While we may imagine a dystopian future of thought police, killer robots and nuclear fallout, the reality is much more boring. Instead of being brutally brainwashed and enslaved by fascist, authoritarian regimes we have willingly enslaved ourselves, meekly allowing the top 1% to get exponentially richer while we drown in a sea of debts, tech, advertising, endless wars, environmental destruction, addictions, depression... the list goes on.
Brilliant, isn't it? But it's ok, there's always Facebook to scroll through (Bored Panda too, obvs), Netflix to watch, chemical-laden meals to consume, manufactured outrages over a mermaid's skin color to comment on... who's got time for thoughtful resistance? Even those that think they are resisting by electing bigoted billionaires, bankers and Eton toffs to represent them are simply playing into their hands, as their dishonest, scaremongering claptrap divides us ever further over political, racial and gender lines!
Sometimes we need to take a step back and see the forest for the trees. This list, compiled by Bored Panda contains some pretty terrifying examples of a present-day dystopia, things that make you realize that beyond all the distractions of trying to survive and thrive in the rat race, something's not quite right with this world.
So if you didn't find the sinister scenes of mindless automatons chanting “send her back” chilling enough, scroll down below to get a reality check on the spookily Orwellian society we are allowing to be constructed, and let's see if we can fix it in the comments! If you want to see even more proof of our dystopian world, be sure to check out our previous list!
The term 'boring dystopia was coined by the late academic and cultural theorist Mark Fisher in 2015. He used it to refer to the "bland, mildly coercive signs that abound in late-stage capitalist society, which foster a vague sense of isolation or unease."
He started a Facebook group that documented these signs as a way to develop consciousness about the world around us. "It was understood from the start to be a consciousness-raising exercise, encouraging people to perceive the actual state of Britain rather than the PR state," Fisher said in an interview with Vice. "Which is surprisingly hard, because there's this mixture of Silicon Valley ideology, PR and advertising which distracts us from our own aesthetic poverty, and the reality of what we have. Which is just all these crap robots…"
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"Boring Dystopia was partly about the fact that no one can care about stuff any more," said Fisher. "It's not that they don't care, but in a city like London, or any intensely pressured urban metropolis—add to that the pressures of capitalist cyberspace and people just feel like they perpetually have no time."
"Our resources for caring are depleted, and that has aesthetic consequences."
The Facebook group was short-lived, with Fisher quickly becoming disillusioned with Facebook itself. "For me the point at which the group started to go downhill was when it became like every other Facebook group. It was just recirculating 'content' and sending links, keeping people inside what I would call capitalist cyberspace instead of looking outside at their own environment. It felt like it was reinforcing the condition it was intended to displace," he explained.
"It didn't work at that scale, and you could feel that it wasn't the right place for it… It was just an experiment, and Facebook probably wasn't the right platform. I didn't want it to be diluted."
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After Fisher's tragic death in 2017 at the age of 48, his work remains as his legacy and is as important and relevant as it's ever been. His 2009 book Capitalist Realism is a must-read for anyone wanting to understand the modern world, and his 'Boring Dystopia' group lives on mainly in the subreddit r/ABoringDystopia.
What do you think? Are we truly living in a boring dystopia? Scroll down below to see the rest of the examples for yourself, and let us know what you think in the comments!