Culture

In Case You Missed It: Dystopia

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For the first time in a while, all is right with the box office. Dystopian novels and films are making serious money AND without the supernatural bullpoopery of usual pop-culture fair. While I haven’t read the Hunger Games books, nor seen the movie, I find myself smiling like an idiot after seeing the opening weekend’s numbers. An odd glee comes over me, finding comfort that our country finds futuristic bloodsport captivating. Whenever anything dystopian takes the public’s imagination, it rejuvenates my confidence in the world. What other dark subject matter will make it big? Just as entertaining as the success of dystopian literature has been overhearing people attempting to figure out what The Hunger Games is by the name alone:

(Actually overheard.)

“So they starve these teenagers and I think they eat each other.”

“Why do the teenagers have to murder each other? Who would think of such a thing?”

“You know how teens are about body image.”

I’ve probably stated this before, but my money is on civilization devolving into a dystopia. My big problem is not knowing which kind to bet on. A Brave New World future of drugs and comfort seems to a sure thing, but every inane invention of laziness can be countered by 1984‘s constant government surveillance. Though I prefer any future where Donald Sutherland rules the land, there are other dystopias out there.

CYBERPUNK FUTURE

This might be my favorite of the dystopian futures. The hackers are king and have all the coolest shit, even if they only own it as an avatar. They cannot escape the call of technology, or any calls. There is no longer a need to carry around a cell phone if the lions know all. Augmenting the body with technology enters weird cyborg ground, but humanity will live to see it become a want. Compared to tattoos and piercings, the benefits of augmentation would be concrete and not symbolic. We would be getting microchips to become a walking phone or monitor vitals, not because we had a break up and want a microchip that makes my arm say “breathe.” We love the idea of betterment and “life hacks,” so why not make things more convenient by having a bass drop in your arm whenever your mom calls?

MUTANT APOCALYPSE

The other easy way to self betterment is to be radioactive, where one man’s poison is another man’s firework hands. Some high-powered asshole always tries to strike the mutants down for being godless abominations, and this week, that high-powered asshole is Michael Bay. Bay, known by a long chain of terrible movies, has signed on to direct the live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, and has made a few changes to the canon. First, by making them goddamned aliens, and second, by renaming the movie Ninja Turtles. Bay’s approach is similar to the one he took to Transformers. It’s a matter of complete reinvention for a new age, while keeping the brand trademarks the same. If you liked TMNT growing up, then Alien Ninja Turtles of No Discernible Age isn’t meant for you. It belongs to a new era of kids who will be sold your mutilated memories. For this reason, please do not suffer the midnight showing of ANToNDA. You know better. This too shall suck.

Other possible futures found this week:

The REVERSE LOGANS RUN, where old men eat hearts!

The new album by M. Ward, THE LONE TROUBADOR OF THE WASTELAND, will be your post-apocalypse companion!

The DEAD WILL RISE AGAIN ON THEIR DAY OFF if rumors are true and Clerks: The Animated Series comes back after a twelve-year hiatus.