August 14, 2008

The Home Theater Stops

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:47 pm by Ian

Netflix has been having shipping difficulties since Tuesday.

For some reason, I had this feeling of dread, knowing that I will not get my upcoming Battlestar Galactica infusion, as though it were the harbinger of a much greater calamity.

‘The Machine is stopping, I know it, I know the signs.’ She burst into a peal of laughter. He heard her and was angry, and they spoke no more. ‘Can you imagine anything more absurd?’ she cried to a friend. ‘A man who was my son believes that the Machine is stopping. It would be impious if it was not mad.’

‘The Machine is stopping?’ her friend replied. ‘What does that mean? The phrase conveys nothing to me.’

‘Nor to me.’

‘He does not refer, I suppose, to the trouble there has been lately with the music?’

‘Oh no, of course not. Let us talk about music.’

It became difficult to read. A blight entered the atmosphere and dulled its luminosity. At times Vashti could scarcely see across her room. The air, too, was foul. Loud were the complaints, impotent the remedies

But there came a day when, without the slightest warning, without any previous hint of feebleness, the entire communication-system broke down, all over the world, and the world, as they understood it, ended.

Others were yelling for Euthanasia or for respirators, or blaspheming the Machine. Others stood at the doors of their cells fearing, like herself, either to stop in them or to leave them. And behind all the uproar was silence – the silence which is the voice of the earth and of the generations who have gone.

Excerpted from E. M. Forester’s brilliant and prescient

1 Comment »

  1. Jess said,

    Best short story ever. Worth your 10 minutes to experience.

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