”That’s just it. I feel like I don’t belong here. The house is wife and mother now, and nursemaid. Can I compete with an African veldt? Can I give a bath and scrub the children as efficiently or quickly as the automatic scrub bath can?”
I’m a fan of deadmau5’s music and I was recently re-listening to his albums when I heard the lyrics to this song. The lyrics are quite different to any other deadmau5 song, deep even.
After some research I found that the lyrics were written by a guest vocalist Chris James that deadmau5 found on Twitter after posting the track online.
The lyrics were inspired by a short story “The Veldt”, written by Ray Bradbury. It was originally named “The World the Children Made” and published in a newspaper on September 23rd 1950.
The story is relatively modern despite being written 63 years ago, it reminds me of the television series Black Mirror, in that technology is involved, but not in a favourable light.
A family, consisting of two child Wendy and Peter, and their parents George and Lydia, live in a house named “The Happylife Home”. This house is made up of machines that do every task for them; clean, cook meals, rock them to sleep. The children begin to stay in the nursery more and more frequently, the nursery being a virtual reality room in which the children can think of anything they want and it will appear.
George and Lydia suspect something isn’t quite right and they are confused to why the nursery is constantly an African landscape, in which some lions in the distance are feeding on a dead thing, probably an animal. They also hear familiar screams and find what seems to be their own possessions.
Understandably worried, the parents ask a psychologist to visit. The psychologist instructs them to switch off the house and move away.
However upon, hearing this, the children are distraught without the machines. The nursery has replaced their parents, to the point that the children trick George and Lydia into entering the nursery one last time, where they are attacked and eaten by lions.
The psychologist David McClean comes to visit the house, he finds Peter and Wendy having lunch in the nursery, while the lions finish feeding and go to the watering hole.
This entire short story seems light years ahead of its time - it’s all about the trouble of relying on technology too much. The machines and the nursery itself replaced the parent role in the childrens’ minds to the point that the children would rather have the HappyLife Home as a mother and father, and would rather murder their real parents than move. The children dreamed of the lions eating their parents so much that it became true.
I guess when you become so involved with technology, you need to look what the possible consequences might be. Technology might not always be the best solution.