I’ve been very lucky to go to some amazing places, and I can’t think of many locations I have been to that I wish I had never gone. Even Paris, it was not to my liking but I am still thankful I got to go once (although being married to a Francophile I have the feeling I will be going to the City of Love again).
There are very few places I wouldn’t like to travel to; everywhere has a certain quality that piques my interest. Despite this I can think of a select number of locations that I would rather not have to go to if I can help it.
They all have one thing in common, they are a little closer to home than you would imagine.
Earth (of the past) – Battlestar Galactica
5 years ago the planet you were living on got obliterated by a race of sentient robots that turned against you. You have been chased across the galaxy as they attempt to complete their genocide. You did find a planet to live on, until they found you and tried to kill you all again. Another planet you found had been nuked out of all existence by the same mechanical menaces.
So upon finding a brand new spanking, and verdant planet what do we do…get rid of all our defences, technology, knowledge and well everything and shack up with the Neanderthal locals in a prehistoric hippie commune.
The reason the mass majority of the fleet agreed to this crazy idea was probably due to the last ‘plan’ being to bang down the front door of a space station on the cusp of a black hole.
I’ll admit it looks nice, but I’m not inhabiting a world run by crazies who follow the advice of angels and the whims of ‘he who must not be named because he doesn’t like it then you do that’.
Earth (of the now-ish) – 1984
We are all sheep. We believe what we are told, and if enough pressure is applied we will think that 2+2 is 5. The Now-ish Earth seems to be endlessly depicted as authoritarian, utilitarian and oppressive.
The world is literally grey, except right and wrong…that is still very much black and white. It’s just that one day black is black and the next its white.
The system is not questioned, the regime is worshipped and personality is not required.
1984 is not unique in this image of a modern-day Earth, this trope appears in countless shows, movies, books and games. It is like the imagination and freedom of expression so abhorred by the dictators has seeped into the real world and robbed the authors of theirs.
Perhaps events of the 20th century have had an effect on these arts? We have, and perhaps are, still living through an age of control.
It seems that life today is a dystopia…
Earth (of the future) – The Time Machine
…It could be worse, we could live in an Utopia.
I can imagine nothing worse than living in a world where you basically sit around making daisy chains and doing pretty much nothing all day, while the collective sum of human achievement is left to rot.
It doesn’t help to think I’m likely to be dumped in with the Morlocks, who on balance would be better, at least they are not cattle like the Eloi are.
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