One of my favorite parts of dystopian/utopian literature is reading what writers think food will be like in the future – which familiar items will stand the test of time and which will disappear from our palates. In the future Nina Oberon’s living in, one of the “evolutions” of civilization (as we commonly see in this genre) is the loss of free will. So much so, in fact, that, for Nina, turning 16 means the loss of personal freedom rather than the gaining of it, because the milestone birthday now comes with a mandatory XVI tattoo declaring her age…and sexual availability.
Of course, as readers we cry (perhaps even out loud) What?! Whose red-headed, step-brainchild was that?! Yet, this is just one theoretical manifestation of an almost accepted view of a future where people will exist under complete government control.
But we are too smart and self-aware to become sheep! you declare. Well, the media messages expressed by the “verts” and the “zines” of 2150 are so strong that they eclipse all else, including critical thinking. It’s a slippery slope, and, sadly, perhaps one we’ve already begun sliding down. Our 2011 society is already too media-focused, as well as over-accelerated; we want the things that TV tells us we want, and we want them now. You may still say that that’s miles away from brainwashing, but is it? I can’t lie – I get sucked into a good infomercial like everyone else. I had to have the gazelle the minute I saw Tony what’s-his-face demonstrate it (which I actually do love and works fabulously, so that may not be the best example).