I had a handful of different topics that I was thinking about using for blog posts, but I’ve decided to put all of them on the back burner for now.  Because tonight I had a discussion about Brave New World with some friends of mine, and that discussion led me to recommend the short story “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. because it has similar themes to Aldous Huxley’s novel.  My friends hadn’t read this story, so I tried to describe the story and its parallels to Brave New World.  It’s about a futuristic society.  It reads kind of like a story and kind of like a parable.  It’s about a society where the government has tried to erase people’s jealousy of those who are smarter / prettier / more fortunate.

And … it’s a story that makes me cry EVERY SINGLE TIME that I read it.

I first read this story many years ago, when I was in high school or college.  I found it in one of those collections of “the greatest science fiction stories.”  Every few years since then I’ve either read this story or had it read to me.  And I can’t help it; I cry at the end of the story.  Every frigging time.

I think it’s one of the most beautiful and compelling stories I’ve ever read.  I think it would be excellent to read and discuss with students, or even with fellow grownups.  I believe that this story has such a universal quality to it that you don’t even need to be a science fiction fan to appreciate it.

I believe that every person on the face of the earth should read this story.

Since my friends had never read Harrison Bergeron before, I looked online to see if I could find a copy of it for them to read.

I found it.  I read it again.  And damn it, I cried.

Here it is, so you can read it, too.

And if you’d like to compare and contrast that story with Brave New World, that’s also available to read online.

Now if you’ll excuse me, Dear Readers, all this talking and crying has really wiped me out.  It’s time to go to bed.