Monday, January 27, 2014

The Dystopia of Post Modernism

In classic speculative fiction works Metropolis, A Brave New World, and 1984, which inspired THX, Logan's Run, and Vurt, an important element is that the workers, the common people, don't know they are living in a dystopia. In Metropolis the resistance is mollified by Christianity, in Brave New World its sex and drugs, and in 1984 it is safety and comfort. By being duped the people continue to maintain the order the elite wish, presumeably one the commoners may not want themselves. As a mental exercise let's ask ourselves, "are we living in a dystopia?"
First, there is not a single social order, even a single government, for the world, so let me point out I am talking about the United States, and those other countries called "the West" in so much as conditions are significantly analogous. As far as being pacified, the largest passive endeavor has been television watching which doesn't inspire viewers to even move, although it encourages the other major phantom pacifier: consumerism. It has greatly waned, only being taken up by Internet usage, which although diverse, the amount of passive and quasi-passive useage such as videos a few minutes in length to short text often within 140 characters is dominant. This quasi-passive portion is most fascinating because the feeling of interaction and agency allows the user to be social and maintain relationships, however they leave many feeling lonely as they are ranked and compete for attention.

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