The Giver vs The Dutch

I read The Giver after I was given a copy of the book. It was a quick read, but I remember enjoying it a lot. The perspective on how life could be was quite thought provoking.

It got me thinking, but the main thing was the image of the world they were living in.

Bicycles in The Giver
Bicycles in The Giver

It was slightly disappointing when I saw the first trailer for the movie. It was less, “Wow” and more, “Huh?”.

As I thought about it I realized that the world in the movie is completely alien for a lot of people, and most especially for Americans.

The idea of a world not dominated by cars and a reliance on walking and bicycles as a way of life is foreign to the US. And, of course, this is a Hollywood movie.

But, that way of life already exists.

Bicycles in The Netherlands
Bicycles in The Netherlands

For the rest of the world, it is almost impossible to imagine this kind of life. But the magical world of The Giver exists already. It is only in American society where the powers that be give a great big thumbs up to humanity and simply kiss the ass of big, corporate interests.

For over 40 years, the Dutch have put bicycles, and pedestrians at the forefront for transport, given at least as much focus as motorized transport. The very young and very old have a form of transport that will not get them killed when they make small mistakes and they are not forced to be driven around because roads are unsafe.

Photo 1 source: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/15/movies/the-giver-adapts-lois-lowrys-novel.html
Photo 2 source: http://getmorepeoplecycling.com/2013/02/11/commuting-cycling-revolution-in-the-workplace/

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