The Marquis de Sade comedy hour? Adolf Hitler touching base with his inner child? A casual discussion of pillage and plunder with Genghis Kahn and Attila the Hun? John Altson’s Does Harry Dream of Electric Sheep? An Adult Social Satire really can lighten any subject. At its core, Altson’s book is a fun riff on Jonathan Swift’s classic satire of the human condition, detailing Harry Enlightenment’s voyage from Earth (circa 3000 A.D.) to Cetus-2 and the civilization of Baa—the Land of the Sheep.
What Harry Enlightenment finds there is frightfully similar to life in the U.S.A. circa 2014: politicians run amuck; climate change deniers in charge of atmospheric research; a culture permeated by guns and violence, unable to take even the most basic legislative action to control the prevalence of weapons or the entertainment industry that popularizes their use.
I give you the Speaker of the Baaner (not Boehner!) House of Representatives:
“Last week’s school shooting saddens me. As I understand, the perpetrator obtained his weapon legally, so there is really nothing we can do about it, other than making sure that the Mouthies discuss the negatives of random Sheepicide. We cannot change our Second Amendment and the Ohmys producing our weapons would become angered by any manufacturing restrictions. We need the Ohmy financial support.”
Unfortunately for the citizens of Baa, the law clearly states that Baaners may obtain any weapon for their personal use. And with laws permitting absolute freedom of speech, the violence permeating their media cannot be checked, “…So another heated debate persisted, ending in no resolution.”
But why (other than a Mohamed cartoon convention in Texas) harp on this societal deficiency alone when Altson holds up the mirror to so many others? More