A letter from the editor
What ever happened to dystopian novels?
January 15, 2021
It wasn’t just me, right? We all thought that the new year would bring some sort of change. I like to think of myself as a glass-half-full kind of gal, so I subscribed to the notion that the new year, even if it didn’t magically stop the spread of Covid-19 or fix the state of American politics, would at least provide some sort of social reset.
However, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Tensions are flying higher than ever– higher than I have ever personally experienced in my eighteen years of life. I am sure you all know what I am talking about. Troops sleep in the Capitol’s halls as I write this letter, protecting those who work within its bellows. Staff Writer Evan Ballow wrote about the storming of the Capitol in his revisitation of claims of election fraud– check it out if you, like me, struggle to keep the affairs of American politics straight.
It feels as if America has entered a new dystopia. The most popular novels of my childhood all seemed to revolve around post-American democratic society: The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze Runner. I’m not saying we wrote our own destiny, far from it… but recently, I have this feeling like I am twelve again, hiding under the covers, booklight clamped onto the newest YA dystopia and reading a terrifying, crazy story. It’s hard to feel like any of this is real. This is all just the plot of some early 2010’s dystopian film, right?
But, no. This is all happening in real life, I suppose, if you don’t subscribe to the this-is-all-a-simulation philosophy. But the fact that American democracy seems oddly shaky, the President has been impeached twice (a national record, by the way), and we are approaching Covid’s one-year birthday should not keep us down.
I had the honor this past Wednesday to take part in a summit meeting with students, counselors, principals, Board trustees, and even the Superintendent from our school district. We gave our student perspective, shared what we wanted to see in the Spring semester. I floated the idea of drive-in movies with grade-level designated dates. Maybe we will see something fun.
My message to you this month is short: do not keep your head down. It is especially easy now to fly under the radar, slip through the current state of life like sand between outstretched fingers. But I urge you not to. I urge you to turn on your cameras during class and wave at your teacher when you log on to a google meet. I urge you to speak up when someone actually goes the extra step to ask for your opinion, a critical and most valued commodity. Most importantly, I urge you to fight against this strange and often frightening balance of monotony and absolute insanity of the current times through any means possible to you. Don’t simply mark this year off as “the Covid year.” You only get so many years, and it would be sad to label one of them so harshly, you know?
Now go turn off the news, go for a walk, and read this poem, in that order. At least, that is what I am going to go do.
I’ll see you soon,