Bookish Wednesday: Dystopia

Hey all I’m back for this week’s Bookish Wednesday with another topic that I’m finally getting around to covering. It’s all about my hatred for Dystopian novels.

Dystopians? Really?: Yeah, I absolutely hate the genre. It started with me reading The Giver as a kid and being utterly disgusted with it. Stories don’t have to end with a happy ever after, but honestly a story shouldn’t be so depressing and that’s what The Giver was to me.

So many novels, including stuff like Brave New World, The Hunger Games, 1984, and their like are just all made as social commentaries. Honestly if the authors wanted to write a social commentary, they should just submit an op-ed to their local or national news outlet or write an essay and submit it to a scholarly publication.

Instead they write incredibly depressing stories that are pretty much tailor made specifically for literary analysis in order to showcase what the author feels is wrong with the world. For me Dystopian stories are the epitome of terrible writing. A novel should be a way for the reader to escape their day to day lives, and these novels are all about the things most people will want to escape from.

How is that rational?: It isn’t and I don’t claim that my hatred of Dystopia is a completely rational hatred, in fact one reason I haven’t written this column until now is me coming to terms with that fact. I think that Dystopian stories are bad writing because they are made specifically to make the reader think about their life and what can go wrong. And for me that is absolutely the antithesis of what reading is.

I read to get away from my own inner despair and hopelessness that I struggle with every waking moment due to my severe depression, and Dystopian novels showcase the worst parts of my own mind and thrust it into my face. I don’t need that crap given to me in the form of a story since I get it already from my own inner voice that tells me to give up and just die every moment of my life.

That’s it for this week’s Bookish Wednesday.

 

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Movie Monday: V for Vendetta

This week for Movie Monday I’m back with a movie that is now a classic film. It’s V for Vendetta!

Plot Synopsis: In 2027, the world is in turmoil and warfare, with the United States fractured as a result of prolonged second civil war and a pandemic of the “St. Mary’s Virus” ravaging Europe. The United Kingdom is ruled as a Nordic supremacist and neo-fascist police state by the Norsefire Party, helmed by all-powerful High Chancellor Adam Sutler. Political opponents, immigrants, Jews, Muslims, atheists, homosexuals, and other “undesirables” are imprisoned and executed in concentration camps. The Irish are not exterminated, but are considered inferior compared to people of Nordic and British descent…

Plot: This is not a happy movie. If you have trouble with difficult subject matter you should definitely not watch this movie. That being said it’s pretty much the only Dystopian film, and story, that I actually respect and enjoy. I really don’t enjoy the genre as a whole, and the fact that I was able to get over that and enjoy this movie is quite noteworthy for me. In addition it made quite a few waves upon release with many conservative pundits railing against the movie. It’s highly controversial, but the fact that China of all nations aired it completely uncensored, and at all, is of particular noteworthiness.

Casting: Hugo Weaving is the star of the movie, and I only know that because I looked up who played the character as he is never shown without V’s signature Guy Fawke’s mask. That being said his co-star is portrayed by Natalie Portman who plays the character Evey Hammond. The rest of the cast is okay, but really the star of the film is V.

Cinematography: It’s not super amazing, and considering all the work that the Wachowski Brothers made in their previous films, The Matrix trilogy, that is a bit of a let down. That being said the incredible special effects those movies had wouldn’t have fit well in this film so maybe I can’t completely blame them.

Music: I don’t remember much, except for the orchestral pieces that went along with V’s various plots.

Overall: An excellent movie, and a definite cult classic now, it was controversial at the time.

For those who like: Dystopians, Sci-Fi, Political Commentary, Action, Drama, Good Cast.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Movie Monday: Gattaca

This week for Movie Monday I’m covering what some consider a cult classic Sci-Fi movie. It’s Gattaca!

Plot Synopsis: In “the not-too-distant future”, eugenics is common. A genetic registry database uses biometrics to classify those so created as “valids” while those conceived by traditional means and more susceptible to genetic disorders are known as “in-valids”. Genetic discrimination is illegal, but in practice genotype profiling is used to identify valids to qualify for professional employment while in-valids are relegated to menial jobs. Vincent Freeman is conceived without the aid of genetic selection; his genetics indicate a high probability of several disorders and an estimated life span of 30.2 years. His parents, regretting their decision, use genetic selection to give birth to their next child, Anton…

Plot: This is way too Dystopian for my tastes, and even though my roommate said it was an amazing movie, I just didn’t enjoy it. I don’t like Dystopian stories in general and this is no exception. The story isn’t bad, per se, but I just don’t like it. Sorry folks if you love this movie, but for me it’s one I’d rather forget, and now that I’ve written this post if I never remember it again I’ll be okay with that.

Characters: The cast is good, but it’s also not super amazing. Uma Thurman is our female lead and probably one of the more noteworthy actors, but nevertheless no matter how star filled this might have been, it doesn’t make up for the fact I don’t like this movie.

Cinematography: It’s okay, but not really super amazing either. If you’re expecting Star Wars level special effects, you’re going to be disappointed.

Music: I don’t remember it at all pretty much, but one thing I do remember is thinking that it was just as depressing as the story. Take that as you will.

Overall: Apparently people love this movie, personally I hated it.

For those who like: Sci-Fi, Dystopias, Drama.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

 

Movie Monday: Metropolis

This week for Movie Monday I’m covering a move inspired by a Manga that was in turn inspired by a 1920’s Sci-Fi German film. It’s Metropolis!

Plot Synopsis: Humans and robots coexist in the futuristic city of Metropolis, although robots are discriminated against and segregated to the city’s lower levels. A lot of Metropolis’ human population are unemployed and deprived, and many people blame the robots for taking their jobs. Duke Red, the unofficial ruler of Metropolis, has overseen the construction of a massive skyscraper called the Ziggurat, which he claims will allow mankind to extend its power across the planet.

Plot: The plot is okay, but frankly it’s got too much of the Dystopian genre in it for me to really say I even remotely enjoyed it. While my utter hatred for that genre is a topic for another day and column, it doesn’t mean that this was a total bust. One of my roommates in College made me watch the movie so it’s got quite a bit of a cult following and it definitely has a very classic Anime feel due to it being inspired by a Manga from the father of Manga and Anime Tezuka Osamu.

Characters: The cast is okay, but like I said above I really didn’t enjoy this movie’s plot. That being said Shunsaku is probably my favorite character of the movie.

Artwork: Heavily inspired by Tezuka and animated by Madhouse the artwork is really the only thing that I enjoyed about this movie.

Music: The music is very fitting and absolutely perfect for this movie. That being said it’s not super memorable either.

Overall: An okay movie, but much too Dystopian for my tastes.

For those who like: Cult Classics, Sci-Fi, Drama, Dystopia, Action, Excellent Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, particularly the Dystopia part.

Book Series Wednesday: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

livro brave new world

This week I’m covering one of my least favorite books I’ve ever read. It’s Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Plot Synopsis: The novel opens in London in A.F. 632 (AD 2540 in the Gregorian Calendar). The vast majority of the population is unified under the World State, an eternally peaceful, stable global society where the population is permanently limited to no more than two billion people, meaning goods and resources are plentiful and everyone is happy. Natural reproduction has been done away with and children are created, “decanted”, and raised in “hatcheries and conditioning centres”. From birth, people are genetically designed to fit into one of five castes, which are further split into “Plus” and “Minus” members and designed to fulfill predetermined positions within the social and economic strata of the World State. Fetuses chosen to become members of the highest castes, “Alpha” and “Beta”, are allowed to develop naturally and are given stimulants while maturing to term in “decanting bottles.” Those fetuses chosen to become members of the lower castes of “Gamma”, “Delta” or “Epsilon” are subjected to in situ chemical interference to cause arrested development in intelligence and physical growth. Each Alpha or Beta is the product of one unique fertilised egg developing into one unique fetus. Members of lower castes are not unique but are instead created using “Bokanovsky’s Process” which enables a single egg to spawn up to 96 children and one ovary to produce thousands of children. To further increase the birthrate of Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons, “Podsnap’s Technique” causes all the eggs in the ovary to mature simultaneously, allowing the hatchery to get full use of the ovary in two years’ time. People of these castes make up the majority of human society, and the production of such specialised children bolsters the efficiency and harmony of society, since these people are deliberately limited in their cognitive and physical abilities, as well as the scope of their ambitions and the complexity of their desires, thus rendering them easier to control. All children are educated via the hypnopaedic process, which provides each child with caste-appropriate subconscious messages to mould the child’s lifelong self-image and social outlook to that chosen by the leaders and their predetermined plans for producing future adult generations, as well as stopping the lower caste citizens from wanting to be more than they were grown to be.

Plot: I really dislike books like this because it’s really obvious they have a specific message to the reader and it’s usually don’t trust your government or something like that. The plot in this book isn’t all that great in fact it sucks period.

Characters: I can’t even remember anyone’s name except for the Savage, but I actually dislike him the most out of all the characters.

Overall: If you want to read a boring book that has no really interesting plot read this.

For those who like: Boring Plots, Dystopian fiction.

Not for those who want: Real plots and actually interesting subjects and characters.