Showing posts from October, 2017

Revisiting 'Brave New World Revisited' by Aldous Huxley

Sometimes, reading a nonfiction sci-fi is more entertaining than reading a fiction sci-fi (I know. I know sci-fi means science fiction). This book is one good example.  There are many reviews and revisits about his dystopian-themed novel, Brave New World (1932), that you can find on the internet, but this "review" is different. It is a revisit by the same author - published about 2 decades after the novel. At a time when the global population was about 2 billion (only) in 1930s, Huxley had already worried and warned about the dangers of overpopulation - as evidenced in the first chapter of the book.  Long before the word "propaganda" became fashionable and being associated with the Nazis and their infamous Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels, Huxley had warned us all about the use and abuse of propaganda in both democracies and dictatorships. He also wrote that "for what is now merely science fiction will have become everyday political fact" .  I ca

Edward Bernays, Vietnam War and Nasi Goreng USA

Have you ever thought about the history of "nasi goreng USA" or American Fried Rice (fried rice + bacon and eggs) ? No, not udang, sotong and ayam. 1) There would be no nasi goreng USA had there been no Pattani/Kelantanese tom yam restaurants spread across major towns and cities in Malaysia. Like other popular menus e.g. nasi goreng Pattaya/Pattani/Paprik etc, as their name suggests, originated from Thailand. 2) There would be no nasi goreng USA had there been no Vietnam War; where it was first introduced to the American soldiers based in Thailand. 3) And there would be no nasi goreng USA had there been no Edward Bernays, Father of PR, one of America's best known propagandist in the early 20th century AND the man responsible for leading a PR campaign in introducing "bacon and eggs" as a "hearty American breakfast" about 100 years ago.