Sunday, 9 August 2015
1932 and the year in which 800m runner Tommy Hampson won one of the four golds for Britain in the Los Angeles Olympics and when, more famously, Aldous Huxley published his controversial novel, Brave New World. His was a repellant vision of the future, that at the time, seemed too far fetched for public consumption. Whoever could have imagined 83 years later, that Huxley’s fictionalized babies fertilised in laboratory bottles, would resemble today’s cloning? Or his sleep-learning to brainwash the young to be obedient citizens, the precursor to George Orwell's spinechiller, Nineteen Eighty Four. Or Huxley's conception of the Talkies to become Feelies, now upon us in our riveting 4D cinemas. And how chilling it is to compare his fictional drug Soma to those used today in our clubbing scene. During this wildly paradoxical decade of the 1930’s, I continue the tale of my Great War cast, the Flowers family, in THE FIGHT FOR LIZZIE FLOWERS, published September. The Flowers, like many others worldwide after the mass slaughter of millions, are trying to balance conscience with survival in a contemporary age. 83 years down the line from Huxley's vision of doom and gloom, we are still trying to improve the world. On the one hand our daily doses of social media and smart phones give us a power that even Huxley could never have conceived possible. On the other, underlying this sophistication and the digital masks we wear, the real problems still exist. How to make money. How to pay bills. How to work faster. How to hold family together. How to live and love and find our individual space. Like us all, Lizzie Flowers is trying - and trying hard to meet the challenge of everyday life. When she thinks she’s a breath away from success, her brave new world starts to tremble, like a distant earthquake. Who of us haven’t felt that same tremor, or waited breathlessly on the brink for the danger to pass? One last word, Lizzie’s journey may be hard, but it’s hopeful too. Huxley may not have agreed with me, but I’m ending this post with an old and rather cliched quote; to every cloud, there is a silver lining. Simple wisdom. But I like it better than doom and gloom any day, don’t you?