It’s so easy to participate in systemic cruelty when you think it doesn’t actually touch you. For instance: do the Senators willing to vote for this draconian “health” bill imagine that they will ever be in a position where they might lose their health coverage? Same principle applies to all kinds of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and other modes of discrimination. It’s tempting to ignore these things when you’re sure it won’t be you who gets stoned to death in the town square. But the truth is that no one is exempt—the system that crushes one will crush all. Anyone can be chosen for the lottery.
Emily Temple on “The Lottery”.
Being Australian, I wasn’t exposed to Shirley Jackson’s work until I was an adult (her stories aren’t generally part of school curricula here). Which is good. Because being forced to read her in school would’ve ruined her for me,1 and she’s a baller and her work is amazing and y’all should read it.
Ironically, “The Lottery” is probably my least favorite thing of hers I’ve read, for all that it’s the most talked about and enduring. Which isn’t at all to say it doesn’t have something important to tell us, all the more for the fact it refuses to be explicit about what that thing is…
- Oh hi, Blade Runner, you totally classic sci fi film I utterly loathe after having to do a poster essay about the freakin’ symbolism of your freakin’ unicorn of what-the-fuck-ever as a teenager! [↩]