~I received a copy of this book for review. However I would purchase this story in a heartbeat.~
My husband has always told me that people don’t think anymore. At least, not the way we used to. At first I was very confused and agitated by this idea. It was ludicrous to me. Of course I thought! Who doesn’t think? But… over time I noticed changes to my behavior that hadn’t been there when I was young. Little things that I never thought to think about. How I watch shows or read books while I’m knitting, or knit while watching television with my husband. Sometimes I listen to music or watch something while washing dishes or cooking if I’m alone. Many times I do this while I’m cleaning or stepping outside; multi-tasking is good right. In these times that I am alone with only my brain for company, I tend to choose not thinking. Consumption of something is habitual. This was scientifically explained by V Sauce’s Michael Stevens in Mindfield. The fact that we would actually harm ourselves for stimulation rather than be bored for any amount of time may seem crazy to you, but it’s true. Our brains are becoming addicted to the sensation that consumption of technology provides it. We need more and more and more. Or as DECELERATE BLUE would say: We need to have our go, go, goes.
Just take a moment and think about it. When there is no one around and you are mentally free, when is the last time you chose to just think? No music, no text messaging, no phone calls, videos, shows, or books. Just the silence of the world around you and yourself for company. And not thinking about bills or what you have to do that day; not the run down of tasks that you haven’t completed or phone calls you have to make; not what someone may have said on Facebook, what people may think of what you said on Facebook or what you might say on there but you hadn’t gotten around to that yet. I’m talking about just thinking, slow thoughts, about life.
Now imagine if that not only seemed a little boring, but it was essentially illegal.
DECELERATE BLUE is a window into a possible world where this non-thinking may take us. A world where the consumption of things that stimulate our brains become the new normal. We are won over by our need of consumption, our lack of patience and our need for efficiency. So much so, that the very words I am writing on this page would have me arrested for taking up too much of your time.
The future waits for no one.
In this new world, speed and efficiency are everything, and the populace zooms along in a perpetually stimulated haze. Angela thinks she’s the only person in her family―maybe the only person on the planet―who sees anything wrong with this picture. But the truth is she’s not alone.
Angela finds herself recruited into a resistance movement where the key to rebellion is taking things slow. In their secret underground hideout, they create a life unplugged from the rapid-fire culture outside. Can they free the rest of the world before the powers that be shut down their utopian experiment?
The parts that really sunk into me during the story were the scenes that hit too close to home. One part in the beginning the family is discussing a boy who had gotten mauled in a chip reader machine because he messed with the chip in his arm that provides him with his Guarantee. The response from the father was one we hear everyday from others or ourselves in certain situations: That the boy deserved what happened because he wasn’t playing by the rules. That the institution keeps everyone safe and accounted for. Failing to adhere has consequences. Go, Guarantee, go.
Another part was when Angela was in her Brief Lit class at Hyper High and the teacher was explaining the benefits of Shakespeare in digest form, a clipped and cleaned version of our way reading/speaking.
Old World Version: “What if it be a poison, which the friar subtly hath ministered to have me dead!”
New World Version: “What if the friar is trying to poison me?”
They call this a clean, direct jolt of pure dramatic thought. The students are made to write a seven-hundred-word hyper essay comparing and contrasting at least one paragraph of text from each act of Shakespeare’s Masterworks (the New Version) and I am left with the feeling of desperation.
I don’t want to share too much of DECELERATION BLUE with you because I want you to take the time to read it. The story is in a graphic novel format with artistry by Mike Cavallaro that carries its own poetry. For those of you that aren’t into graphic novels or haven’t read one recently this is easy to slip into. Honestly, there comes a point where you hardly notice. I consider this story about as important as I do 1984 by George Orwell. It’s a must read, even in your hyper aware state of mind. If anything it will slow you down at least momentarily.
After reading the story I just sat there staring off in space on the couch. Part of me wanted to cry, part of me wanted to laugh because my husband was right all along. If we don’t slow down, if we keep plugging in our children so they aren’t bored every once in awhile or take the time to be with the world around us, I’m afraid we will wind up there. There in that world where the tranquility of sitting on a rocking chair would be too much for our mind and body to cope with.
DECELERATE BLUE comes out on February 14th and I’m sure you are wondering why I see this as Valentine gift material. I chose it because it is about love. The very deep love we have within that connects each of us in a more powerful way than technology ever could. A love that is wired through the hope of something better. As Angela would say, this book is mind-water and I feel there is no greater gift to give to those we love. Share it, have a conversation and take the time to think.