< Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse: A Boy and His Dog

Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse

Friday, July 08, 2005

A Boy and His Dog

I happen to like fish better...

We can all agree that life is pretty terrible in both the upper and lower worlds. The upper world is just too violent and the lower too stifling. I would appreciate the tips about cooking bacon though. And who doesn't like canned peaches?

I am pretty sure that the way of life that came to be in the lower world is not very likely. Given enough time, I'm sure people would have cracked under the stifling rule of the 'squares'. I don't mean to say that a long-term oppressive society isn't possible, but the level of compliance doens't seem feasible with only one robot around for law enforcement.

I can't say the same about the upper world. As sad as it is, I can see society degrading to that point in a post-apocalyptic world. Men, and I mean men, are capable of some pretty terrible things. Not to say that women aren't, but statistically speaking men are more likely to perpetrate violent crimes than women. If enough of the wrong kinds of people get access to weapons before the right kinds did (leaving the question of what 'right kind' means) then I could see things going into a 'might makes right' scenario. There have been numerous genocides in the last century.

A Boy and His Dog brings into questions the nature/nurture argument. The stats say there is something to the nature of man in regards to violent crime. But if one grows up in this sort of environment how can one help but follow suit? We spare a shred of compassion for Vic because of this. Perhaps if things had been different he wouldn't have turned into this awful creature. If nurture is the root of Vic's problems then in some small way he isn't as responsible.

Can we spare any such compassion for Blood? Maybe. Survival instinct might trigger some pretty horrible actions and Blood needed Vic to survive. Personally, I'd prefer death to life in either of those communities.


At 9:13 PM, Blogger Lucy said...

Preferring death over life is, statistically speaking, a choice a lot of men make. As for the nature vs nurture debate, I am still sitting on the fence. It seems to me most people may occasionally get the urge to do something violent but it is having control over the urge that prevents one from acting on it. Where does this control come from? Do we learn control from the ones who nurture us? Are some people born more passive than aggressive? Because of our uncertainty about this issue, I think we are inclined to feel some compassion for Vic, even though his violent acts disturb us.

As noted by Joanna Russ in When It Changed, "When one culture has the big guns and the other has none, there is a certain predictability about the outcome." The outcome in A Boy and His Dog is one that many of us are not too comfortable with.


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