In ‘The Lottery,’ extinction is not just science fiction

July 18, 2014 10:54 PM

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In ‘The Lottery,’ extinction is not just science fiction

In his 1962 dystopian novel “The Wanting Seed,” Anthony Burgess looked at the relationship between population and culture. On the book’s extremely overpopulated planet Earth, war, contraception, abortion, homosexuality, and self-sterilization were all considered positives. The idea was that people’s moral choices aren’t based on ethical merit; they’re merely the result of population control.

It’s a fascinating, deeply troubling equation, one that the new dystopian Lifetime series “The Lottery” dabbles in. The show, which premieres Sunday at 10 p.m., gives us a world paralyzed by infertility. It’s 2025, the population is plummeting, and the last six babies were born six years earlier. We...

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