WWII bombardier, Captain John Yossarian, faces a dilemma, as he wants out of the war but is met with a catch-22 that could keep him there indefinitely.
For Yossarian to be released, he must be declared ‘unfit’ by the Squadron’s flight surgeon, and of course, anyone who becomes a bombardier must be unstable since it is almost certain death. So one must request an evaluation of mental fitness to be deemed crazy, but only a sane person would ask for such an assessment, ipso facto, Yossarian is sane and must keep flying.
Catch-22 is at once brutal and hilarious whilst managing to impart sound messages about the workings of the war machine. With more than 10 million copies sold, Heller’s top-selling novel is certain to be on the shelves of many an antiwar or political satire enthusiast.
Shit happens, and it is not always comfortable when it does. You cannot hide from it, it just is.
Pragmatism begets less disappointment, so I have found, but optimism certainly holds the key to making it through the day-to-day. A mixture of both is ideal.
Freedom is THE word of these modern times, as we fight for a society that is free to ask questions, free to maintain bodily autonomy, free to oppose government overreach.
There is so much to heed from this often hilarious and cautionary tale, and goodness knows we need the warning.
The side-splitting humour peppered throughout Catch-22 makes all of the corruption and ‘disturbia’ a lot easier to swallow.
I was sure I had heard this quote before, but it may just have been borrowed from Heller without proper recognition, given this was published in 1961.
I have seen this principal quotation about living standing tall instead of going out kneeling in submission a lot lately. I recall seeing the inverse, ‘I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees’ on a banner at the Freedom Convoy in Ottawa last month. Below hear an excerpt from the novel, read on the DarkHorse Duo podcast, which addresses both versions.
I will always choose to fight for my freedoms and individual rights rather than die as a serf for the corrupt leaders that wish to keep us divided as WE do their bidding.
Enjoy this clip from the DarkHorse Duo podcast where Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein discuss living on ones feet.
Do you have a favourite piece of political satire that puts you in stitches?