Welcome to Short Story Club. Come on in and pull up a chair. There’s a cheese board on the piano, and there should be a tray of Little Smokies circulating somewhere. Anyway, what did everyone think of “Harrison Bergeron?” It’s a little different than our usual fare, right?
I’m not a regular reader of absurdist, dystopian, science-fiction satire, but I am an unapologetic sucker for the fiction of Kurt Vonnegut Jr. I don’t know many writers who can mix humor and brutality as casually or effectively as he can. This story is unabashedly campy, especially the lame joke at the end, but as is always the case with Vonnegut, the reader is really made to think.
But what exactly are we supposed to think about this one? The message of this story is not the one I would have expected from an avowed Lefty and lifelong member of the ACLU. He basically takes the fight for universal equality to extremes (some might even say its logical conclusion) and the result is a dystopian hell where you can see your own child gunned down on tv and forget about it a moment later (or miss it entirely because you were too busy making yourself a sandwich.) So it goes, I guess.
What did the rest of you think?