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An invisible, mutating lifeform kills millions of people. Robots murder families from the sky. Workers are forced to die in tornados so artificial beings can profit. Teachers scrounge for money in public arenas. It’s too unbelievable for Sci-Fi. It’s just real. As William Gibson said, ‘The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed.’
American dystopia is already here.
To understand how completely fucked this timeline is, know that Donald Trump was cast as President in the Sharknado universe but became President in this universe instead. Like inside a Sharknado movie is actually better than reality. While sharknados killed less than 1,000 people total, COVID-19 still kills over 1,000 Americans every single day. Americans currently live with threats far worse than fucking tornado sharks and they’re totally cool with it. We truly live in the most cursed of timelines.
Sharknado isn’t even a dystopia per se, it’s just bad shit happening. It’s actually utopian in the sense that the fictional President (Mark Cuban) does something. What is dystopian is the merging of politics and reality TV that American films have warned about for decades.
What is truly dystopian is that the same person would be cast as a B-movie joke-President and actually become President in the only reality we have. The problem is bigger than bad actors, this is a bad system. This is why moreAmericans have ended up dying under President Joe Biden. That’s what makes real America a real dystopia. The whole system is fucked.
Attack Of The Drones
Meanwhile at the edges of the dreaded White Empire, killer robots regularly rain down death from above. Children in Afghanistan grew up afraid to play outside. And this is ongoing. Americans consider it their divine right to kill or torture anybody, anywhere, what we would call an evil empire in any film. Killer robots swarm over human beings every day and we consider this entirely normal. It’s obscene.
America also maintains technical bureaucracies that kill even more. They are starving millions in Afghanistan right now by freezing their funds. They have used sanctions to block medicine to places like Venezuela and Iran during a pandemic. Through its bureaucratic automatons, the White Empire has killed millions throughout the years and continues killing every day. It’s attack of the banking drones, and it’s also obscene.
What Orwell wrote in 1984 might as well be describing America’s forever wars, and their forever justification of it.
Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — for ever.’
Hence while America is starving almost everyone in Afghanistan, Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Hardy are making films about ‘saving’ them. The films are a farce. The reality in which they’re made is pure dystopia.
Another limit to the American imagination is Capitalism. They understand that alternatives like socialism and communism exist, but they’ve been so relentlessly propagandized that they can’t understand this beyond the 1984 sense of doubleplusungood.
The great conceit of capitalism is that it’s freedom, especially as compared to the feudalism of the past. In truth it’s just decentralized feudalism.Instead of being bound to a noble’s land you’re bound to their corporation. The global majority are trapped within simply larger plots of land by passport apartheid. Same shit, different day.
Sci-Fi is full of dystopian depictions of future capitalism, but the present is plenty grim. Just last week, Amazon workers were forced to keep working during a fucking tornado and they died. They were killed, and this is just the most acute example. American people depend on corporations for things basic healthcare. Every day countless people die from their society’s cruel neglect.
If you take these same events and dress them up so they look like the future or an alien world we’re rightly horrified. See them happen in our own reality, however, and we just shrug. Americans watch countless movies about evil corporations and miss the very banal evil of their own capitalist world.
Dystopian fiction is neither dystopia nor a fiction to the people in it. It’s just reality. Americans need to understand that they’re extras in the film of life, not the heroes. They’re not blowing up the Death Star, they’re inside it.
Hence nearly a million people disappear while The Atlantic publishes “Where I Live, No One Cares About COVID”. Their corporate media goes silent about the war in Yemen, the starvation of Afghanistan, digging up even more fossil fuels, and caging even more children because Biden simply lies to them. He keeps up the fiction that makes the real dystopia tick.
So dystopia is where Americans already live. They point to the normalcy of most of their lives as disproof, but do you think the extras in all the fictional universes aren’t also taking dumps and eating breakfast? The point is not the normal shit going on in your house, it’s the violently abnormal shit going on in the world. As I’ve written, “Collapse is just a series of ordinary days in between extraordinary bullshit, most of it happening to someone else. That’s all it is.”
Americans cannot recognized the future dystopia they live in perhaps because it’s doesn’t look like the future. There’s no flying cars and the space race is literally repeating shit people did in the 1960s. Future fashion is dressing like a homeless person from the 90s, future music is remixes of the past, and future movies are endless sequels. We live in the future of most Sci-Fi movies but we don’t recognize it because it’s boring.
Even American politics is an endless series of reboots. Joe Biden ran for President in the 1980s and the 2000s until he finally won in the 2020s. Bush I was followed by II, and then they redid the Iraq War again. Now they’re rebooting the Cold War, with China as the new villain. In truth, Americans have been doing uninterrupted Reagan sequels for 30 years with different leads. It was a tragedy the first time. Now it’s just a farce. This has all created the rampant fuckery of today.
We currently live in a world of killer robots, global pathogens, and artificial corporate beings consuming the Earth itself. Fucking Nazis are back and the Confederacy rises again. Americans accept all this madness like it’s entirely ordinary but remember, most extras inside the movies always do. You’re just inside your own demented movie which to me is just a foreign film.
I live in Sri Lanka and I, like most of the global majority, are fucking horrified. It’s like watching a bunch of disaster movies, horror movies, and shoot-em-ups all in one. It doesn’t even make sense as a movie but this is somehow reality for y’all. The truth is stranger than fiction, and the truth is this. American dystopia is already here. You’re living in it.