I have always been a fan of dystopian fiction. I think mainly I just like the creativity involved in making up a whole world but am far too fundamentally skeptical of human nature to think it would be remotely accurate for things not to be fucked up. Also, it's why I always thought the idea of Heaven was boring: what do you do after that if everything's perfect, right?
So anyhooze, when I was in middle/high school I was all 1984, like that was how things were going to work out. Understandable: while living in one's parents' house, living under the crushing weight of someone else's rules and authority might cause one to project that out into the future too.
Then I got out into the world and was then all, "Hold up. BRAVE NEW WORLD." It seemed clear that was a more accurate dystopian vision, what with the castes and the soma and the feelies and Fordism and everything.
Let's turn to someone smarter and more articulate than me to sum it up. Sayeth Neil Postman:
"What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy."
Then tonight I saw like an even more accurate dystopian vision, one that starts with the same kind of hypothesis as Brave New World, but is able to add a timeliness that makes it even more...well, it's just that it's refined further, refined with the Now, with the knowledge of where we are and how the current trajectory might be affected by what's happened since Huxley wrote his idea about the future.
I feel I have the authority to make an assessment on the accuracy of this vision based on exactly what I have been documenting in this blog (you were wondering how the fuck my little comp lit aside was all going to come back to resumes, right?).
And not just what I document in this blog; I also have another job, which I can't really get into too much, but let me just give you an example of the kind of stellar mind I have exposure to in that one (believe me, context is unnecessary, although I will tell you that context would only make this seem worse):
"You is a dumb bitch how in da !@#!@ is they gon move to a new state and they was born and raised ther and thats where ther jobs are. U dumb bitch think. Man i tell u bitches dese days r stupid ass hell. And if they were to move it would probably be L.A. "
So anyway, tonight I watched Idiocracy, the Mike Judge film that came out a few years ago with like no press for some reason I could probably research and won't.
I feel like a dork making a movie recommendation on this blog. A) I hate movies, with the exception of documentaries or anything made before 1979. B) Like how much more masturbatory-bloggy can you get? Who gives a fuck what movie I just watched? and C) Like a lot of people seemed to think that Idiocracy isn't ABOUT stupidity, it IS stupid, and I don't know. Maybe I'm stupid now too, like I have contact stupidity from my daily exposure to it,
But all I could think upon watching it is that first off, how Luke Wilson's character seems to feel once he gets to the future Idiocracy is how I feel EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE and second, holy shit, this isn't satire, this is fucking PRESCIENT.
(In case you don't know what the movie is about, Judge basically extrapolates a dystopian future based on the fact that I believe birth rates are inversely proportional to IQ levels. So like take the second quote above and then breed that person with others like him for centuries, et voila.)
I was simultaneously delighted yet terrified. Judge puts this dystopian society 500 years into the future. I think he was being optimistic; my experience is we don't have that long to wait.