maddThanks to my literature professor, Derek Driedger (Dakota Wesleyan University), I fell in love with Margaret Atwood, well at least her voice as she wrote it.

I used to meet with Dr. Driedger to get some editing help with my first novel, Water and Stone. We always set aside a bit of time to chat, and he introduced me to Oryx and Crake about 4 or 5 years ago. I borrowed his book and returned it. The Year of the Flood came next. I was elated to hear that MaddAddam was coming next. Sadly, Dr. Driedger and I have since lost touch, but I am sure he has read it as well.

I bought this book about a half a year ago and it sat waiting for me. I was finishing up some other things at the time. When I did start reading, I couldn’t stop. I’m sad now that it is the end. Or is it? I thought The Year of the Flood was the end, so maybe I will be pleasantly surprised yet again.

But, the Crakers and MaddAddamites are situated nicely to live life on earth with minimal carbon footprints, just like Crake would have wanted.

Pondering the End

Of all of the post-apocalyptic stories I have read (and I have read a great deal of them), Atwood’s version of the future is perhaps the most believable. We are right on track for all of the testing, science, and fake foods. We are right on track to destroy ourselves. It is already happening.

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Surely, many people have pondered how the end will come. It wouldn’t be startling to see data that would show the many ways people have thought to end it all. Science shows us that the world would be much better without all of us humans in it. Earth is living and breathing, and we are murdering our home, slowly heating, slowly damaging, leaving our trash and nastiness all over with no regard for how it affects other life.

The world would be better off without us. It would grow and continue to thrive without us. But is there anyone diabolical enough to commence the end? Who will take the step? Surely, there are ways to improve the earth. Hundreds of thousands do what they can to spread awareness, but will it be enough if people are are still breeding like they are living on a family farm? I guess we will wait and see.

But, a part of me doesn’t want to wait and see. A part of me wants to know. I have children who may have children who may have children. What will the world be like for them? Will they be taken over by the CorpSeCorps, fed lies and trash? Will they live in a digital world where they never leave home? Will they join a group like the God’s Gardeners, living in spiritual harmony with life around them? There will be extremes on both sides, sure.

When will people wise up and make healthy decisions for the future?

When will people stop chasing the dollar and start chasing real and true freedom?

When will people realize their true potential?

We will see. A new age is on the horizon. Let’s just hope it doesn’t include liobams or pigoons, that is, unless, we can find a way to strike a deal with the pigoons.

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No One like Her

Atwood never disappoints. Never. She transports every bit of me to someplace else, and she doesn’t just give me a new place to be, she makes me question everything about myself. She puts into question my morality and my mortality. She makes me love the world and feel anger at it at the same time.

She really puts into perspective whether or not we are a species worth saving. She makes me wonder at the beauty of humans, the way they love, the way they live, the way they can survive.

Through the Crakers, one can imagine how people must have changed and grown over time, how learning new things about the world changed the way they viewed themselves and others. When Blackbeard first picked up a pen and paper and started writing names, I knew something special was happening.

Words make us immortal. Setting something down for another to read makes you last forever. Right now, you are reading my words… my voice… You are inside my head. You are hearing what I think and feel. Someone could read this in 200 years when I am long gone, and I live through the voice of my words.

Words are powerful. Knowledge even more so. Words have changed our world, will continue to do so. Words were recorded in ancient books that people still worship to this day.

Atwood’s words will forever have an impact on me and the way I live. I look forward to filling my head with her voice, and I will share that voice with my children. Through her stories, she will always be alive in someone’s head.

marg3Words change. Words form. Like the old ideas of God, so will Crake be remembered by the Crakers for ever… why? Because it is recorded. Because the smelly bone was cooked, the red hat was worn, and the words were written down. Crake. Oryx. Fuck. Zeb. Toby. Snowman the Jimmy. The great creators and disciples of a new era, a new creation.

Toby was careful about what stories she shared with the Crakers, but the stories were already told by Snowman the Jimmy, so she worked with what she had. I imagine, years down the road, the words will be twisted, misunderstood, changed, and then rewritten to suit those who want to create a new religion.

Sound familiar?

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