Lately I’ve had two ideas about the current popularity of dystopian fiction. The first is actually related to the Tea Party, which seems to be largely composed of precisely the same baby boomers who did NOT oppose the Vietnam War in their youth. Those who DID oppose it (self included) tended to become rather feverish about it, there was a sort of fervor, not only about the war, but about civil rights and women’s rights and so on, in the late sixties and early seventies, which coincided with a wave of great dystopian fiction, such as Do Androids Dream, The Sheep Look Up, The Dispossessed as well as many others. Now that the other half of that generation is in its own fever mode (their hatred of our current president, for example, seems greatly out of proportion, but my own hatred of Nixon was no less intense), dystopian fiction has made a comeback. I don’t think this is terribly surprising, given that popular fiction often reflects the general mood pervading the culture. The parallels interest me, though.
The second thought is that the rise of self-publishing, and especially the successes unleashed its erotica wing, is bound to give rise to a confluence of pornography and dystopia. Why not? We saw that sort of thing obliquely in A Boy and His Dog (the Don Johnson classic) and the culture today is far more explicit than it was a generation ago. I even had my own idea for such a story, though since I couldn’t write a sex scene to save my life I will never write it myself. Something like this: a dying earth, a lottery (more Shirley Jackson than Hunger Games) to escape to the new “off world colonies”, and a test which lottery winners must pass (which may or may not be fraudulent anyway – they might all be summarily executed. No one knows since no one ever returns). The test (and the book) is called “pleasing the goddess” and no one on the dying earth can say exactly what it consists of. Rumors abound. Those rumors are the stories in the book, told Decameron-style. Told by men, since only men are lottery winners. and only men must take the test. All women – who for some reason are in a great shortage (due to birth-sex selection perhaps?) and have already been exported to the new world. Who is the “goddess” (or who are the “goddesses”?) and what must be done to “please” her or them? (Maybe they only want chocolate! How would a man know?) The resulting rumors/escapades range from the filthy to the ridiculous and everything in between. Anyone who reads this and who likes the idea, or any variation of it, or is even just inspired by the basic idea of dystopian erotica, is certainly welcome to take it and run.
plenty of amusing overheards here from the Chronicle’s Leah Garchik, including:
“He kept trying to put the moves on me, but then again, I was the one without clothes on.”
“Well if she can’t even say no to her siblings, how is she ever going to reject some jerk who has sex with cows?”
“My girlfriend is Russian, so does that mean it’s OK to cheat on her?”
says here that the woman who molested Santa was charged with ‘fourth-degree’ sexual assault. who defines these degrees and how far do they go? is there a ninth-degree, a fourteenth?
maybe it’s just the bay area, or blue states, or urban areas in general, but we’ve got these free “alternative” weekly papers that combine the arts, environmentalism, holisticism, leftist politics (in the form of hip cartoons and local activism), and … porn. basically. the papers (San Jose Metro, Bay Guardian, etc …) are practically supported by ads for escort services, strip clubs, sex toy shops, LGBT support groups, you name it. It’s as if it’s not enough to be a hipster green artist activist with a sense of humor, you also have to be okay with browsing through a paper full of naked chicks. i’m not a total prude but it is kind of embarrassing to try and eat your lunch somewhere and try to read that paper. uh-oh, can i turn the page or what?
my wife says that “murder is the new sex” (explaining all those tv shows, books and movies about murder – it’s what’s “forbidden” now) but it’s hard to imagine a free alternative paper crammed with photos of bloody corpses!
Entertaining article about a Muslim TV Sex Talk Show where doggie-style is verboten and women are different and never need to masturbate and homosexuality is like alcoholism and the Koran commands foreplay. Hey, it’s almost the 1950’s all over again with Cosmo and a Muslim Helen Gurley Brown (although without the 10-step blow job manual).
It’s very simple, she says, this is good and that is bad.
I remember reading in a Jewish religious text (during a boring bar mitzvah) about God ordering how many blue threads should be woven into the fringe of a scarf, as opposed to how many white threads, and it made me think, woah, that God is pretty neurotic, not to say micro-managing, but who knew He was also so particular about sexual positions and who can fuck who and how!
ok, let me get this straight, miss nevada, miss new jersey, miss america, etc … they want you to be hot, but not a hottie. they want to see you on TV but not in videos. they want you to be fuckable but never get pregnant. they want you to smile all the time but not actually have a good time. if you do any of ‘those’ things they take away your crown.
can we get just rid of this stupid beauty pageant shit already? it’s so fucking stupid.
I once wrote a very bad novel with the title ‘Manakin Action’ (don’t ask), but it had nothing to do with this story, about a poor soul who may be sentenced to life in prison because he keeps breaking into stores to make off with mannequin females for nefarious purposes.