Friday, July 08, 2005


Man's Best Friend

After reading Harlan Ellison's, A Boy and his Dog, I couldn't help but think it was an episode from some R-rated Twilight Zone. The whole thing seemed so surreal. I found the banter between Vic and Blood quite humorous but then their attitudes toward women and the violence in the story left me feeling disturbed and uneasy. Why had Ellison created a world where women were equated to food: something to be hunted and consumed? Should I be reading this as a cautionary tale about what the future may hold? How could this happen?

After watching the film, I felt the changes made by L. Q. Jones hinted at one of the ways women of the future could be viewed as a commodity; through their depiction in the media. In the film the only culture left is old pornography. These old movies show woman being used by men for their own pleasure. These movies are valued by this new society and considered entertainment. If one believes the old adage 'life imitates art' then it is conceivable the world portrayed in A Boy and his Dog could happen. If this is true, then A Boy and his Dog should be considered a cautionary tale.

Where Jones goes overboard with the changes to Ellison's short story is in the depiction of the world down under. The painted on smiles are too distracting and grotesque. Jones' attempt at satire on the conformist tendencies of small- town America is too "in your face." Everything from the perpetual celebration in the park (I couldn't help thinking of the musical, The Music Man ) to the committee broadcasting mundane instructons to the masses, was overkill. Jones' representation of the world down under almost made the violent world on top seem like a better place to live, well, for the men and dogs at least.

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