It’s been an interesting couple of weeks on planet Earth, or what’s left of it. Imagine if you were down the local boozer back in the 1960s and opining forth on the what the future might hold for mankind et al. You’d hardly imagine an obese and unhealthy population all obsessing over pencil drawings of some prophet from donkeys years ago would you? The internet might be the best thing since sliced bread but what else has progressed markedly enough to warrant inclusion in any sci-fi flick? Sure, there’s a few tricks now being used in hospitals and buildings are bigger but what else?
We still drink out of pint glasses and believe in omnipotent imaginary beings cruising around the globe with their trusty panopticons strapped to their waists. Even though we may be in the future we’re still obsessed with what charismatic dudes allegedly said while wondering around the deserts of the middle east high on life. Imagine what would have happened if Monty Python made ‘The Life of Abdul’ and didn’t hold back? The world is run by an increasingly insecure bunch of idiots. In the west you have the christian Yankees protecting their interests all over the world in a most fanatical manner and as a counter balance you have the other lunatics taking offence at any perceived slight of their religion. Meanwhile both sides slaughter and maim with impunity under the banner of freedom. The French have a saying, which I am about to paraphrase badly, that extremes eventually meet.
What sort of future do we envisage 60 years from now? Will there be winners or losers or both? What sort of dystopian society will we be a part of? Because, let’s face it, the future never looks rosy. At least in Hollywood that is. And have you ever wondered why that is? From Bladerunner to Elysium to Logan’s Run the future always looks like a big pile of steaming dung and we are the dung beetles rolling shit around for a living. It’s all so like the life of Sisyphus. I’ll tell you why:it’s all about storytelling. You can’t have goodies without baddies and the bigger and badder the despotic tyrants of oppression are the the blonder the hero’s highlights can be. The formula works out at about two thirds bad assness to one third goody two shoesness. The imbalance in the ratio is what keeps things moving along and us, the pirating audience, entertained and distracted. As any writer will tell you it’s all about conflict and desire. It sounds a bit Buddhist right? Well yes, and no. The peaceful way is to eliminate desire and embrace change but where is the fun in that?
So, let’s get back to Hollywood. They have us conditioned to believing that the future sucks balls. That we may as well give up and wait for Keanu Reeves to come along and save all our sorry privatised asses and reset the fuck-up clock back to ‘there’s still time to change your dumb ass ways’. Why do they portray this vision of the future as such? So we’ll accept it when it comes along. “Hey this future is just the way I thought it would be, totally fucked up. But wait, is that a playstation 35 I see? Quick, order some pizza all is forgiven.”
And guess what? All the bad guys will eat falafel and sheep’s eyes. They have us conditioned to think so. Have you ever heard of white commandos raiding a magazine and killing the scribes over cartoons? Actually, I’m sure the Ruskies are guilty of this and several Sth American dictatorships too and come to think of it McCarthy was up to this stuff way back when, and then there’s the Chinese and the Khmer Rouge.
Which brings me nicely along to my next point; freedom of expression. All this terrorism plastered on the front pages around the world justifies the increased security presence on the streets. Our freedoms are being curtailed and truncated at a rate of knots. The cops aren’t there to stop criminals doing criminal things, they’re there to stop civilians doing civilian things, like protesting and venting an opinion contrary to the allegedly democratically elected stooge in power.
The sad thing is that we are humans oppressing fellow humans for peanuts. Not alien invaders or sentient dinosaurs but flesh and blood humans. Here is the problem in a nutshell, and here too:
And this is the only answer as far as I can see: