The 2019 Dystopia Was Supposed To Be Cool

How come we got the controlling mega corps and not the cool aesthetic?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

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By Sophia Zhao

I’m really annoyed right now.

Because it is 2019, and there is a billionaire CEO controlling our country with the grace of a dying seagull, every piece of technology is spying on us at every single moment, and the whole world is, in theory, feeling like a futuristic cyberpunk dystopia. I will emphasize the “in theory” part.

Because damn it, if we are going to have the dystopian sci-fi world, can’t we have a cool, gritty, neon aesthetic that goes along with it? Not to be blunt, but WE ARE VERY UGLY.

Look at the overlying themes of these types of stories. Rich people and companies have a lot of power? Check! (Thank their colleagues for that tax deduction.) The government is [insert vivid description here about bodily anatomy and where it belongs]? Check! (There’s literally a shutdown over an incredibly climbable/destroyable wall.) Technology has created a world where we can no longer be private? Check, but you know we’re all gonna use it and love it. (Follow me on IG @c.k.javier.) But do we have a cool, sorta trashy aesthetic with a lot of cool lighting? No! I do not have that cool dystopian look, and I know that’s not just my problem because no one else has it!

You know that cyberpunk movie, “Blade Runner”? It takes place in 2019! That’s this year! Yet that movie has androids! And I’m not talking about the crappy yet affordable phones! I’m talking artificial people! Right now I am skimming the Wikipedia article and apparently they also have colonies in SPACE! How come they get that and we are stuck here with an underfunded space program because the president is hyper-fixated on building a humongous dome around America to protect us from Earth aliens? And there is such a cool aesthetic, with the giant cities filled with rain and neon lighting. It’s basically what a tourist thinks Times Square is like. Why the hell don’t we have that?

Because this is the so-called “real world,” and it sucks. The NSA and Russia are looking through all our information, and the only thing we are even allowed to do at this point is make memes about it. Companies like Amazon are literal mega-corporations that exploit their workers and stick their dirty little hands all over our personal lives. And the aesthetic we end up with is stuff that the ‘90s and early 2000s left in the trash bin! Not the trashy ‘80s vibe I want! Not even a tacky emo-scene style! We’re bringing back wide-cut jeans instead of a cool leather coat? Seriously?

Where is the sense of rebellion that these stories inspire? Why can’t we just rob Jeff Bezos? Why are we stuck in this endless suffering we call life? And why are we stuck in it looking like a bunch of mashed potatoes?

And I know what you’re thinking, “Chrisabella, you are writing this on a laptop that gives you access to the whole expanse of human knowledge, isn’t that enough?” NO, it is not enough. Because the sci-fi movies promised laser fights in the streets of futuristic cities and all in all gave people the idea that they could be more in this world despite what we are told! The laptop just makes me depressed.

You know what? I’ve had enough of living in a messed-up world. If you want a cool aesthetic dystopian 2019, you gotta make it. Meet me in Battery after 10th with outfits that look like we came out of a futuristic ‘80s movie. Time to make a change, or at least throw eggs at the Google building.