Episode 334: The Dystopian Dilemma

February 25, 2015


Featuring Matt Anderson and Ben De Bono

In this episode, Ben analyzes how specific historical events have led to an interest in Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic fiction.

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2 comments on “Episode 334: The Dystopian Dilemma

  1. Trevor Dailey Mar 2, 2015

    I have been thinking on the Dystopian hangover since hearing the podcast and I think I might have some insight. I believe the dystopian future hangover has multiple reasons. You must consider the fact that this fiction, whether it’s print or film or television, is created by writers and artists older than the intended audience, in most cases. When you look at Hunger Games Trilogy author, Suzanne Collins born 1962 you realize she is more than thrice the age of the average audience. That is generations removed. When you look at the media she probably ingested, either consciously or subconsciously, it begins to make more sense. The heyday of dystopian future media in its easiest digestible method, TV and film, occurred while Collins was a teenager and young adult. Films like Logan’s Run and The Omega Man were prominent in Hollywood. A similar thing occurred in the ’40s-’50s where the Western genre flourished despite being almost a century removed from the setting media was trying to convey. The creators consumed the pulpy novels and radio dramas and it obviously influenced their work.

    Another possible reason for the continued prominence could be the increase of news coverage, mostly for the awful. We’ve had 3 televised American wars in the past 20 years not to mention other foreign affairs. News items like the Arab Spring and protests in the Southern US definitely smack of dystopia. Terrorism is a Millennial’s Red Scare, but worse, because they have actually attacked US soil. Is a Boogie Man a still a Boogie Man when you can look him in the eye? The N.S.A. is fulfilling Orwellian predictions and fears at an alarming rate, possibly faster than they’re willing to admit. When I look at it this way, it all makes sense. The past twenty years might not be the worst in in the grand scheme of things but when your target audience is maybe two decades old, possibly older. Things look pretty bleak.

    I’ve rambled on too long and don’t have a pithy summation of this comment. Love the show so much and appreciate any and all interaction afforded as a listener. Thanks.

  2. Philip Mar 10, 2015

    I think the simple appeal of post apocalyptic and dystopian stories is they are easy for us to insert ourselves into and imagine how we would react to that particular situation. There’s something fascinating about survival situations where there are all sorts of resources laying about and a vastly reduced or non-existent population of survivors to claim them. Throw in the fact that you no longer have to go to your 9 to 5 job, pay bills, etc. and it sounds kinda fun….At least for a couple of weeks or so 😉

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