Originally written as an English-assignment for a professor rating through the age-old principple that long words and a pretentious tone = high grades...
To Achieve The Dream Of The Dystopian Metropolis.
How many of you have not felt the horrible sting of diluted boredom? How many of you have not wished for a world where suffering is ever-present, concentrated into one short life, instead of spread out over several dreary years of existence? How many of you have not wondered how much more incredible everyday sensations and pleasures would be in a world where they are almost never felt? Would not the value of colour increase, if one could spend ten years searching to find one speck of red? Would not meat taste more delicious, and feel so much tenderer, if one would have to lay in wait for a day to catch a scrawny rat? Would not the sunlight be a thousand times the blessing, if the clouds rarely parted, and would not the rain feel so much more cleansing, if it fell clean and untainted only an hour a year?
After all, would not the world be more beautiful if beauty was almost always hidden? Are not the most beautiful things those that are just slightly out of sight? And if that is true, would not the ultimate paradise be a place that we would perceive as hell? Then, how would one create this hell when man is still content with this chaotic torrent of random, overwhelming pleasures and pain?
But I digress, using words that I barely understand in ways that are probably incorrect will not really get my point across, now will it?
In short, we do no longer appreciate our basic rights, joys and pleasure, simply because they are so easy to obtain. But in what environment could this nightmare possibly flourish? While it is tempting to look for such conditions inside our own imagination, the truth is that we might as well look into the past. Just look at the mockery of communism that was Soviet, where people died of starvation waiting to buy bread. A place were slow deterioration took the place of progress. But still, it's imperfect. There were still overwhelming sensations, though the positive ones were often reserved for the rich and the powerful, and the negative reserved for the populous. And the most basic and wonderful pleasures are almost impossible to control. You can't buy the sunlight, you can't own the moon. And no matter how hard you try to stop it, people will still find time to laugh, love and dream.
The perfect dystopia would be a place where mankind was oppressed, but had no oppressors. Or at least none who would take any pleasure from their role, nor reap the rewards. Since gods have yet to show their faces, and aliens refuse to conquer us, this part would be best given to a machine, though they are as of yet to primitive. And then there is the question of the location. Since there is no place more distressing to the human mind than the sprawling, never-ending city, it would be ideal, on the condition that it actually never ended. What good is hell if you can get out just by walking far enough? Luckily, we live on a sphere, which makes such a thing possible, if not likely. Just look at the world today. It is either that, or annihilation. And if there is one skill the human race excels at, it is survival. The reason I chose a city over a desert, a field of rocks or a dead forest is that in such places nature still leaves a far to prominent mark, and it is from this force that all inspiration comes. Inspiration brings pleasure, and pleasure brings suffering. At least if you can trust the Buddhists. And why would they lie? I just realized that if you look closely at it, my vision of a nightmarish heaven seem to be nothing but an imperfect Nirvana. Why does it always take a Buddhist to make me realize the lacking originality of my ideas?
Now that we have the director and the stage for this inhuman play, we need the players themselves.
And who would be more perfect of the part than the human race? After all, it would save us the trouble of holding auditions if we played all the parts ourselves. Also, there would be no need for talent, as there are no lead characters, simply extras. But then there is the issue of numbers. If there are enough people to build a global metropolis, then there are far too many of us for everyone to be utterly alone. Well, leaving everyone in solitude would probably be overdoing it. First of all, crushing loneliness is a quite strong negative sensation, and secondly, what good is this play if it only lasts for one lifetime? No, there would have to be enough people to ensure some level of interaction, but not enough for anyone to find anyone to love, or care to deeply about. These unfortunate souls would also have to keep wandering. This could be achieved by making sure that food is scarce enough not to allow permanent settlements, while at the same time making them believe that there is no higher power against which to rebel. To create and to maintain hell would require someone with superhuman skills in micro-management... But then again, a soulless machine would be the perfect bureaucrat. And in a play such as this, the bureaucrat is the perfect director.
But in closing, it does not matter what I tell you. This is what will happen, no matter how hard you try to stop it. As I said before, the human race excels at survival. But there are two other skills we have perfected as well. Cruelty and laziness. The nightmare will surely come to be one day, as humanity dies with a drawn-out whimper, praying for the bang...
Last edited by concrete
on Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Light a fire, scream and howl
The world is dark and quiet.