The world can change so much in a week. The UK went back into lock down. Joe Biden was elected president along with Kamala Harris as the first woman of colour, to become vice president. Drug reform was a unifying force across US elections, while the comparatively progressive New Zealand legalised euthanasia but not marijuana.
I read a book and watched a movie, both set in (different) dystopias.
Dystopian Science Fiction
…as with most of the future worlds in science fiction you’re not talking about the future you’re talking about the present.Alan Moore – author of comic books Watchmen and V for Vendetta
Brave New World
For a novel that is 88 years old, the future imagined by Aldous Huxley in Brave New World feels remarkably relevant. Soma feels prescient in a world with ever increasing prescriptions of anti-depressants and an opioid epidemic. It poses a question that I have yet to resolve: how to choose if it is better to live a happy and comfortable life, or to suffer in the name of a good cause?
V for Vendetta
On the 5th of November, the start of the UK’s second lockdown, I watched the film adaptation of Alan Moore’s comic series V for Vendetta. Some plot elements felt eerily familiar in the context of a US Presidential election during a global pandemic. As a “Bush-era parable” (see quote below), I found the undertones of the 9/11 Truth movement unpalatable, whilst the reminder of the threat of fascism felt necessary given a US president with a fondness for white supremacists. Valerie’s letter made me cry (for the third time).
[The movie] has been “turned into a Bush-era parable by people too timid to set a political satire in their own country. … It’s a thwarted and frustrated and largely impotent American liberal fantasy of someone with American liberal values standing up against a state run by neoconservatives – which is not what the comic V for Vendetta was about. It was about fascism, it was about anarchy, it was about England.Alan Moore on the film adaptation of his comic book V for Vendetta