Paris Gold
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Why did his parents have muted responses to his televised, horrific murder?

The father’s once brilliant mind was all but destroyed by intermittent jarring sounds which the Government mandated. He is unable to concentrate on thoughts or even images (like the confusion inside the brain of someone with Hyperactivity). He is also physically weighted down by heavy bags to handicap his athletic skill and general body motion.
Understandably he sleeps poorly if at all. Depression and pain are his daily fare. It is not that he does not care about his son’s fate; he is just driven for temporary surcease by cold beer. A victim of extreme Governmental tampering (Big Brother Sees and Manipulates All) Mr. Bergeron was forced to submit to the brain handicap—like the people of Earth who had to be Capped in order to be controlled by the alien Tripods.

The boy’s mother is proud of her ordinariness, in a world where no one is allowed to be superior or prettier or more talented then anyone else. In fact she is Proud of the fact that no one understands “Normal” better than she. She also loves her iconoclastic son, but points out that Society would indeed be messed up if certain members “cheated on the laws.” She totally accepts the equalizing effect of the laws which repudiate the right or value of individuality among humans. Besides she can not retain mental images long and weeps easily. She can’t complain of their son’s murder when she has already forgotten what she viewed—only that it was "something sad." As in THE LATHE OF HEAVEN even racial tension has vanished since the various races have been blended into one; all people are an ashy gray. Beer and Tears help his parents forget the horrors they just saw on TV—which might be a blessing.

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