Monday, January 21, 2013

80s Sci-fi: It Kinda Came True

Hard to believe it's 2013. As an 80s kid, I remember thinking of this year as one of those impossible future numbers. I pictured hover boards and Schwarzenegger's uber-yellow Running Man jump suit and that dude from Omni Consumer Products in Robocop sneering, "We practically are the military."

Did any of those films have a black president? The first ones I can recall are Zeus in "Fifth Element" and Morgan Freeman (who else, bitches?) in that comet movie that summer there were two comet movies.

So for this week, let's go over some key predictions of 80's Sci-fi.

The Running Man
I mean the book, not the craptastic Schwarzenegger flick. (See the original "Total Recall" for Ahnald with a brain.) The Stephen King story features some damn disturbing predictions. In the book, the poor are without hope (almost there...) so they sign up for a reality television show where they can win a bagillion dollars if they survive a month as a fugitive. Trouble is, everyone else wins money for helping the fascist police find and kill you. Like Boss Tweed used to say, "You can always hire half the poor to kill the other half."

If that isn't disturbing enough, the Running Man is gut shot on a plane at the end. Realizing he's dying, he crashes the plane into the corporate tower of the station that runs the show. This was more than a decade before 9/11.

Back to the Future II
Lewis Black said of our time, "No flying cars, SCREWED AGAIN!" This totally applies to hover boards.

This movie did get one thing right. Remember Marty McFly getting downsized via Skype? The only thing they got wrong there = the Chinese own us, not the Japanese.

It's scary how well the first two movies have held up. The effects look like shit now, but the Reagan-era fear of our cold corporate future has proven very well founded.

We don't have the kind of cyborg technology this film predicted, but we certainly have the problems. Urban decay. The militarization of the police. Drones. And the worst - the rise of the military-industrial complex. The line I referenced earlier deserves some context. The second in command of Omni Consumer Products (think Goldman Sachs but less evil) needs his thug henchman to kill Robocop. Henchman complains that he'll need access to military hardware. Corporate douche sneers, "We practically are the military."

Of all the shit I've seen go wrong in my lifetime, from radical de-unionization to the war on education to the Citizen's United decision (which essentially made corporations our shadow government), the scariest thing is the idea of a corporation with its own merc military. Google K.B.R. or Blackwater if you need a good scare.

There is some good news. We aren't there yet. Obama may be a centrist (he's not a black Nazi, teabaggers, that would be an oxymoron, like literate redneck) but he can be pressured to the left. There are organizations like Move to Amend dedicated to giving governing power back to our elected government. We aren't in Robocop Detroit or Running Man Los Angeles.

At least, not yet.

Writing updates:
-just passed 70,000 words on "Rise of the Paramancers"

-submitted "Men in Strange Arrangements" to a new publisher

-waiting on word for "Jesse Rules"

-"Mountainview" is in Saints and Sinners and "The Camp Seminole Weiner Wall" is still up for Best of the Net 2012

Haven't done this in a while so here are my links again:

My story is “Divine Hand”, about an expose reporter who goes undercover at a religious conversion camp for gay teens.

And here are my freebies:

“The Camp Seminole Weiner Wall” (A friendship is tested by a sexually cruel camp ritual.)

“Friends and Pyromaniacs” (A young man’s awakening requires a Molotov cocktail.)

“The Gay Bomb” (An undercover agent unleashes the ultimate weapon in the war against Islam – a pheromone bomb that causes gay arousal.)

Announcements for “Best of the Net 2012” Award
And here's the announcement on our Facebook page:

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