Age of braindance decadence: We didn’t get rid of our problems, we multiplied them.
The above lines are taken from one of the world’s most interesting genres (and my favourite) cyberpunk. (more here)
Whatever is the case, that holds true. Not only for today but perhaps in the future too. I dare say definitely and it wouldn’t be too hard to find (most) people agreeing on it. After all, balance is what’s most important. Here thanks to this week’s writing challenge, for the first time (in either case) I’m thinking of the opposite of the dreamed utopia – dystopia.
Now many of us love dystopian based settings (except my laptop/browser, which fails to recognize that word and suggests to me utopian) in books, movies, tv, video games and love watching our heroes (or was it the villain?) suffer (I was being modest, actually die).
Now this always begs me to question – what if our future actually turns out to be such a dystopian? (ironically, to me we are already doing great in that regard) And what does dystopian actually mean? Decline in the world, or really, decline in people, ourselves?
Dogs. Always a man’s best friend. For eternity.
So you’re hit by a car tomorrow and, just like in the movies, they put you on ice and wait for medical science to make it possible to revive you at some point in the future. And revive you they do, some 20, 50, or 100 years later (any later than that is just cheating). Lo and behold you’ve woken up into your personal nightmare vision of the future. Tell us what it looks like.
So that’s the scenario. While a future version of yourself is an interesting (and very common-exploited-overly-used these days) topic, being your present self thrown in the future in perhaps the closest realistic way, and considering it to be on the dystopian side, how could it be?
- Relationships: Does love still exist? Are people allowed to choose their own partners? Has the very idea of partnership been replaced by meditating about spoons? As far as I know, people can’t seem to grasp the concept of love (for the layman) today anyways. I personally think the union between people will prevail till the world ends, despite all treachery, lies and illusion. And If I have to talk about me personally, well I rather not say. 😛
- Privilege: Are some people much better off than others, in terms of their freedom, opportunities, or daily lives? This is sadly also going to remain. Be it a better or (much) worse world, in cases it is required, but in most others as we know it’s unjust. This image just subtly sums it up.
- Mind control: Do people have the freedom to think for themselves? I already question that even today. I dare not even think about it. No I’m not talking about the problems by the ineffective governments all around the world, that is step 2. Step 1, people themselves.
- Politics: Have conditions pushed the world in the direction of far-right fascism, wild anarchism, or opulent anything-goes liberalism? Or has politics been superseded altogether in the presence of giant brain eating cockroaches? Politics, something (along with Religion) which I will always have to think about before saying anything. Not that I’m not right, just that I prefer giant brain eating cockroaches.
- Technology: Have we become more dependent on technology, or has it become useless? How does technology shape the experience of our everyday lives? Technology not just shapes our lies but the whole current world and that is just exponentially increasing everyday. I wouldn’t be surprised if we witness a cyberpunk world in the future. I don’t much believe in reincarnation, but I sure would like to witness it if not in this life. And in a way, at the same time, it is also leading to our disaster, which has already started. It’s only a matter of time when something good turns evil.
- Environment: Have changes in the environment forced us to live in Hazmat suits, or are we all living in brain-wired fantasies of infinite pleasure? That meant like in the movie Inception. Not really.
- Gender roles: Has the gender power balance shifted, drastically or less so, in one direction or another? This is a parallel to the aforementioned privileges, only difference being that the former in cases becomes necessary for the bigger picture, while here this is an absolute necessity of being in equality. I’m not going to comment on this, as I at times feel ashamed myself of being in the so called dominant male species. You might get what I mean.
- Food, water, shelter: Has basic survival become an everyday struggle, or is the entire planet undergoing an obesity epidemic the likes of which we’d never have imagined? The way I see it, technology and this, we often focus on only about 30% of the earth’s current population in a way, the middle class complaining about how poor they are and the upper class getting all the privileges and opportunities of life because of wealth, while they themselves complain on the contrary how humanitarian they should be. What a fucking joke. Except all the sympathetic talks and so called charity and rural development going on, is there really progress? Not limited to worldly progress, but as compared to the ‘common’ people like us how we put it. That’s one of the reasons while I like WALL-E, it’s sort of rubbish. Except the most fortunate who haven’t realized or seen it yet, most of us are already are on survival mode.
- Post-humanity: Are humans still “on top,” or is the planet now ruled by monkeys, robots, or *gasp* monkey robots? Cyborgs and zombies I tell ya!
Apart from some of the fears I’ve written so far, being a internet lover, a way of putting this fear would be this. Truly a dystopia, which I again fear has already begun.