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Author Topic: The Year 3000, Utopia or Dystopia?  (Read 1311 times)
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EspanolBot

Bending Unit
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« on: 01-27-2004 08:00 »

 Currently for my English Lit. A-Level I am studying 'The Handmaid's Tale' and i was wondering whether Futurama is a Dystopia or not. It seemed to contain more elements of A 1984, Farenheit 142 kind of sci-fi.
 However most Dystopian fantsies are satires anyway, so they could be parodied easily.
Nixorbo

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« Reply #1 on: 01-27-2004 10:20 »

Anybody who has listened to the commentaries on the season 2(?) dvds knows that it's neither a utopia or a dystopia.
Speli

Urban Legend
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« Reply #2 on: 01-27-2004 10:23 »

Um, Futurama is nothing like 1984 or Fahrenheit 451. It's pretty much today, except in the future. There are no hardass cops that watch every move you make, no burning of literature to keep the populace under control - People are allowed to think. So it's not exactly a Utopia, but it's definately not a Dystropia.
M5438

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #3 on: 01-27-2004 10:28 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Nixorbo:
Anybody who has listened to the commentaries on the season 2(?) dvds knows that it's neither a utopia or a dystopia.

It was the commentary on 1AVC01 Nix.  tongue

The Futurama universe is just as fucked up as the real present.  That's why we can relate to it.
hypknowtoad

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #4 on: 01-27-2004 10:32 »

The whole point of the Futurama version of the future is that it's neither. It's Today + Technology, which is what makes it cool.

Moreover, any of the dystopian aspects that might make you lean that way in an analysis are gags for the sake of making jokes about the literary concept of a dystopia. (trying to come up with an example, but unsuccessfully)

In the commentary for SP3000, Matt Groening mentions how the Fox people were curious why people in the future would be killing themselves in a suicide booth, and his response is key. What makes us think all our problems will be solved and no one will want to kill themselves a thousand years from now?
zoidberg74

Bending Unit
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« Reply #5 on: 01-27-2004 10:45 »

Freeze yourself and find out.
PCC Fred

Space Pope
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« Reply #6 on: 01-27-2004 11:31 »

Futurama's a Fruitopia.
Bushmeister

Professor
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« Reply #7 on: 01-27-2004 12:13 »

I remember watching a documentary about Futurama (the C4 premiere night) in which Matt said that it was not wholely either but that he had taken elements from both to form a rounded world.
Nixorbo

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« Reply #8 on: 01-27-2004 12:30 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by M5438:
 It was the commentary on 1AVC01 Nix.

Yes well, not everyone can be as big a nerd as you, dear.

Also, short-term memory's for chumps.

I have a thousand years of power.
"NOOOOO HE WAS MY BROTHER!" and then got tired and slept.


"He has the special talent, though, of being able to help people and make them feel utterly stupid all at the same time. ... In short, he's a great moderator, but a terrible human being."
-SlackJawedMoron
VoVat

Bending Unit
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« Reply #9 on: 01-27-2004 16:04 »

 
Quote
Um, Futurama is nothing like 1984 or Fahrenheit 451. It's pretty much today, except in the future. There are no hardass cops that watch every move you make

Well, unless you talk about Star Trek.
canned eggs

Space Pope
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« Reply #10 on: 01-27-2004 16:38 »

Smitty and URL don't seem to be very hardass.

Mostly dystopian futures are meant to point up negative aspects the author sees in the present.  there's probably some amount of this in Futurama, but it's largely there intermittently, for the purpose of satire.  Like Fear of a Bot Planet, or whenever the Central Bureaucracy shows up. 

But I think one part of the overall theme of the future as depicted in the show that is fairly dystopian in this particular sense is the alienation of the future Earth.  I mean, the characters are a guy whose entire family and life were destroyed a thousand years ago, a one-eyed freak who starts out believing she's the only one in the universe of her species, a robot that runs away from his job, which is the only thing he was programmed for...  Everyone is somehow alienated from the rest of the world around them.  Look at the Cryonic Woman.  This is a theme of most sci-fi after the 50's;  man's alienation in a technological society.  It's meant to be an allegory for the present.  But the cool thing about Futurama is that unlike most of the other sci-fi, it ultimately draws positive conclusions, because it's about the power of these characters to help each other.

So, short answer, no, I don't think it's dystopian.  But it's clearly not utopian, either.  I think the message is that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

canned eggs: all rights reserved, all wrongs reversed.
futuramamama

Bending Unit
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« Reply #11 on: 01-27-2004 17:05 »

Quote
Originally posted by Bushmeister:
I remember watching a documentary about Futurama (the C4 premiere night)QUOTE]

WHAT! a futurama documentary? Why wasn't I informed? And why isn't it on any of the DVD-box sets? And where can I get it?
Mouse On Venus

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #12 on: 01-27-2004 18:25 »
« Last Edit on: 01-27-2004 18:25 »

Well America has completely taken over Earth apparently come 3000 which may or may not be distopia to some people. Society has become a lot more accepting to the point where humans, robots and aliens walk the land whilst barely batting an eyelid - hell for all the Hitlers out there. And who can forget poverty? So contagious, even robots can get it.

 And I think to myself...what a wonderful world!   wink
Rogerbot3000

Crustacean
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« Reply #13 on: 01-27-2004 18:35 »

I say utopia.
EspanolBot

Bending Unit
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« Reply #14 on: 01-28-2004 03:41 »

 Everyone seems to eat human though! Soylent Green seems to be everywhere!
 Anyway my point was that Dystopian fiction is normally a social satire as they are, so they are good material to parody. AND, about the future being NOW, with technology, NOW could still seem to be a dystopia to someone from the past who isn't familiar to the present culture.
zapperdan

Bending Unit
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« Reply #15 on: 01-28-2004 04:53 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by futuramamama:
Quote
Originally posted by Bushmeister:
I remember watching a documentary about Futurama (the C4 premiere night)QUOTE]

WHAT! a futurama documentary? Why wasn't I informed? And why isn't it on any of the DVD-box sets? And where can I get it?

i vaguely remember that prog. i think it was actaully made by C4 so it wouldn't be available to fox. C4 were just as bad as fox at showing futurama, anyway. in fact, they are now going to premier the 4th season on friday nights at about 1:30 am. it begins this week if i'm not mistaken. it will be show with the latest series of southpark/king of the hill. i remember a time when C4 actually treated quality show with respect   roll eyes

I suffer from Sexlexia!
EspanolBot

Bending Unit
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« Reply #16 on: 01-28-2004 08:55 »

 Coming up next... Futurama cancelled half way through season 4 and moved to Channel 5!
Mouse On Venus

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #17 on: 01-28-2004 09:58 »

I don't think Channel 5 could afford it.  tongue
Bushmeister

Professor
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« Reply #18 on: 01-28-2004 16:59 »

Channel 5 would probably stick it in after the weekly porno film anyway  tongue
futuramamama

Bending Unit
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« Reply #19 on: 01-28-2004 17:04 »

The united states taking over the world? How is this different from the year 2004?
Mouse On Venus

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #20 on: 01-28-2004 17:06 »

They have a special flag to prove it.  tongue
canned eggs

Space Pope
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« Reply #21 on: 01-28-2004 17:12 »

Plus the term limit for the president of the US applies to the president of the world, who lives in the White House.
VoVat

Bending Unit
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« Reply #22 on: 01-28-2004 18:20 »

 
Quote
Society has become a lot more accepting to the point where humans, robots and aliens walk the land whilst barely batting an eyelid

Not mutants, though.  And prejudice certainly still exists, as seen in the Professor's reaction to the Signoids.

 
Quote
And who can forget poverty? So contagious, even robots can get it.

There seem to be quite a few poor and/or homeless people for a society that apparently guarantees everyone a job.
Mouse On Venus

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #23 on: 01-28-2004 18:23 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by VoVat:
 Not mutants, though. And prejudice certainly still exists, as seen in the Professor's reaction to the Signoids.

 That's true, but there doesn't seem to be much racism within the human race anymore. Still a fair bit of sexism, though.

Beamer

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #24 on: 01-29-2004 05:43 »

I guess the good part about it is that you can leave Earth, but then again - most of the other planets are shit too.  tongue

Like the creators said, it's neither a utopia or a dystopia. The universe portrayed in Futurama seems to have just as many good elements (great inventions, space travel, etc.) as it does bad elements (bad inventions, career chips, people are still morons, etc.) so it's very hard to reach a conclusion.
EspanolBot

Bending Unit
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« Reply #25 on: 01-30-2004 16:51 »

 I think that the freedom of the citizens of Futurama is deceptive, take Richard Nixon's Freedom Day Speech:
"We have the free to choose the hand that our sex monitoring chip os inserted in, and if we don't feel like paying our taxes we're free to spend a day with the Pain Monster."
 Also the idea of people being forced to jobs they are best at is fairly Dystopian.
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