Tuesday, March 4, 2008

PKD, the Police State, and the Poll Tax

It's 2008. The election year. And PKD and Flow My Tears are more pertinent than ever. The novel, which is included in the next Library of America volume, deals with a near future America after a second Civil War. The country is ruled by a police state. If you're caught without your ID, you'll be sent to a concentration camp, or worse. Indeed, vast portions of the U.S. population are behind bars.

Interestingly, I often feel a disoriented state of reality when I read PKD novels so I was(n't) surprised when I was reading the paper last Sunday and noticed an article that stated one out of every 99 Americans is behind bars. Had I too, like Jason Taverner, entered some dystopic future? Or was this some bizarre flashback brought about by Substance D abuse back in High School? No, it was "real." I have the newspaper clipping in front of me now.

However, these kinds of reality shifts keep confronting me as I read Flow My Tears. Just recently, the Supreme Court recently heard a case in which Indiana's voter ID laws are being challenged as an unconstitutional infringement on the right of the poor to vote. No picture ID, no vote. Given the make-up of the Court, the law will be upheld, and we will have poll taxes once again. Back to the future.

The moral of the story folks, is make sure you have your ID handy.

Things are getting kind of weird around here, so I think I'm gonna roll the dice with The Game Players of Titan. Stay tuned.

No comments: