"Where Orwell’s ('1984') imagined world is shabby and cheap and nasty, and Huxley’s ('Brave New World') brightly colored and silly, Zamyatin’s (‘We’) is filled with an unsettling radiant joy, right through to its terrible ending. It has what Milan Kundera perceived in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Idiot: “the comical absence of the comical.” Instead of perspicacity and authority, which in the predicting of the future are fatuous, there is beauty and strangeness, the qualities of art, which sees clearly and predicts nothing, at least on purpose. These are the qualities of all the greatest fictional representations of the future, books that, after the initial shock they carry has faded, can reappear not as tales about our shared future nor salutary warnings for the present they were written in but simply as works of disinterested passion, no more (and no less) a realistic rendering of this world or any world now or to come than is The Tempest or The Four Zoas.
Time, W. H. Auden said, is intolerant and forgetful, but “worships language and forgives/Everyone by whom it lives.” Time will leave my new and no doubt baselessly optimistic Totalitopia behind; it was being left behind even as I wrote it down. As a prediction it might bewilder or bore, but as a work of art in language—if it were as easy to turn it into a work of art as it was to think it up—it might survive its vicissitudes in the turbulence of time and emerge sometime downstream as a valuable inheritance from the past, all its inadequate dreams and fears washed away. Meanwhile the real world then, no matter what, will be as racked with pain and insufficiency as any human world at any time. It just won’t be racked by the same old pains and insufficiencies; it will be strange. It is forever unknowably strange, its strangeness not the strangeness of fiction or of any art or any guess but absolute. That’s its nature. Of course holding the mirror up to nature is what Hamlet insisted all playing, or pretending, must do; but—as Lewis Carroll knew—the image in a mirror, scary or amusing or enlightening, is always reversed.."
I find cartoonist Zachary Kanin, in his trade, is of the best in the world today.
See one of my favourite cartoons by him here.
See Mr. Kanin's '2012 FORECAST' here. Every picture there is a gem.
Here are the two I liked most:
(notice: tag of "breaking news", sun, earth...)