Who doesn’t love watching a man get beaten to death with a brick? Or watching some old man without a nose chase a little boy around the world with a stick? If you’ve watched both The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, you realise that both are dystopian; well one becomes a dystopia, but that’s besides the point.
We’ve all fallen in love with the characters of these stories and the worlds that they inhabit and the silly little side-stories that developed throughout the books. And it kinda shows in the authors’ bank accounts (billionaire author). But I think our recent obsession with fictional dystopia is so odd, considering that we live in a dystopia that no one could ever dream up. Best of all is that it’s free. For some.
You turn your TV on and you’ll hear about a two month old infant that was raped and burnt to death. You’ll hear about the immigrant crisis and collapsing economies and what that means for everyone. You hear about Donald Trump building a wall. You hear about Donald Trump congratulating the Mexicans on doing well in Olympic high jump, because they’ll need it to jump over the wall. If you could imagine this, then they let you leave the asylum too soon.
But still we idolise books and movies about disastrous events that would probably never happen, but really can’t hold a candle to what’s happening right outside your window. It’s like keeping up with the Joneses. We become so obsessed with other people’s imaginary business that we don’t notice or give enough attention to the real issues and we let them fester and they end up biting off a huge chunk of your butt, because reality always has a way of intruding.
I think that we shouldn’t be praising authors for creating dystopian fantasies, we should instead criticise ourselves for creating the one we live in and deal with it. Because unlike The Huger games or Harry Potter, you don’t get to walk away after two hours of chomping on snacks while wearing a hideous, uncomfortable pair of 3D glasses you’ve had since you were twelve.