i’m suddenly really angry at vonnegut for writing harrison bergeron and letting people take it absolutely seriously for fifty years as a phantom pc nanny state dystopia, and not white people whining about maybe having to give up the accumulated generational benefits of colonialism
the whole thing is rooted in the norman rockwell myth that midcentury white americana was this time of great moral strength, and not lynchings, jim crow, and the cold war
when white ppl today talk about political correctness going wild and destroying the fabric of society, we think we’re referencing this incredibly prescient dystopia vonnegut wrote about in the 60s where, like, beautiful people have to wear masks or whatever, but we’re really actually talking about not being automatically conferred an advantage because we’re white
it’s the same way white supremacy always perpetuates itself, by making us so used to it that we see //actually levelling the playing field// by lifting everyone we’ve been keeping down up to our level, as giving them something they don’t deserve, and thereby taking something away from us that we do
abby fisher and the lawyer who convinced her to be the face of his legal challenge to affirmative action? harrison bergeron
skinny yuppies whining about how body positivity is stealth skinny shaming? harrison bergeron.
gamergate? redskins fans? finn haters? harrison bergeron.
that’s vonnegut’s legacy - instead of using syfy to critique the oppressive structures of his day, he couched them in the fantastic to make them palatable to impressionable 14yo white nerd bros. vonnegut was writing atlas shrugged or, not the lord of the flies, but the one lotf was making fun of.
so so much of the syfy canon is balls deep in midcentury american exceptionalism, and the only honest response is paul verhoeven filming starship troopere as a satire of starship troopers.