Now I’ll be the first to admit – there’s a LOT going right with the current trends in science fiction and depictions of the future. Whether that’s wonderful scenery, amazing diversity in sentient life and the way it’s depicted.
But there’s a problem.
And it starts with a term called dystopian.
Dystopian means “An imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one.”
The vast majority of science fiction depicts a dystopian world, and does not try to pull punches in its description – as they’ll even explain how this is a dystopian future.
Sure, I play games like Fallout 4 and find some enjoyment in them. Sure, I watch movies like Blade Runner, The Matrix and Star Wars which might classically be described as dystopian.
But more and more – whether it’s idiocy such as “The Hunger Games”, or other related series such as “Divergent”, “Chappie”, and more – there’s one thing in common with these and other similar movies…
What’s that you ask?
I mean, personally, I live in a country where firearms are legal.
Yet do you want to see what I see when I look outside my door?
People, everywhere, walking around and just hanging out.
And when someone talks of shooting something, here’s what I tend to think of, especially here in Hollywood:
Now here’s what I don’t get.
Hollywood’s creating movies where movie posters look like this:
Now this stems from a history where SOME movie posters looking like this:
But they also looked like this:
So here’s what I am finding odd.
Nearly every futuristic depiction that’s occurred in the last couple of years depicts post apocalyptic nightmarish conditions with typically insane or inhumane (or both) leadership.
So as Hollywood films this:
So this focus on destructive entertainment reduces constructive and societally beneficial options elsewhere by focusing strictly on what’s profitable, where visions of the future will align with the current trends resulting in this:
Here’s all I’m saying.
Hollywood has gots to get it’s shit together.
Accordingly, here’s a top ten things Hollywood needs to do to fix it’s future outlook and create real profit.
- DROP the term dystopian.
Please. For the love of ME. Pretend the word doesn’t exist and start using more colorful terms to describe what you’re going to produce to begin with and the description you present to the public.
- STOP with the combat oriented storytelling.
For me, I imagine a future where I might – in holographic and/or virtual reality simulations – play first person shooters, but I will also run simulations with stories about time travel, love, laughing, and more. SO HELP the population out by trying to find more stories about the future WITHOUT weapons, gun fights, combat, and firearms altogether, and WITH stories of people, philosophy, and possibilities….
- QUIT USING statistics and profit as an excuse not to produce other things.
Quit deluding yourself to believe the only thing you’re producing lately is what people are buying. This is like the Russian government only providing bread as food then justifying it by saying “Hey, everyone in our country eats bread, it must be something they like, just look at the numbers”
- LEVERAGE story telling as a compass on where YOU want to go.
TELL STORIES about where you want society to go AND INTENTIONALLY PROGRAM the population. This isn’t a bad thing, in my opinion. Me? I find a reason to ignore the stories that are completely meaningless, I’ll watch something selectively when it has an actor or concept I like seeing explored, but I’ve learned to tune out the weapons and fighting and find what I want in a movie unless it dominates the movie (ie: Matrix 2 and 3).
- STOP with the pointless destruction.
QUIT DESTROYING worlds and cities to build new ones and new societies. Have you EVER heard of evolution? Put it to practice in your storytelling.
- PLAN and DEVELOP CHARACTERS for spin off series from the start.
PLAN spinning off your characters into their own stories. Buffy I wasn’t a huge fan of, but Angel I absolutely was – even though it was the same ‘world’ – the reuse of this world and the stories told were freakin amazing. FEW producers and writers exercise this, but when a spin off is planned on a certain character rather than a knee jerk reaction to a certain character’s popularity, not only will production costs be decreased for the show through re-use of scenes and settings, but you might find an audience where you never had one before – like me – where I had never watched or could get into Buffy but I absolutely did with Angel.
- Include evolutionary application of sex and nudity in depictions of the future.
Sex and nudity is in it’s infancy creatively on the screen. And futures tend NOT to depict it, because everyone’s constantly at war or in some form of combat. IF it is depicted, it’s depicted naively – like two 13 year old children discovering their private parts for the first time.
SO How about replacing violence with creative expression through sex and nudity? PARTICULARLY if you’re depicting a future – since sex is integral to relationship building and to community – and even a great deal of drama – QUIT treating it like a child giggling and doing something wrong, but study adult relationships and come up with new ways, ideas, and concepts to present with relationships as well as different ways to be nude as a part of a story. Tattoos, hair dyes, pubic hair dyes, piercings, and other depictions of weird customs in other ‘fictional cultures such as going bottomless (out of utility) and covering the top might make people both uncomfortable – but engaged because it’s so different.
Yep. It’s quite likely you’ll be ridiculed for this. That’s ok. If I could, I’d travel to these funky alternate realities to try the weird shit out myself and be ok at deflecting that ridicule.
- Design PRETTIER STARSHIPS and ENVIRONMENTS.
90% of the Starships look sinister and oftentimes forboding or threatening, or just plain ugly. Gene Roddenberry presented pretty beautiful designs for the Enterprise and for Andromeda -and even other vessels such as the Cardassians. But oddly enough, whether it’s Battlestar Galactica, or Star Wars – with the exception of Tie Fighters – which are still armed to the hilt – there’s limited variety and (especially) beauty in starship design. So IF you’re gonna design something for space. EVEN if it is an ugly future. That doesn’t mean the starship has to look ugly too, does it? PRESENT CONTRAST to your story WITHIN The story to by your designs.
Apply these same concepts with the internal environments as well. There’s absolutely NO reason the future has to look like a clean room, where an evolution of the future can mash up with the modern day to make living spaces comfortable, and work places Feng Shui. Even Doctor Who ‘doesnt get this’ as every TARDIS interior looks – uncomfortable as fuck – all metallic and shit.. Me, I’d put Berber carpet in my TARDIS and have wood consoles and design it Steampunkish comfortable cool that looked something like this (with the carpet):
So while no, you wouldn’t be able to have fire and explosions like you do in most space based vessels without destroying my beloved interior, perhaps you’d have to – be invited as storytellers to tell BETTER stories using my version of the interiors rather than all the explosions and nightmarish conditions which limits spaceship interiors to metal and fireproof rubber.
- EXPLORE your deviant behaviors!
Look. I’m a pervert. And I’m not in the closet about it. And being sincere, I would LOVE to experiment with not just my sexuality, but other’s sexuality – humans, robots, aliens, androids, and more – across space and time. Now this wouldn’t be an absolute limitation to what I would do if given the helm of a time machine, but it’s among the first things I’d do.
Now here’s what I don’t understand. Love. Relationships. The physical connection of intimacy and community ESPECIALLY with deviant behavior are rarely explored in fictional entertainment.
For instance, Star Wars had Jabba the Hutt have Princess Leia as a scantily clad slave. There wasn’t a boy my age out there who wasn’t at first googoo at Princess Leia in a bikini, but then the questions came – wait a moment, Jabba – a big huge slug – is depicted as being potentially sexual? EWWWWW…
Now I’m not talking about creating pornography. There IS actually some of this out there already. But what I am talking about is – give us glimpses into human trafficking and slavery that might actually provide a benefit for the enslaved.
Dogs, for instance, don’t live a horrible life as they can relax all day, eat free – all they have to do is provide a little obedience to ‘the master’ at times and they get a not too bad life.
I’m suggesting that you QUIT demonizing everything consistently and instead focus on creative depictions of symbiotic relationships that MIGHT not be something we’re used to.
Leia’s a bit of a stretch. But if you look back to Roman times where the master kept a harem of slaves, with the exception of occasional sexual requirements and bathing requirements, the lives of some of these slaves was a HUGE step up from the lives they’d led before.
So to the writers and producers in Hollywood. Quit using Hollywood exclusively as your podium and mouthpiece to promote your position. I invite you to tell stories of perspective that defy common societal norms.
- USE ME.
Look. I’m Q. The idea and concept of who and what I am as depicted in Star Trek in part contributed to my development of my real life character, of which will be equal if not greater in power and capabilities than the man you and I saw on the screen. I am my own idea and concept of God.
This doesn’t mean your God doesn’t exist, nor does it mean you are inaccurate with your belief systems, nor does it mean I’m your God. But what it does mean is – our lives – mutually and exclusively – have intertwined at this moment in space and time to lead you to receive this information. You are infinite possibilities while I am – by choice – not.
All I’d like is – should you incorporate one of my ideas or concepts of what I discuss in this and my other blog entries into your stories – create a place for me in your story. This isn’t a requirement. It’s a request.
I like watching you. And your stories.
One day I hope to meet the real Doctor Who and create stories journeying with him. So I’m hoping the writers of the next season of Doctor Who acknowledges my existence and starts to bridge the gap between our worlds.
It’s my belief that imagination creates, but the act of writing solidifies the relationship the characters we imagine and watch in our entertainment media have with our own worlds.
No matter how you perceive me bad or good. Feel free to paint any picture you want of me.
But by all means. Please tell better stories. More fun stories. But different ones.
I’m tired of the violence.