Friday, April 22, 2016
In the future I see the end of the united states as we know it. It will become either more socialist or more fascist over time. Before this I guess there will be more wars that will try to reinvigorate the capitalist society we live in now. I don't presume that this will work and in this militaristic tradition's final years hate and fighting will find no more enemies outside of our borders and turn in on itself. This might be starting now as far as I see it. The destruction that we do to ourselves during this period will allow for our country to fall apart into smaller pieces that will only be united through more violence. All the while technology will become even more international and those tech companies will slip out from beneath the control of countries as the countries themselves fall apart. As far as the technology itself I believe that in ten years we will have fully commercial virtual reality and in twenty we will have a base level of automation in public places. This means automated cashiers and the such. I'm not saying that they will work well but they will be there. The loss of jobs will continue with the automation of tasks and poverty will rise as well as crime. Drugs will only become more powerful and countries will give up the war against them out of a lack of funds and care. In a hundred years the geography of nationality will be completely different. Countries as we know them will not exist. There will most likely be more countries and they will be smaller in size. This is my general view on the future.
I couldn't help it, for this week I had to write about Idiocracy. It is the most perfect movie of all time. I do not think there is a more perfect time in our history for us to re-watch this movie either. We are literally entering a time in our country where we might start to see this horror movie of a future become reality. Trump is running for president, we continuously destroy our habitats, our streets are paved with fast food, and I would not be surprised if the liquid we use to water our crops is replaced with some coca-cola product. This movie shows exactly how our culture is at its worse with a expert combination of bizarre yet realistic scenarios and funny dialogue. Welcome to Costco, I love you. I mean there is a literal scene where it is explained that people can get law degrees at Costco. How far off is that from where we are? People can get law degrees over the internet, hell even in lesser programs. That's not a complete exaggeration. I mean who knows if big companies will start to open schools in the future, and if they have the money who can stop them? But that's the best part because its in the future you can have Costco law degrees, and idea that mirrors our own fidelity of education but is ridiculous enough to directly capture our attention. I think that this is the best way to say this. Setting a story like this in the future allows for a direct examination of our own culture in a way that is just ridiculous enough to catch our attention.
I do not think that there is much of a difference of writing in genre and using elements of a genre in reference to writing literature. Writing inside of a genre does not take away from the literature per say. A good example is this book and The Martian. True that they use elements of science fiction but they use them well. I think that the only way that people would really start classifying them as genre pieces is if they starting using the elements of their genre in a cliche way. That's what I'm really trying to get at here. Usually pieces that become overshadowed by their genre are pieces that really on the genre for the structure. So for example if a book uses genetic mutation as a tool to progress a story and make a point that creates entertainment than it is literary. The entertaining point is not the mutation, the mutation is a tool used to reach this entertaining point. When a story uses the mutation as the point of entertainment that's when it becomes overshadowed by its genre. For example half of the bad sci-fi. In bad science fiction the story is about the tool which gives a feeling of shallowness. But using these tools I will reiterate does not create a shallow story in itself. I don't like to this question because I believe that it takes away from the texts. It turns a good story into a story of re-used idea, even when it's not really about that. Granted there are other stories with corporation states, there are other stories with mad science and mutants. But what makes this story is how they use it. For another example in The Witcher series its not about it being fantasy, its about the fantastical elements are used to create a realistic and entertaining story, and its the same with this story and all of sci-fi.
I think that it is a very common fear of somehow coming in contact with parasites, but I'm not sure how exactly this story is referencing this fear over straight up pregnancy.That being said I guess there can be an argument that pregnancy might in a way be closer to a parasitic relationship for some but I don't believe that this is what the story is saying. I think that the reactions in the story are still somewhat close to what our society goes through. Pregnancy is scary as hell and the fear of abandonment certainly is too. Although I find myself on the other side of the conflict I believe that this story was written in a way to make me think about it from the other side. I do think the reactions seen in the story although extreme are close to what you'd actually find in our society also because of the promises made of well keeping. The partners are also well capable of staying and taking care of the pregnant which is a detail which really connects it with our own society. A lot of science fiction speculation might take this detail out in a relationship such as the one being portrayed.
The picture of reality painted in the Snow Crash is oddly enough kind of becoming our own reality. I mean honestly on a side note I can only imagine that the writer is either oddly pleased or truly horrified at the validity of his ridiculous fantasy. I mean how is it that a world where characters such as Hiro Protagonist might actually hold some weight? Anyways in the world created in Snow Crash huge companies rule the land and an advanced internet creates a sort of second world for people to live in. People live in sort of city states that are actually suburban gated communities and the government that connected us all has largely stepped down. Money has taken a back seat to a type of bitcoin, and it is truly solidified that life is moving online. Again reading this I can only think that this is a direct spoof on where our own world is headed. I mean I can imagine that if Trump gets elected this country could split with his loyal domain being the United Conglomerate of Trump. And in the end that's what makes this story horrifying to me. This fantasy world created as a critique of our own is in fact slowly but surely becoming our own. I think this really goes for most of the stories in this genre. The dark metal and dirty walkways of the corporate countries are slowly becoming our own.
I would say that the main experimentation taking place in The Left Hand of Darkness is the idea of an almost sexless culture. It's definitely a bizarre though to us raised in the sexually split America. The people of Gethen only become sexual at a single point in time can become either sex. This way throughout the story the people of Gethen do not suffer from the downfalls of split sex. There is no discrimination of sex and there is no apparent power struggle between sexes. Responsibilities are split straight down the middle. This is absolutely not how our world works, or at least not how it is viewed. In our world someone might be treated as an object because of their sex, their abilities in a certain action might be judged beforehand, without any time for them to demonstrate any abilities. The power struggle is all too real in the world we live in. We actually live in a country where the fact that a women might become president is a novelty that might set apart her candidacy from others. This would not happen in the society created within the novel. The absence of sexuality takes out these struggles which we fate. At the same time it is important to note that it also takes out a lot of sex. Sex is an activity that most people would agree is beneficial. So although the pain of sexuality is removed in this experiment so is most of the fun. It's truly a double edged sword.
Upon reading the Martian I am reminded of something one might find in a classic adventure novel. Particularly the many stories one might hear of being stranded upon an island. The idea is more similar to a sailor lost out on a Caribbean. The astronaut in this story replaces the sailor and Mars is the island. It's actually quite genius, because the basic structure of the story is amplified in a realistic way. Someone might also think as far back as the classics such as Odysseus being stranded. Really I guess this is what I'm trying to get across is that I do not think that the Martian takes from any specific genre per say more that it takes notes from the classical structure. This can really be seen in multiple ways. Much like many other classical stories the moral dilemma is layered and is shared by multiple people. It's not so much about what one person will do to solve the problem but what many people can do together. For example the story of Odysseus is as much about his wife and son as it is about him. In the Martian the story is as much about Watney's crew and the overall team of the expeditions as it is about him. Of course it focuses heavily on him but his survival is dependent on being saved. No matter how hard he tries his efforts will only get him so far. Another important part of the story that borrows from the classical aspect is that the hero survives through his ability to think. Much like Odysseus who survives through his brains and whits Watney survives because of ingenuity and education.