Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tips for Surviving a Dystopia

1. Oppress someone. Needless antagonism gives you a significantly greater chance of both surviving and thriving in polemic fiction. If there is a difference between the antagonists in Battle Royale and Hunger Games, it’s that the latter tweaked them to be even more capricious in their inhumanity – and it’s really popular. A good gig if you can get it. For maximum survival, step down to an assistant role right around when heroic rebellions emerge so that if they win, your replacement will be slain instead

2. Be a robot. These things only needed people to invent them; afterward they’re quite sufficient to thrive in dystopias where they carry out dreadful tasks on some humans either for other humans, or for kicks. The robot is the sparking, malfunctioning poster child of the amoral future. The “hulking killer” and “sad little” varieties have particularly good chances of hanging around after the fall of man. If you absolutely can't become a robot, then go befriend one as soon as possible. You're the first person to ever do that, aren't you? How novel.

3. Be a cockroach. Likely to thrive in most dystopias that aren’t one giant microwave. As vermin, infest the abode of the most wretched people you know. A survey of nearly every dystopia in existence shows that cloying bugs and vermin live long and fulfilling lives.

4. Be particularly wretched. Every day otherwise healthy men and women are dying for fill-in-the-blank tragic reasons, but you can do better. Where others abhor being tortured or abused, you should walk right into the meat grinder that is your contrived life.Get treated like a slave by your employer. Get sick without hope of medical assistance. Live in the poorest corner of the dirtiest slum in the most forgotten part of what should be a just nation. God willing, be an orphan. The more pathetic you can make your life, the greater chance you’ll have of being a literary example, and they always last longer.

5. Avoid miracles like they're the Plague. Have you found the only woman alive who can still get pregnant? Great. Now get the Hell away from her before being an accessory to her journey gets you killed. Her destiny is only good for her, and for the future of your planet after your book/movie/videogame ends. For the time being, all she can do for you is attract the attention of oppressors from Item #1.

6. Mutate. Evolution may take generations, but with one author’s poor knowledge of radiation, you can emerge from the apocalypse stronger and with new employment opportunities. Consider others who have similar mutations. Could you start a cult? How about a pack? If gathering seems hard, trying starting as an oppressed minority.

7. Reconsider the afterlife as a means of survival. Even the most fundamentalist hereafter can’t be any preachier than getting stuck in 1984.


  1. Agreed. #5 was funny because I imagine it's true. Altough, I'm going to opt for #1 if the opportunity presents itself.

  2. #5 is excellent advice, but I am going to focus my efforts on mutation, a truly evolutionary skill.

  3. Number 4 is already here. Mutation can't be far away.


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