Five dystopian futures that wouldn't be that bad
Children of Men, Alfonso Cuaron's gritty and excellent film about a future where everyone has become sterile, plays tonight at the Denver FilmCenter as part of their recent sci-fi series. The film is a story about finding hope in an era of hopelessness. But gray skies and bombings aside, we don't necessarily think living in a world with no children would be all that bad.
Here are five dystopian futures that we'd be mostly okay with.
Children of Men
The Problem: Infertility.
The Side Effects: Societal collapse. Extreme government control in Britain. Environmental destruction. Terrorism.
Why it's not so bad: Have you ever been to a McDonalds playplace? Fuck a deserted island -- kids are monsters already. All everybody really needs is a slight change in their perception, and most of the secondary effects go away. No more Shrek movies. No more kids awkwardly accompanying their parents to adult-centered parties. Bouncy castle rentals for even cheaper than usual. No long lines at Disneyland. You can litter wherever you want. You can eat endangered species. No more Beiber.
You don't even have to live here.
The Problem: Machines have taken over and killed most of the humans after a long and bloody war.
The Side Effects: A small population of humans are left alive in the revolutionary city of Zion, and the rest live out their lives peacefully, without ever knowing they're in a dystopia, inside a computer program build to mimic the world of 1999.
Why it's not so bad: 1999 sucked, but it's better than the perpetual darkness and lightning and threat of Sentinel attack in the "real" world (although one of the saving graces of 1999 was the release of The Matrix. Fuck. Coolness paradox). It's a win-win, always: If you're in the machine, you don't know, and you live normally. If you do know, then you suddenly learn how to fly and do perfect Kung Fu and whatever else there's a program for. Wake up a for a second, learn some martial arts, go kill Fred Durst with your bare hands (he's just a program anyway). Was this a dystopia? I think now it's a Utopia.
Here's how you know it's not so bad: We could be living in it right now, and no one cares.
The Problem: The big earthquake came along right when society was on the verge of collapse from crime and corruption.
The Side Effect: The world is perfect, if your definition of perfect is "What every crazy person thinks a completely liberal-run word would be like," aka, "The Libertarian Nightmare." There's no more crime, no war, no violence. There's also no salt, red meat, restaurants other than Taco Bell, bad language or anything remotely dark, violent, offensive or politically incorrect. There's no sex, unless it's virtual.
Why it's not so bad: Virtual sex! You could make your ugly boyfriend look like Clive Owen! There's no crime or violence. Movies and memorabilia and art from before the change are still legal to have and own, if you can find them. It ain't Farenheit 451. And if you disagree you can go live in the sewer, in the Libertarian promised land led by Denis Leary. He says the people are starving, but every time we see them and their sewers everyone looks happy and healthy. Whatever, we all know the free market will provide.