Most chilling Apocalypse novel

Kat Tsun

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There's no other way to explain how you can have such a rich society of fantastically helpless people and have them *not* overrun by the first drug cartel to come along.

Singapore does alright. Maybe the folks just execute all the drug mules with robot arms that twist off their heads like that Onion skit?

Anyway, a society of rich nerds who can't fight back being "overrun" by cartels describes the United States in the 1960's and '70's more than it does in the 1990's, really, since by the '90's the US had developed pretty effective countermeasures against illicit drug gangs. I was really just talking about aspects like "one big company, inc." and eco-friendly cars in a clean aesthetic which still seems futuristic.

Compare it to Star Trek which was 30 years before Demolition Man. Which one feels more relevant? You can see that the vision of "the future" hasn't changed as much between in the 30 years since Demolition Man, but it changed a lot between Star Trek and Demolition Man sometime in the '70's.

Seems people in the '60's were more worried about global nuclear war or something I guess, which feels pretty quaint compared to things like swear words in rap songs or gig economy ruts like in Demolition Man's hyper-'80's vibe, which is still pretty relevant today.

The massive gang crime and giga-LA hyper violence...not so much. The under city dwellers just keep the maintenance pipes working for pennies on the hour and are expected to cover all costs themselves, and get verbally beaten up by brutal robo-cops that the upper city dwellers send down to yell at them. Because physical violence isn't necessary in such a stratified, hierarchical civilization, where everyone knows their place, but will still complain about it. Instead of fighting against the system and RISING UP or whatever they meekly accept their lot and cook meth on the side to make ends meet, not because society at large is particularly violent (it isn't), or because cops are particularly vicious (they aren't), but because that's not how people work. But Demolition Man is a action movie and it needs to follow a conventional action movie arc.

It's entirely possible for a society to have a hidden violent streak that is not only out of sight and out of mind, but out of general knowledge, really. The US is a pretty good example of it in itself, which is partly why Demolition Man remains pretty relevant. Maybe San Angeles is just a uptown walled suburban housing association full of rich Bay Area tech hipsters? Maybe three blocks down from every place we see in the movie there is a really rough neighborhood but no one comments on it simply because they literally do not realize it exists beyond "oh we don't talk about that" and they speed up slightly as they pass through? Kinda like how Palo Alto is in real life.

Maybe the reason Wesley Snipes is woke up isn't because San Angeles lacks death squads, it's because the Neo-California DOJ said that Nigel Hawthorne "can't just kill a guy over a wage dispute" and "you need to reform your zoning codes for the underdwellers" while the urbanites hemmed and hawwed at that suggestion, and so he's trying to keep it on the DL by having a prisoner do it to throw him under the bus later (this is the actual plot)? Wouldn't be the first time a state bureau had to step into a megacity's overreach.

It's why it's a good post apocalypse (even if the apocalypse is more just a giant earthquake, I suppose) movie: it remains relevant and mirrors reality while exaggerating it. And that reality remains relevant today because less has changed between now and Demo Man than between Star Trek and Demolition Man I guess.

The people in Demolition Man are not being swamped by drug cartels or whatever, so clearly they can handle that problem in some way (it's in fact so little a problem they don't even need to police their own ordinary citizens!), they're just being swamped by the inherent contradictions of their own system. It's built on a bunch of people being exploited to keep the society working for an increasingly smaller number of rich urban dwellers who are so detached from the "real" work of people that they exploit that they aren't even aware they exist, meanwhile those same rich urbanites are willing to keep the under-dwellers around but never give them good pay or decent places to live, despite needing them, and are able to keep them in order by simply putting them in their own designated area.

It's somewhat similar to Moscow 2042 in that regard I guess: one city of a perfect futuristic vision is supported on the backs of endless hordes of workers outside and it's not even that great in the perfect city, and so a man out of time decides to change the future and ends up making it worse. Then some other, older dude from the past shows up and saves everyone from the terrifying future that was always immanent.

So I guess Demolition Man is more a satirical dystopia than a true post-apocalypse, but I like funny movies.

Anyway another good one is The Road, but I liked the movie more than the novel tbh.
 
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Orionblamblam

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There's no other way to explain how you can have such a rich society of fantastically helpless people and have them *not* overrun by the first drug cartel to come along.

Singapore does alright. Maybe the folks just execute all the drug mules with robot arms that twist off their heads like that Onion skit?

"DM" made it pretty clear that there were *zero* mechanisms in place to effectively deal with any sort of actual violence or criminality. Somehow, even the actual criminal element in San Angeles has been rendered remarkably non-violent... the "scraps" show up and steal some stuff, but don;t seem to attack anybody. the only fight is when Spartan shows up, and none of them display the slightest ability to put up a decent fight. or even ability to just shoot him.


Compare it to Star Trek which was 30 years before Demolition Man. Which one feels more relevant?

Oh, sure, DM is certainly more like modern society. On the one hand, the likes of Antifa doing their best to burn cities to the ground like "Los Angeles: 1996," while their political allies are doing their best to neuter the public as in "San Angeles." "The only place you can even *see* a gun is... pfff, in a museum" coupled with the ingrained terror of human interaction leading to the weird and disturbing and apparently unsatisfying version of VR hunka-chunka.



Maybe San Angeles is just a uptown walled suburban housing association full of rich Bay Area tech hipsters? Maybe three blocks down from every place we see in the movie there is a really rough neighborhood but no one comments on it simply because they literally do not realize it exists beyond "oh we don't talk about that" and they speed up slightly as they pass through?

Unless all of SA is walled off with a wall that actually works, outsiders would sneak in all the time and rob the place blind. The SAPD would be as ineffectual against even low-end criminals as the San Fran PD is against shoplifters in Walgreens and CVS these days.
 

uk 75

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It is interesting how fiction does seem to have moved from end of the world stories to portrayals of dystopian futures.
Demolition Man with its glossy hi tech world but warped society is very similar to how Aldous Huxley's Brave New World must have seemed to its first readers. Lenina Huxley is every bit as pneumatic (apologies to Ms Bullock) as her feelies counterpart in London.
 

Foo Fighter

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A film I thought was based on a book, the book of Eli. Very strong on the good and evil side of life and a post apocalyptic world.
 

zebedee

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everyone speaks English clearly and has standards that basically align with Good Americanism. This implies that the United States has had an outsized influence on the world through the 23rd century.

How else to explain why the French in the 24th century speak with English accents and spout Shakespeare? Because they were largely wiped out and then colonized by the English, who then went native... kinda.
I used to wonder about that as well... till I realised we are listening to it through the Universal Translator...! In reality Picard is speaking French, Troi whatever they speak on Betazoid etc etc...
Zeb
 

Archibald

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Piccard or Picard is indeed related to Picardy - that one.

It is also a Swiss name (with two CC) via Italy (Picardi) : notably a complete dynasty of daredevils, one of them inspired Hergé for Tintin Pr. Calculus (Tryphon Tournesol - sunflower)




Piccard's twin brother Jean Felix Piccard is also a notable figure in the annals of science and exploration, as are a number of their relatives, including Jacques Piccard, Bertrand Piccard, Jeannette Piccard and Don Piccard.

(the very one that bet Branson at the balloon world roundtrip nearly 20 years ago)

Gene Roddenberry made clear TNG Captain' Jean Luc was named according to the Swiss family of aventurers and science daredevils mentionned above. Except they removed one C and went for Picard.

Which is pretty fun since Hergé derived Calculus / Tournesol from the same Piccard, Auguste. He also had a twin, just like the Dupond/t.

So this Swiss Piccard family is linked to Tintin mythology (on this side of the Atlantic) and Star Trek TNG own mytho on the other side. :cool::cool::cool:
 
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Rhinocrates

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Gene Roddenberry made clear TNG Captain' Jean Luc was named according to the Swiss family of aventurers and science daredevils mentionned above. Except they removed one C and went for Picard.

Which is pretty fun since Hergé derived Calculus / Tournesol from the same Piccard, Auguste. He also had a twin, just like the Dupond/t.

So this Swiss Piccard family is linked to Tintin mythology (on this side of the Atlantic) and Star Trek TNG own mytho on the other side. :cool::cool::cool:
So we could have had Tintin instead of Wesley?
 

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