If Shirley Jackson's simple parable, "The Lottery", couldn't inspire self-reflection in an arguably simpler time, one has to wonder what messages today -- such as that of Bojack Horseman's "The Lottery" episode -- are falling on deaf ears in these times of increasing gun violence in America.
In the fantasy world of AI-populated Westworld, unchecked humankind regresses into violence toward the "Other" -- just as we do in the chaotic real world. Is that the essence of human nature, to always reject its' self as seen in the visage of the Other?
Separate and Unequal provides a riveting account of a crucial moment in US history. It offers a penetrating insight into the manner in which good intentions and just causes necessarily confront the mechanisms of governmental bureaucracy.
This collection gives us Ortberg's trademark gender-swapping, flipping of accepted norms of good vs evil even while blurring the line between them, and startling backstories that do not always reveal underlying motivations but definitely add dark, ironic humor.