I have always been very interested in the concept of utopias and dystopias, but especially dystopias. Who doesn’t like a good old nightmare? Western society certainly likes them, although oddly enough there was a time when it preferred utopias. This was the case especially in the 19th century, when ridiculously optimistic people like Edward Bellamy and William Morris wrote (completely incompatible) views of the ‘perfect’ society. Curiously, they forgot that there is no such thing as perfection in humanity. Even more curiously, they didn’t realise how profoundly creepy their worlds were.
Utopianism was largely replaced by dystopianism after the World Wars (coming up soon on this blog). A slight revival of the utopia came in the 1970s, when some peculiar feminists wrote about some peculiar feminist utopias. Seeing how utopias are mostly a thing of the past, I thought I better provide a guide on how to recognise a full-blown utopia, just in case you find yourself in one!
- Are the people very nice to you?*
- Are the people VERY nice to you?*
- Are ALL the people VERY nice to you?*
- Are the people happy?*
- Are the people VERY happy?*
- Are ALL the people VERY happy?*
- Do people have a lot of free time OR do they love work? (i.e. are they falling over each other to do any manual labour available?)*
- If you are a male: do you get a lot of attention from one or more attractive females who are a) too young for you, and b) too pretty for you?*
- If you are a female: do the (sexy) men all do what you tell them to do?*
- Are things simply mind-blowingly dull around the place?*
*Without an obvious cause such as the use of an obscure substance.
Now, count your number of ‘yes’ answers and use the guide below:
- 0 –> We regret to inform you that you are facing Reality.
- 1-3 –> You must be in a 1970’s commune.
- 4-9 –> You may well find yourself to be in a dystopia. Refer to an upcoming blog post for assistance.
- 10 –> You are so in a utopia!
In summary, if you are wondering whether you are in a utopia, ask yourself: nice, nice, nice, happy, happy, happy, free time or love work, attractive females, sexy men, dull?
And now the Grand Asylum would like it to be know that it is NOT a utopia. Repeat: NOT a utopia. The Asylum knows it has a great number of flaws and, frankly, is very pleased with each and all of those.
Alright, where to begin? I mentally closed my eyes, staring blankly towards the clock. This was the default comportment for all students in this class and for once I felt an almost indiscriminate part of the students present. The teacher certainly seemed oblivious to the fact that my mind had departed the building, the country, the planet.
I let my mind wander idly for a moment. The endless possibilities were at once freeing and terrifying. I did not enjoy the slight unease I felt knotting in my belly in reaction – it reminded me too much of the near-constant feeling of muffled agony I experienced in that teenage mental institution called a school. Quickly, I started building a place of my own to relieve that anxiety. A light room appeared, its walls bending into a crescent moon on both sides of me. The large windows let in a golden rain of light, which reflected on the pristine white walls and the bloodred furniture that appeared around me. An enormous, springy couch formed the edge of a cosy sitting area arranged around a fireplace. A polished wooden desk was pushed against a window, spreading a comforting musky scent.