It rained sometime during the night. The world’s been distorted into shades of wet greys and everything has a slight sheen to it. The sky’s still an ominous shade of grey as if it’s threatening to drown the world again, whether this proves to be an empty threat or not remains to be seen. Back home rain made everything seem fresh and clean, but down here? Everything seems just as dirty and foul as it did yesterday when it was dry. It’s like a particularly hideous ornament has been polished up because guests are coming round. Polished or not, they’ll still hate the damn thing. I’m once again sitting in my grotty old desk chair, it’s made of faux leather. It’s got a great big tear across the seat where the seams have split, leaving a ragged maw with atrophied lips and misshapen teeth of grey sponge. I’ve tossed a grey tartan blanket over the top to hide the worst. It’s made of acrylic and I like to snuggle into it when it gets too cold. It’s always too cold in my house. I’m choking down factory milled bread slathered in hydrogenated vegetable oil made to imitate churned bovine lactate, this is turn is coated in the black, tarry dregs of a brewer’s vat. It’s all being washed down with a tepid, brown liquid that might once have been tea. I’m a product of the lower middle-class, struggling under the yoke of a disconnected government of rich-elite who hate their population. The divide between the rich and the poor widens daily, inflation spirals ever-upward, the economy’s in recession and the living wage of the average working stiff isn’t going up. The powers that be are trying to introduce plans to monitor all forms of electronic communication. Dystopia doesn’t seem so far away after all. Or perhaps I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. I don’t think anyone can argue that living in a dystopian world would be pretty awful. But why is it that dystopian fiction is so popular and so prevalent?
The Hunger Games came out last week to some pretty rave reviews. As of yet I haven’t heard anyone say a bad thing about it. I was even thinking of going to see it this weekend so that I had a better idea as to what everyone was going on about. But it was cold outside so I stayed inside where there was tea. It is the most recent in a long line of dystopian films to grace cinema screens. We’ve had The Matrix, Blade Runner, Mad Max, Logan’s Run, the list goes on, spiralling all the way back to Fritz Lang’s Metropolis in 1927. The world of books is littered with similar pieces, from the comic-book worlds of Transmetropolitan and Watchmen, to the familiar fields of Orwell’s 1984, Huxley’s Brave New world and more or less everything that Philip K. Dick ever wrote.