There’s a reason dystopian science fiction is evergreen—no matter how much time goes by, people will always regard the future with suspicion. The common wisdom is that the past was pretty good, the present is barely tolerable, but the future will be all Terminator-style robots and Idiocracy slides into chaos.
Every few years political cycles cause an uptick in attention being paid to classic dystopias; the 2016 Presidential election pushed George Orwell’s classic 1984 back onto the bestseller lists, and made Hulu’s adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale a depressingly appropriate viewing event.
Everyone lies about sex, though maybe every generation lies about sex differently,” says Laura Kipnis, adding that each era is almost right to believe “its own sexual narrative”, since it does largely determine the way sex is experienced. The argument of Unwanted Advances depends on a portrait of this woman—known, pseudonymously, as Nola Hartley in the book and Jane Doe in the suit—as dishonest and unreliable. The suit contends that the book itself is fundamentally untrustworthy. Side by side, the book and the lawsuit present an intellectual and moral puzzle touching on issues of sex, free speech, privacy, journalistic ethics, and academic freedom.
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness – Arundhati Roy. In her first novel since the legendary “God of Small Things,” Roy writes of a group of outcasts who come together during a protest in India. Roy, who has witnessed a great deal of turmoil, is uniquely placed to emphasize the solidarities between movements. She wants to show us a genuine counterculture of protest. Nevertheless, I longed for fewer connections, fewer babies and more in-depth depictions of the psychologies of the movements.
Branding Moderates as ‘Anti-Muslim’. By The Wall Street Journal Staff As if facing down violent Islamist fanatics isn’t enough, Muslim reformers now have to dodge attacks from the American left. Consider the Southern Poverty Law Cente. Atheism is rare in Muslim populations. Moreover, even more than among Christians, atheists are distrusted and associated with immorality. Public expressions of nonbelief often risk prosecution, and nonbelievers who escape blasphemy laws face severe social disapproval, risking livelihoods and family ties.