Sunday, April 26, 2009

Good Things in Dystopia

There are always a few things that are the same in every dystopian society, whether it be in film or novel.  Most of them are based around the idea of control.  For example, they generally try to reach a level of sameness...everyone wears the same clothes, looks the same, has the same routine.  Everybody is treated equally, or at least an illusion of equality has been created by those higher up.  People are assigned jobs and wives, which they accept graciously.  There is usually a leader, enshrouded in mystique, who possesses an almost godly quality.  History is rewritten or erased completely.  The age of death, political system, reproduction, food, drink, art, even the weather is all controlled.  But perhaps the most interesting  and consistent plot device is the idea of controlling feelings.  Somewhere along the line, it was decided that emotions get in the way of the road to a perfect society.  Usually it's the manipulation and sedation of emotion that incites conflict; plants the seeds of rebellion.  And most important among these eradicated feelings is that of love.

Screwed up, I know.  That was what Orwell, Huxley, Bradbury, hell even whoever made that terrible film where Christian Bale can shoot a dozen people at once with two guns while dancing, wanted you to think.  Control to that degree is messed up.  But I don't know.  Sometimes I don't feel so turned off by the notion of suppressing the feeling of love.  It is, after all, a manifestation of well-executed evolutionary psychology; a byproduct that was the result of the fact that those who felt love cared for their offspring better, so their offspring had a better chance of surviving and creating more people who felt love.  But goddamn, sometimes it's the worst feeling ever. Sometimes it absolutely gets in the way of just about everything else.  Maybe it's not such a terrible idea to suppress that feeling a little bit- our kids will grow up just fine, there aren't really saber-tooth tigers to save them from anymore.  

So pour me a glass of victory gin, I'm gonna burn a book, watch an egg get fertilized on a conveyor belt, and maybe feel a little less distracted and shitty from a byproduct of our obnoxiously evolved brains.  Maybe that's not so terrible after all.


  1. You feel this way because you broke up with your girlfriend, and you will not feel the same way until you break up with your next one.

    That is all.

  2. Quoting Shakespeare on love:

    "I am way to blazed to go into that store. NO. Look at my...eyes. No. Okay. Get me...hmmm...get me a thing of Sun Chips and a tall boy of Green Tea. I only have a card, can you spot me?"