Sci-Fi Themes That Could Easily Become Our Reality in 2023 and Beyond
There are 4 of them to be on the lookout for: Neutered humanity, biological implants, a divided nation, and bio longevity
I was rewatching Demolition Man the other day and, I gotta say, that movie definitely hits different than when I watched it in the ‘90s. What I found funny as a kid, now scares the shit out of me.
Guns are abolished to the point of only existing in museums.
Penalties for cursing are handed out by digital monitoring screens.
The only restaurant that people can go out to eat at is Taco Bell.
Sex has become a strictly virtual experience.
Self-driving vehicles have taken over the streets.
People have become completely dependent on the state and technology.
Those that don’t comply and who crave freedom are forced to live underground and are treated like the enemy.
The city’s so-called “savior” is using cryo/techno rehabilitation to make criminals even more dangerous than they were previously — in order to justify further restraints and control over the people.
It kind of feels like we’re not-so-slowly careening towards all of these things. This Sly Stallone flick isn’t the only one that feels more like a premonition than a work of fiction though.
In a recent post, I suggested a watch list for folks who want to wake up to what’s happening in our world. (There’s a reading counterpart to it as well.)
In this one, I want to focus more on the overarching sci-fi trends in movies that feel like they’re starting to close in on us.
A population without critical thinking skills, creativity, desire, or unique identities is one that won’t care what you do to them. In other words, keep them dumb and keep them numb.
There are a number of movies that deal with this theme, each of them handling it in different ways.
Equals: In a world where everyone is gender neutral, sexually neutered, and emotionally flat, any deviation from the norm gets people classified as having SOS. Don’t worry though. A cure is coming.
The Island: Everyone is waiting for the day when they will win the lottery and leave the island. The contaminated earth makes it too risky for everyone to leave at once, so patience is a must. But why worry? Most people here seem to be happy and naïve in an eerily child-like manner.
THX 1138: Emotions and sex. There are more than enough pills and porn in this subterranean world to keep people from needing either. But what happens if you stop taking your medicine? Well, don’t be surprised if the police come calling.
The Matrix: Most people don’t even realize they’ve been neutralized. Or artificially grown and fed in mechanical pods. All the same, it begs the question, Why are so few people able to see what’s happened or to wake themselves up?
A Divided Nation
Another way to ensure you keep the masses under control? Create division amongst them. Political. Racial. Financial. Even physical borders will do.
Some people are starting to awaken to the ways that our governments, media, and big tech create these divisions. Watching movies that take it to an extreme might seem like a bit much, but think about how unexpected the COVID lockdowns were or how easy it was to get people to hate those who didn’t get vaccinated.
It’s always a good idea to prepare for the worst (and maybe to even hope for the best).
Ready Player One: Pay close attention to the way in which the protagonist and the other poor citizens of Oklahoma City live. This is all because of the energy crisis, global warming, and overpopulation. Yet, somehow, the elite don’t have to live that way.
Hunger Games: Citizens of Panem live in 1 of 12 districts. Sorry, that’s not correct. There are 13 districts… But The Capitol isn’t like the others. It’s actually a nice place to live where people have comfortable, luxurious lives and never have to worry about violence or going hungry. There’s no shortage of entertainment when the Hunger Games take place either.
Gattaca: Genetic discrimination is not allowed here. So it’s totally a coincidence when so-called in-valids continue to get turned down for prestigious jobs and are relegated to manual labor.
Elysium: The division between the haves and have-nots is prominent in this movie. While the have-nots live on the polluted and over-crowded earth, the haves live in up in the sky in an orbiting space station. Not only that, but the haves are the only ones with access to Med-Bays, which can treat any ailment.
Snowpiercer: All that’s left of humanity is on this train, so you’d think everyone would want to get along. Unlucky for some, management has decided that the only way to do that is to keep the elite segregated from the unwashed, bug-eating population in the tail of the train.
Bio Longevity & Immortality
No one wants to grow old and fall apart. Just look at the faces of most of the people in Hollywood. They don’t have all of that work done because they were ugly to begin with (at least, not all of them). They do it out of fear and insecurity.
While this particular sci-fi theme might still be a way’s off on the horizon, I sense it coming soon. How it will play out depends on how many ethical instructions the government and corporations are willing to bend and break.
Repo! The Genetic Opera: Yeah, yeah, it’s got Paris Hilton in it. But I promise you, it’s well worth a watch when you get to see how artificial organs have enriched corporations, physically transformed the elite class, and destroyed everyone else.
Repo Men: This is basically the same movie as above, minus the operatic singing, futuristic background, and Paris Hilton. I’d suggest watching these movies back to back and they do a great job of filling in each other’s gaps.
Surrogates: You know that phrase “putting your best face forward”? This movie takes the concept quite literally. But rather than use plastic surgery or implants, robotic surrogates take people’s places while their human counterparts observe the world from dark corners of their homes.
Daybreakers: Vampires rule the world in this flick. But there’s a problem. As the human food supply runs dry, vampires are left without the blood source they need to survive. While vampires aren’t real, the need for pure blood may very well be something our healthcare facilities and their ill patients need soon.
Advantageous: In this world, your perceived identity and physical traits are everything. Unlike our world, certain characteristics don’t automatically make you a victim or disadvantaged. However, much like our world, hard work and ingenuity aren’t really valued. The solution? A minor cosmetic procedure.
If you’ve read some of my more recent posts here or on Twitter, you know how I feel about Elon Musk. And his desire to chip all of us and to merge us with AI is right up there on my lists of why none of us should trust this guy.
That said, regardless of how you feel about Twitter’s supposed savior, biological implants are going to hit the mainstream very soon. You’re going to need to decide if you want one and, if not, what you’re willing to sacrifice not to get one.
Equals: I’m going to include this movie once more since their wrist implants are a big plot point. Without these chips, people can’t access their homes, enter public spaces, or go into work. Not only do the implants grant access, but they convey their health status — to themselves and the authorities.
In Time: Everyone stops aging at 25. At that point in time, the implant in your wrist dictates how much time you have left to live. However, time has become currency. So every second you spend on groceries, taking the bus to work, or even just going for a jog eats away at your lifespan. As you can imagine, elites don’t have to worry about this.
Divergent: The implants only come into play later in the movie. However, it’s the way in which their utilized that should scare all of you. Essentially, the military sect all receives implants for supposedly innocent purposes. But I wouldn’t have brought them up if they weren’t exploited, now would I?
Ghost in the Shell: This movie isn’t so much about having devices implanted into humans’ bodies as it is about implanting a human mind and soul into an artificial body. No matter how much the government or medical corporations promise that it’s to save you, know that this is most likely the outcome to expect. In other words, they’re going to turn you into a weapon.
TAU: The technology in this movie is my worst nightmare. Smart homes, bio sensors, AI-connected implants. And, yet, this is probably the most hopeful movie on this list. I won’t say much about it, except that the scientist reminds me a bit of Anthony Fauci. If Fauci were young and like really, really hot.