Dystopia in US-topia

Dec 11, 2015

In a seemingly perfect society, from the filtration of reality to plastering of stitches on actually deep lacerations on civilian existence, it may be hard to separate through the rubble of lies to reach the truth; it may be hard and/or, it may be undesirable.
The truth of homelessness, poverty, oppression of women's education, sex trafficking, etc. is present, but not always sought because of its hideous resistance to a pretty, filtered life.

A relevant example of this ignorance of the problems of reality can be seen in a Disney classic movie, Tangled. The good side of the picture, Tangled is about a princess finding her prince and living as happy and free as can be, but in a deeper analysis, Tangled encompasses some traits of a dytopian society in seemingly utopian story. The movie starts off with a young girl dreaming of the outside world, away from the confinement of her tower; her mother, actually a sinister woman, has filtered her whole life to believe that her tower is all Rapunzel will ever need. The reality of the outside world was hidden from her, and oppressed, which made Rapunzel clueless and ignorant of the world beyond her small tower.

Similarly, in today's age, evidence of this can be seen in media, particularly news articles and videos. For instance, annual entertainment expenditure in the average household is about $1,767 higher than the annual expenditure on education; essentially, meaning that the value of educating minds on worldly realities is trumped by purchasing a new high-definition television to catch next Sunday's NFL game (http://visualeconomics.creditloan.com/average-american-spends-on-enterta...). Furthermore, how can a society repair its dystopian traits when the average person is more interested in what celebrities are wearing to the next red-carpet event rather than how homelessness can be reduced in the streets of his very own city? (http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-style/news/emmys-2015-red-carpet-fas...). This is primarily why authors of novels with warnings of the toxic effects of a dytopian society, such as filtering out the reality from fabricated, "pleasant" distractions, write: to educate and implement the drive to change.

In the novel 1984, Orwell warns us of this danger likewise when the reader gets to see Winston’s fear of his job in altering textbooks to eradicate the “ugly” information that the authority does not want to hear. Like Cornel West summarized well, "Too many young folk have addiction to superficial things and not enough conviction to substantial things like justice, truth, and love."