While I support the brave people out participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement, I have to confess a certain morbid fascination with the current events of the last few weeks, and even months. Government and Big Business is pressing it’s thumb down on the working class – in Canada, the “Harper” government, as it’s styled itself, has legislated ends to two strikes and is now interfering with yet another, undermining worker’s rights to Union negotiation. This stuff is happening all over, in times when the disparity between rich and poor has not been greater for over fifty years.
I’m fascinated because this is the sort of experience that I build stories from. Even the most painful struggles of my own life create fodder for words that will one day go onto paper.
Sometimes I think I should stop being so terrible to my characters, and I could write about utopias where nothing bad ever happens, then I could have happy things happen in my life…..Yeah, I didn’t think it worked that way either.
Also fascinating is the way the media is treating the entire movement. They are doing their best to ridicule and illegitimize it. They are making the protesters out to be a bunch of pot smoking hippies, finding the radicals in the crowd, and picking those people to interview. They’re making fun of them.
A post on reddit had some advice: get a haircut, and wear khakis and polos to protest. It’s important right now, for the protesters to convey that they are not the radicals that the media and the Corporatocracy wants the general population to believe they are. They are people just like you and me, who have been screwed out of jobs. They are the Everyman and Everywoman, and their misfortunes could be yours. They are also young people – college and university trained, and new to a workforce that doesn’t need them, doesn’t want them, and won’t pay them. This is the next generation, the leaders of tomorrow, and the people in power would like nothing more than for them all to disappear. These people need to make it clear that they are not going to disappear, and their government has a responsibility to them.
On that note, I plan to swing by Occupy Winnipeg at some point, to show my support. Hold together, all.
Nice post. I imagine the even if we had Utopias…that Utopias would eventually go to war. It is not a bad thing as long as they only wielded swords. Just as lava makes war with the sea…so one utopia would make war with another…both may be right and have reasons to go to battle…you will always have something for fodder to write about:)
Heh, I once wrote an essay for an anthropology class that argued something like that. We were studying the natives of papua new guinea, and they had battles between tribes regularly. They would assemble on a field, throw spears, and battle until somebody got hurt or killed. Then it would be over, and they’d all go home. I argued that what’s wrong with that? If they want to keep doing their little minor skirmishes, let ’em. It’s different from the genocides that have occasionally taken place.
The newest novel in progress though, is going to have a utopia in it, hidden away from a dystopian universe, and now I have to figure out how my version of utopia will work. Little bit intimidating, with a long line of examples preceeding.
If wars or scirmishes necessary…let men fight like men with swords such that we only spill our own blood and don’t destroy every other living thing in the blast zone:)
I often think of Utopias…often people think of Utopias where people live in rags on a farm and coin it as communism…kind of drepressing. On the other end of the spectrum you have Brave New World. It is a tough project because eventually you have to create rules and laws and most likely restrictions on individual freedom that we from the west find uncomfortable.
Key aspects in my opinion for a Utopia wouuld be: rational behavior regarding the size of the population…innovative and creative education for the little ones….long-term approach to life, in other words, the culture views their existence partly to lay a better foundation for the next generaton…no use or need for money and is replaced by more subjective means…explicit rules about use of technology….long-term inspiring and lofty visions for the culture that have the flexibility to be adjusted by the people over time…a great respect and reverence for nature….ample free time for personal and cultural development….a view that economics is under the control of the culture and it is merely a means to support higher ends….
I agree mostly – I’m not sure about the explicit rules about the use of technology, though. There’s always been two sentiments in sci-fi, the “if we aren’t careful, we’ll
end up here” and the “if we dare to dream we could achieve all this.” I think there’s a place for both the pessimistic and optimistic ideas, but I don’t think technology is something that we need to be pessimistic about. Technology can certainly be used to unfortunate ends, but so can economics, and relationships, and almost anything. I don’t think technology requires any more special rules than any other aspect of life.
I think whatever system I decide on will be based on rules that protect the citizens, and dictate that no person is allowed to do any business that is designed to take advantage of another person. That would rule out things like gambling houses, and would force businesses to sell their products for what they’re worth, not what the customer is willing to pay. Some kind of set of laws that prevents people from making larger profits than they’ve actually worked for.
I may need to re-read Daniel Quinn’s “Ishmael” again.
Glad you don’t agree with all….some much more in the realm of Utopia than those general thoughts. Yes…technology…the power to destroy all…the power to free all…my explicit request is that is focuses on the latter.
😀 That is the point of a Utopia, isn’t it?
There’s actually going to be two separate utopias in this story I’m about to start, but I won’t get to the second until book two. I will be playing on the ideas Daniel Quinn put forward in “Ishmael” that our system would work perfectly fine, if people would just be better people than they have ever been in the history of humanity. Whatever form a Utopia takes, I believe it needs to address people the way they are, not the way they ought to be for the system to work. This part’s going to be fun. 🙂 Might even be worthy of it’s own post, I think.
I am putting you on follow so I can check it out. Good luck and look forward to the read.
🙂 Welcome to the party, then. I have a couple of other posts to do while they’re still current, plus I need to put a bit more thought into the utopia thing, so it might be a week or so before I get to that post, but it’ll come.