It is 2011, which to those in the past would have sounded very futuristic indeed. Much more futuristic than the positively prehistoric sounding 1984, which was the year that George Orwell set his vision of a dystopian totalitarian Britain, and quite possibly the date which film director George Miller had in mind when he opened Mad Max with the words: “a few years from now”.
Yes popular culture has been telling us for as long as we’ve been listening that the future is not going to for the faint hearted, and now it seems that the Prime Minister is getting in on the act, preparing us for what he predicts will be “a difficult year” in his New Year’s message. Cheers Dave. Don’t be fooled by the “bright future ahead” sound bite, that’s really just a smokescreen, what Dave is really trying to tell us here is that we’re screwed, well and truly. The future isn’t bright, it’s shite, and the sooner we realise that the better. This news may depress some, causing them to go down the existentialist, ‘what’s the point to it all’ root, but to these people I’d advise get a grip and don’t despair just yet; we’re yet to find out exactly what type of shite the future will be. That sounds like fun doesn’t it?
Well it can go one of two ways: society will either be run by protein pill munching, jumpsuit wearing, totalitarian nut jobs, in which the draconian rule of law is mercilessly administered, (think Logan’s Run, The Island, Equilibrium); or there will be a full on post apocalyptic free for all (presumably following the breakdown of the aforementioned society), in which oil crazed, leather clad mercenaries form into vigilante groups and rape and pillage there way across vast wastelands, a la The Road, Waterwold. Clearly, both are not without their respective charms and you could do worse than allow your fashion preferences to determine your support for either one of these future civilizations. Does stubble suit you? Are you fond of wearing fur, particularly that which you have skinned yourself, possibly from the carcass of a looter? Then fears of nuclear war should not concern you. Likewise, if figure hugging polyester jump suits are your thing and stainless steel chic your décor of choice, you may well find yourself voting for parties who advocate the abolition of many of our civil liberties in the near future.
Come to think of it, our different attributes, predilections and experiences may predispose us more to one of these brave new worlds than the other. Take employment for example, the self-employed, particularly those practically skilled such as tradesmen, are likely to be much in demand in a world devastated by war and anarchy and may also appreciate the increased freedom offered by a society completely absent of authority figures. On the contrary, office workers and technocrats with a tendency to micro-manage, may find that a regime which intrudes into every facet of peoples lives really plays to their strengths.
Outdoorsy types would most likely welcome a lifestyle which provided more opportunities for rambling across deserted cities in which the inevitable scavenging for medical supplies and safe drinking water would be sure to appeal to their sense of adventure. However those that are easily sunburnt, with a penchant for minimalistic interior design, a strong desire to get their five portions fruit and veg each day and an appreciation for advanced surveillance technology will be hoping things pan out rather differently.
So hoarders start hoarding and informers informing, and with a bit of luck austerity
will deliver the 2011 you’ve been waiting for. Britain
Happy New Year.