenton could eat. Due to inclement weather conditions, we can’t get delivery. Ugh. Would someone please tell the stupid weather man and the weather gods to please please please stop this extreme weather? And before you go spouting off to me about Florida or Hawaii, I’ve got news for you.

As I said, Florida is racist and ableist. I would rather sell my whole family’s possessions and my kin relations and their genealogy before I ever set foot in that place again. It would teach them a lesson, a good hard lesson about what they have forced me into. Trenton wants a world where he matters, he matters a lot to me. If he died tomorrow in my arms because one of these Florida people shot him up with a bullet or two, I’d have to pay so much for his funeral, and before I even say the word funeral, guess what? I’d even do the eulogy and I’d be shouting at the rooftops, “Trenton’s life mattered. And you idiots shot him!!!!!!” I’d be shouting to the rooftops, bring my Trenton back right now, or you will suffer. I’d be screaming at the top of my lungs, this man’s life was snuffed out by your stupidity and I will never see to it that I live near you all again!!!!!!!! Just a half hour ago, I was crying like mad, thinking I was the problem. And worse, this world doesn’t change for people like me. I’d like to see a world where we’re all accepted, broken parts and all, but what we have here is not acceptable. My family didn’t think I was worth saving, that my life didn’t matter, and they stole sixteen years of it and where are Trenton and I going to live?????? If I died tomorrow, I said, well, at least there would be less of me to deal with. While at a workshop with a famous composer, I was confronted with a blatant attack on me and my ancestors, white and black, all of it. The minister was concerned about the agreements and all this stuff, and. he gently reminded me of all this, but I still have to deal with the burden of hurting. My life doesn’t seem to matter to the person who attacked me, and even more, doesn’t matter to the whole stupid world. I don’t blame my caregiver, but I want to see something different. I want to see someone in my building who can adequately cook food to the point of not getting sick after consumption. I wish the snowstorm didn’t happen, that this whole blizzard bullshit wasn’t real, I wanna wake up tomorrow and the thing be normal again. But it feels like a goddamn bad dream, something I won’t wake up from. There’s no lifting up a woman who is the target of attacks, and there’s no jubilee for someone who has not accomplished anything but musical circuses in schools and such. I’m sorry, but this stuff I’m writing here is true to me, and honestly, I’d like the person who tore apart my ancestry and made this rude and evil comment to me at the singing workshop to come forward and apologize. I want a full apology complete with the sentence, “I’m sorry you’re disabled and living in a rotten planetary conspiracy that pervades your existence. I will stop screaming in your presence. …” No, this apology should look this way:

Dear Beth, I didn’t know your story, I don’t know your ancestry. I am sorry I attacked you. I”m a bad consultant when it comes to diversity, and no, I am a racially insensitive bureaucrat.” When I see such an apology, maybe I can shut up and drive the way you people want. How can I be a part of any spiritual group when all I’m seeing is an attack on mixed persons? I want everybody, I don’t care who they are, to recognize the following truths. These apply not only to me but to others.

One, I am blind. The minute that was discovered, my privilege went bye bye.

I am female, and that means guys can prey on me all they seem to want, but that’s illegal. Got it?

Three, who in the world created me? Don’t say the G word, I don’t care about God because God never showed any consideration. Not one iota of consideration for me, not ever. Why’d I become so blind? Why am I the only goddamn person in my family with curly brown hair that frizzed out all the time? Why am I the only person in my family who has chin hairs and is female? Is there a racial reckoning in my family? Here’s another.

Four, the minute someone black walks with me, it’s “Don’t talk to that guy. He’s a gang member/drug dealer/bad news.” Well, haven’t you ugly fools who attacked me taken a look in the mirror lately? You tell me I can’t claim the ancestry of Africans, but it’s written in my DNA, and it won’t lie. You can’t tell me how to sing, laugh, cry, or exist. Haven’t you understood that any so called word you say has a consequence? This means, I’m sitting here crying like the baby you idiots claim I am, and now the day is ruined. I can’t be trusted to cook for myself and or Trenton, and it’s awful. Awful.

I won’t go into detail much more, but now I am wishing I had more support and people who would not attack or insult me about race. Like what am I going to do? Someone please get Cari on the line. Cari would never have done this crap to anyone, and this girl lived in Florida for 15 years. She died at a young age, and we played together as children. I can’t even fathom what she’d think if I brought Trenton to her. “Oh, he’s tall, dark and handsome.” Oh really? Would you really mean it?

readers, if you think this is too much, skip this crap. I’m drained, my eyes are swollen slightly, but moreover, wet and perhaps reddish from crying. I … am … done.

Beth

99 bottles of beer on the wall? For my 99 followers

Dear readers,

I’d like to thank the 99 people who are following my blog. Since I disabled comments, my follower count has grown to almost 100. I need the best marketing tool to get more, but seriously, I think it’s important that people who follow me know how much it means to me.

For one, I am proud to say I blacked out a few comments, among them the ones supporting a sexual predator and harasser, someone who is still up to his old tricks, and so on. Then he gets paranoid and tells a friend, you believe everything that bitch writes in her blog? Well, I’m not yo bitch, so stop it. Okay? I know the strong language is too much for some to handle, but yeah.

For you followers, I’ve written a beautifully concise entry about the spiritual practices centers and how to make them inclusive for people with a disability, specifically blindness and those who use dogs for services like guiding and seizure alerts and such. For you dog enthusiasts, I so wish I had more to say on the dog subject, but I don’t, but do enjoy my reviews of different pop culture thingies. I’ve reviewwed the Brave New World show. I have more to go in the show, but trust me, you’ll want to see it because if you read the book, if you’re in the fandom of such a book, if you want progress in our world, read and take the show with a grain of salt, the book should be broken down like hel. I want to break down the show and compare to the book, of course. My bad news bits be damned, this blog is going to continue.

Now how do I know the predator is up to his old tricks? I got a msg from someone who used to date this guy. “Oh, so and so says I believe everything in your blog.” Something to that effect. I just said to hell with that guy because of his sexism, racism, and so on. He claims he’s not, but doesn’t every supremacist do so? I’ve got more proof than a pile of tomatoes that my parents were and are racist. Here’s why:

Start with the gaslighting. They told Orien’s mom and dad that I was crazy, directed the worst at me, and made fun of my crush on Orien and made it impossible for us to see each other. Now Orien is a flight attendant who’s had to hang up his wings, but still, I hope he can do other things too. However, he is a cancer survivor. The gaslighting continues with Orien’s mom following a guideline from my own mom and threatening me when I begged Orie to pick up the damn phone, and it felt like I was being driven out of my own kingdom, queendom maybe. My parents continued the gaslighting activities with a Haitian gentleman named Michael Bonhomme, and he was told probably by my mom not to see me when I got to Colorado. Michael’s heart didn’t need to be broken, but it got worse with Deq Ahmed, my ex who broke the records first. Deq was Somali, and as consequence, Muslim. My parents and Deq and I had a phone call, but it all ended with my parents grilling Deq with job questions, designed to put barriers in front of us. The clan family didn’t approve of Deq marrying me because of my parents and their guardianship, and I even told my parents, get rid of this or Deq won’t marry me. They didn’t, and as a consequence, I lost the man I wanted to a refugee woman who was prearranged to marry him. Oh well.

Because of Orien, Michael, and Deq’s stories, Trenton’s story could have ended the same way. We got a commitment ceremony, and Trenton had the same treatment from Dad at the beginning. My dad called and started spouting bedroom related tips and business to Trenton, things like don’t get her pregnant. Well, I’d rather be pregnant with Trenton than a guy who is up to his old tricks trying to shut me down on WordPress and harassing my friends and telling others that if they talk to me, they will die. I’ve heard my share of stories, and they’re all true.

I’d like to thank the 99 followers on this blog for following my content and liking it as well. For one, I’m very happy that the comments are disabled because trolls be damned, I don’t need negative press. Second, let’s fight white supremacy together. What can you do as a parent, for example, or as an educator, to fight this? All 99 of you have different interests, but we have a responsibility to fight white supremacy. Period.

As a parent, learn about systemic racism, teach this to your children, and learn to combat it together.

As a teacher, never use history books with whitewashed symbols and topics. Get a black history friendly curriculum for your children and teach that instead.

Remember, folks, my blog ain’t just about white supremacy. It’s something about disability visibility and women’s issues and … should I say cultural fun and entertainment? Look for more Brave New World stuff coming up. You will not be disappointed.

Beth

The Tragic Life of Linda: a Brave New World Comparison

CW Spoilers and TW cultural references to Native Americans, please read with care.

Dear readers,

Linda. Where to begin. Her life wasn’t so typical, but in Brave New World, we meet her in two different ways. She started out as a beta plus, which is a step below an alpha plus, and then, we see her as the author was meant to see her. Let’s compare how Linda’s life transformed from book to screen.

In the book, Linda was at first the typical healthy English girl, much like what Lenina was. Linda, a Beta Plus who worked in the fertilizing room, however strong she appeared to be, was left behind in transit when she and the then younger DHC, Tomakin he was called in the book, went to the Savage reservation. In the book, the Savage Reservation was a key negative connotation for Native American reservation. It was probably situated in the Tribal lands in New Mexico. Let’s just refer to the book’s version of it not as a “Savage” place, but as Malpais. That’s what John called it, and for future reference, John is Linda and Tomakin’s child. Back to Linda.

So anyway, Linda was left behind because she fell and hit her head, and some hunters from Malpais found her on the floor and brought her to the lands. Linda didn’t even know she was pregnant at the time, and all girls who are unsterilized in the Brave New World must do what is called “Malthusian Drill.” The numbers, Linda says, go by one, two, and three and so on. Not much is told of how Malthusian drill actually works, and the contraceptive precautions are still on Lenina’s mind in the book after she’s done cavorting with Henry on the golf course, at the cabaret, and then in his room of course. What we learn from Linda is astounding. She had soma before, but when she was forced to live among the Natives in the book, she found herself in a culture shock. One, she was not supposed to just have any man she wanted. People hated her, hated her son John, and it was evident throughout Linda’s future life in the land if Malpais. The Natives sang songs about Linda, not very reverent songs, and the little boys frequently shoved John away, and then, as I wrote prior to this post, the worst of it was when John wanted to do a manhood ceremony among the boys. Now he was able to understand Linda’s world too, but John had some Native American upbringing among the boys and the men of the Pueblo. They taught John about the spiritual practice of the Native American peoples of the pueblo, and he never said the word Ford but said Oh my God instead. John had a lot of respect for the eagle god Pookong, and the son of the One True God, the Jesus everybody complains about in real life. John one day said he wanted to be crucified. If this isn’t a sad person, I don’t know what is.

While John is growing up, he sees his mother, Linda, drunk on the floor or having a lot of sex with Pope, a young man she’s attracted to. Pope brings Linda lots of mescal, which is very strong stuff, but let’s compare this quick to the show. Linda doesn’t drink mescal in the show, instead it’s moonshine.

The most confusing thing about Linda is how she dies. In the show, she’s pictured dead on the marble slab. In the book, Linda’s life among the Natives is brought to a close when Bernard and Lenina rescue both her and her son John. One needs to have at least one reckoning with John and Tomakin, the DHC. Now, Linda’s life in the book and Linda’s life in the show are a bit different. Let’s look at Linda’s on screen appearance.

First of all, Linda is a much the same drunk Beta plus who can’t put up with being happy without drugs. Linda and John are busy trying to get Bernard Marx healed up from a wound he receives at the theater park. Like I said in the previous post, the Native land of Malpais is replaced in the show with a simple theme park, the Savage lands. It’s not about a tribe, but the rebels are hard to tame, according to the all uppity happy Eurocentric New London. Let’s also say that Linda and John were different, and John didn’t share his life story much in Episode 3. The big thing is that John was not greeted by Mustapha Mond, who by the way, in the show was a woman. Why?????? I’m not trying to be sexist here, but if you are going to follow the source material, shouldn’t Mustapha be male? And intimidating? I get that we need progress in the 26th century, but do we want to follow the source material or go our deviant separate way from it?

We deviate a lot when John and Linda are confronted with Madison, the pregnant bride from the theater, and she goes in and says she’s going to kill teh outsiders, Linda, and John. Madison meets her end, which is not saying much of Kiakime, the Native girl John likes in the book. Kothlu doesn’t even speak to John in the book, and Linda tries to understand the whole point of weddings, but then is interrupted by John running away from the wedding procession. The manhood ceremony being the most hurtful thing John is experiencing, he is called the “son of the she-dog.” The Natives’ references to Linda as a she-dog are poignant, but extremely hurtful given Linda’s different culture and upbringing and more importantly, her conditioning.

Linda dies in the book lying comfortably in the bed, the Soma at her side, in the Park Lane Hospital of the Dying, but we don’t see this in the show. Linda is sitting on a morgue slab, the victim of something that went wrong in the rocket, and we don’t know how Linda died … yet. However, John goes mad, and as the happy people of New London will tell you, John doesn’t know how to cope with Linda’s death. This is natural for humans, but with death conditioning, which to me is gross and unnatural, you have tots and little tykes, kids rather, going to a hospital of the dying in the locale and having to eat treats every time someone dies. When Linda died in the book, the young Delta boys in the hospital got eclairs. The boys also got chocolate cream, and this is supposed to make them cope with death? I don’t see that as anything close to natural.

In the show, there is also another plot element. The rebels tell the outsiders, Linda and John among them, that “We are a free people.” They say they’re sick and tired of being fenced in and judged for the amusement of the Indra users, the New Londoners. They’re tired of it. So what will happen next? Stay tuned, and I will write more.

Note that I do like the idea of Mustapha Mond being a woman, but why?????? Why did they have to choose a woman to play the part of a world controller? In the source material, there is quite a bit of gender misinformation, but I see where this is going. The progress to a woman ruling the world is getting stronger every day, and so should be acknowledged in the show. However, do we want to try and reenact Huxley and his source material? Let’s see when I watch next, and yes, I’ll be writing more reviews in the coming days about a future episode or two, but yeah. LEt’s see what the future holds for John, Lenina, and Bernard.

Beth

Introducing Brave New World Series Reviews: Episodes 1 and 2

CW Spoilers, details mentioned here are those involving the Peacock/Netflix show Brave New World, and compares to the original source material by Aldous Huxley. Please skip if you never read the book or seen the show, but read on if you want a serious review.

Dear readers,

I love old books, and there’s something important to note. Brave New World, the masterpiece by Aldous Huxley, has its own special category of awesomeness that I never fail to be dissatisfied by. First off, this book shows you a world utopian society with a scientific caste system, but beyond this, the show is awkwardly different from the source material. If you have read either book or seen the show episodes 1 and 2, read on. I will be hijacking my own blog to review the entire series a bit at a time. See the above CW (content warning) for details and a spoiler alert is in effect.

Here are the highlights from episodes 1 and 2, and how they compare to the book source material. Did the production company get this right?

  1. The beginning. In the book’s beginning, we meet the DHC, or the Director of Hatchery and Conditioning for Central London, which in the show is called New London. Nice job, guys. But that’s where the show is a bit different. We meet Lenina Crowne, whose name in the show is pronounced “laneena”, but I totally understand the alternate pronouncing of her name in book narrations I’ve scrolled through. In the book, Lenina is seen injecting her embryonic patients with the usual stuff, and there are students and guides there to see it all happen. However, in the show, it’s just Lenina, brunette instead of blonde (see next item) and she’s injecting embryos as per the usual thing she does. You don’t see Henry though till the middle and the first man Lenina meets in the book is Henry, but in the show, it’s our hero, Bernie or should I say, Bernard Marx. That’s a big deviation from the source materials.
  2. Lenina’s hair is blonde, and she’s pleasantly pretty in the book. In the show, as described to me through the UK descriptor, she’s brunette. Why the change? Is it that blondes aren’t pretty anymore?
  3. Savage Lands versus Savage Reservation. Oh, did I mention that savages are mentioned in both books and the show? In the book, however, Native Americans are not portrayed well, as was expected in the 1930s when Huxley wrote the source material, and John of course was a British kid dressing up in Native American attire, and we meet John when Lenina and Bernard went to the “Savage Reservations” in New Mexico in the book source material. How it deviates with the show! We meet John before Lenina boards the rocket to the Savage Lands, and the whole land is a theme park, not a fenced in reservation. John is not among Native Americans, but among people who choose to live a so called primitive existence. John also tries to go after a girl, but we don’t see this in the book until John tells his story to Bernard, and the story is a hopelessly tragic one. John wanted to marry a Native American girl, Kiakime, and the girl was actually married to Kothlu, a young Native boy. Sadly, this show iteration of John and Kia’s romance is worse. Instead of the Native born Kiakime, we get Madison, and instead of Kothlu, we get this stranger from the prop store. Madison is pregnant, and we don’t know who did this, and John is an outcast as in the original source material. See next item.
  4. The festival deviates from book to show. John’s status with the Natives (I refuse to use the word Savage here.) is so low because they called him names, chanted songs about him, the whole bit. What bothered me most was when John wanted to do a manhood ceremony with the young boys who were to become men, and they said the most hurtful words. “No, not for you, white hair, not for the son of the she-dog.” They referred to Linda, his mother, as such because of her frequent amatory encounters with their men. However, I wouldn’t go about calling women this because it’s rather hurtful, and to refer to her son as a white hair though was worse. In the show, John is told to stay away from Madison, and the guy says, in no uncertain terms, that he’d kill John if he got close to Madison. Linda, of course, objects. We meet John in the book during a drumming festival, and Lenina constantly babbles on about the drums, and she compares them to everything possible, including “a lower caste community sing.” We. haven’t gotten to the community sings, but I’ll suggest we talk about that soon.
  5. The actual festival in the show was a movie theater, and in that theater, there was a circus of course. This did not include drums, and there weren’t a bad smelling dude who guided Lenina and her compadre around. This seemed odd.
  6. The rest home. Like, am I going to tell you how deviant that whole thing in the show was? Lenina and Bernard go on a rocket to the “Savage Lands” which as I stated before is a theme park for primitive life. Now, let’s talk about the hotel. Bernard, as in the book, is an alpha plus. Taht’s the highest caste in the caste system in New London. Lenina is a beta plus, one step lower but that is to be expected if you want to stay true to the source material. They receive badges, something not mentioned in the book, but in the book they got keys. The rest house was a private thing, sort of. Now the hotel did have a balcony, and it was much more luxurious in the show. Weirder still, the bureaucrats Lenina and Bernard are treated to a bus tour of the Savage Lands. Now, let’s talk further about the meeting between Bernard and John.
  7. Bernard is unconscious when meeting John for the first time, but John meets Lenina after they’re hiding in the apartment in the Savage Lands. Let me tell you, the Savage Lands are about five centuries behind the 26th century, but this theme park is no playground. There’s a lot of violence and jealousy and a lot of what you might call the same behavior you’d see in Straight Out of Compton. It’s not the same as in the book, where there’s a highly charged electric fence, and all the Natives are fenced in and not allowed to leave. Lenina is sleeping when John meets her. But in the show, we have Bernard lying wounded, but unconscious, I’m sure he has to make it, and Lenina has her face cupped in John’s hand in the final scene of episode 2. One more detail.
  8. The Soma rations. Where to begin. The book has lots of instances of the drug known as “soma.” In the show, just about everybody has a soma dispenser, like where to we get creative with this? Soma is amazing, for the most part, in the book. It numbs your mind and it gives you that eternal “soma holiday” as is referenced many times over in Huxley’s source material. However, the dispensers are a show creation. When the people get their soma rations each day, the soma is dispensed to the lower classes in boxes, little boxes, and the boxes hold the little yellow pill in each compartment. Soma rations are given to everybody in the show, but in the show, everybody uses the trains. Where’s the flying? In the book, Henry and Bernard are flying in futuristic helicopters, aircrafts that go from settings like wasp to bumblebee and so on. However, only the lower castes, gamma on down, use the trains and the monorails are packed with them. Every day after the main day shifts are over, you see lines upon lines of these “twins” and so on, and they populate the trains thus far. There’s no helicopters mentioned throughout the show, but you do see futuristic aircrafts flying about New London. I”m impressed with the descriptions of such.

That’s about all the things I can think of for now. For more on Brave New World, watch for the next blog entry. I will also talk a little bit about it on this week’s forthcoming podcast episodes. I’ll do a couple episodes a week of a review, and moreover, this will be incomplete without it.

To find the show, you need either Peacock in the US or Netflix in the UK, but if you’re blind in the US, download from http://www.audiovault.net, and you will need to erase a desktop file in their folder because it messes up the zip archive. Thank you for reading, and enjoy the show if you can.

Beth