Friday, June 03, 2005

More Overseer

I have finished the main body of Jonathan Rabb's The Overseer, but I'm going to attempt to tackle the nifty bonus at the end; namely, the (fictional) On Supremacy treatise itself.

One the most pivotal and chilling elements of The Overseer is education, which the Shadowy Republican Cabal uses in secretive camps to indoctrinate and train an elite cadre of loyal killers and operatives. Here is a sampling of the educational techniques - again, there are some eerie echoes of themes that we hear today. This excerpt describes a class of 6- or 7-year-olds who have just read Cinderella:
In quick succession, the children shouted out a long list of [Cinderella's stepsisters'] infractions, the most poignant from a shy boy who had waited until all the others had quieted down to speak.

"They made her feel very bad and said that nobody liked her."

A silence filled the room, several heads turning toward the boy as the teacher, in her most motherly tone, added, "And that's probably the worst thing, isn't it? To make special people, like Cinderella, feel that they don't belong, that they've done something wrong. And people who do that shouldn't be our friends, should they? And we don't have to like them, do we?" A chorus of nos. "In fact, sometimes it's all right not to like certain people. People who scare us, or hurt us, or make us feel bad about ourselves. People like Cinderella's stepsisters, who knew how special Cinderella was, but who did everything they could to hurt her. It's important to know that you have to watch out for those people. And you shouldn't feel bad if you begin to dislike them. Dislike them so much that you begin to hate them."
It's a little over the top, but I can't help but think of the Right's "woe is poor little ol' me, oppressed and condescended to by those mean know-it-all liberal elitists, they're all traitors who should be deported or shot" narrative, and it suddenly becomes not so hard to believe that they received an indoctrination like this.


watertiger said...

Memo to self: Pick up "The Overseer" this weekend.

Before lunch with Naughty Cougars and Misalliance B. Booth.

oldwhitelady said...

"They made her feel very bad and said that nobody liked her."
Reminds me of Toby Peltzer (or whatever the heck his name is) on the Eschaton comment threads:)

Eli said...

There actually *is* a Toby in the book towards the end, and he's kind of annoying geek.