Cambodia: A Book for People Who Find Television Too Slow
Jere D. Turner is Adult Collections Co-ordinator at the Regina Public
Library in Saskatchewan.
This is a book that should be read especially by those who believe in the “Global Village’ technology, the Chamber of Commerce, Disneyland, and franchised food outlets. Brian Fawcett makes his position clear when he states, “So no reader will be confused about where I stand, let me declare my hostility to the effects and practices of the Global Village.”
With 13 short stories of varying degrees of black humour Fawcett shows us how life as we know it is becoming the same everywhere. In “The Entrepreneur of God” we find Paul of Tarsus discussing his job with Marshall McLuhan and suddenly realizing that he can make a franchise out of Christianity. In “Lamps” we follow two Tibetan prisoners of war through various camps. They believe they have died and are in a netherworld being educated before being reborn again. And in “The Huxley Satellite Dish” we see the effects of U.S. television on a small British Columbia town.
In the subtext that runs the length of the book, Fawcett shows the reader how violence and war from the early days of colonization in Africa to the horrors of Cambodia are the result of the same intentions of technological revolution of today: the extermination of memory and imagination.
The reader may agree or disagree violently with Fawcett but will never watch television or eat at a franchised food outlet again without considering the author’s point of view. Highly recommended.