How to Survive the Apocalypse: Zombies, Cylons, Faith, and Politics at the End of the World

By Robert Joustra; Alissa Wilkinson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 6
A Lonely Man, His Computer,
and the Politics of Recognition

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s
a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a
long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you,
then you become Real
.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always
truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt
.”

Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he
asked, “or bit by bit?

It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse.
“You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t hap-
pen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges,
or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you
are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes
drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But
these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real
you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand
.”


Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit (1922)

Theodore Twombly is a lonely man.

He lives alone in a neat but mostly empty apartment in a Los Angeles high-rise. He works in an office, composing letters for clients

-97-

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