Ghetto Earth

bya Gabrielle at 4:23 AM

Very slowly, I have been reading Contact by Carl Sagan.  I started it way back in the days of Shenyang and wasn’t able to finish before I left China for a multitude of reasons.  I’ve only now managed to get past the midway point.  I know, I’m pathetic.  : )  I’ve been enjoying it, it’s just that I have had a lot of things on my to-do-list lately – being social, searching for jobs, managing my family tree, and studying for the Praxis subject test to name a few.  Anyway, while reading it, I’ve come across several quotes that I’ve liked. The most recent one is a bit dark and pessimistic, but it made a lot of sense to me when I read it at two something in the morning and I thought I would share it. 

If you don’t have time to read the book, you should check out the movie.  For the most part, so far, they aren’t that different.  The only thing you’d miss in the movie is the depth of emotion, a few dozen characters, including a female president(I think) and huge discussion of whether or not they should build the Machine.  The quote below is part of that huge discussion.  I don’t know why, but to me it seems more like an eloquent "Life sucks and then you die" speech than anything else.  Perhaps that is why I liked it so much.

"[D]on’t you understand?" A vein in Lunacharsky’s neck throbbed.  "I’m amazed you don’t see it.  The Earth is a  . . . ghetto.  Yes, a ghetto.  All human beings are trapped here.  We have heard vaguely  that there are big cities out there beyond the ghetto, with broad boulevards filled with droshkys and beautiful perfumed women in furs.  But the cities are too far away, and we are too poor ever to go there, even the richest of us.  Anyway, we know they don’t want us.  That’s why they’ve left us in this pathetic little village in the first place."

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