Do you remember in the '80s, there were a series of movies that portrayed a future world where our moral compass had lost its direction? A society characterized by oppression, violence, and totalitarian control that seemed so farfetched that it was viewed as fantasy?
The Future According To The Running Man
1987 sci-fi classic #TheRunningMan depicts an America in the now not too distant future of 2017. Following another worldwide financial crisis, the reality of this timeline has people fixated on a hit TV show where convicted criminals are massacred to entertain the masses. Convicts are forced to run through a series of themed stages against stylized advisories in an unbalanced death match of their destruction.
In the year 2017, an innocent man has a choice — hard time or prime time. Cultural relativism is dead, ideas censored, and the idea of liberty removed to a state of conformance and belittlement. People are categorized, controlled and subdued to suit the narrative of the few. It’s a messed-up world, with food shortages and riots. Minorities are forced to be subservient, while others struggle to comply in order to survive.
Will We Have Schwarzenegger To Save The Day?
The great thing about the movie is watching how #ArnoldSchwarzenegger famously kicks everyone into bite-sized pieces. The movie has more classic one-liners than my grandpa, however, the formula of fun and violence was ironical.
Ben Richards: Hey, Killian! Here's Subzero! Now... plain zero!
The viewers' compulsion to be entertained by the cruelty removed any subjectivity of right and wrong — only the twisted reality of life imitating art.
Admittedly, I loved watching movies from the '80s, like The Running Man, #RoboCop and Escape from New York. They all expressed a very similar view of a world that has lost its way. The change now when watching these movies is the deep unknown for our future.
Divide And Conquer Is The Plan
I feel for the USA, I really do. For many the choice of candidates was viewed to be a decision based on the lessor of two evils. Do I die quickly or slowly, hmm…
Throughout the campaign, people listened to the rhythmic drum of slogans and promises telling them what was right and logical, while deep down thinking "do they really speaks for me?" The seemingly impossible outcome that has eventuated is a sign of the disdain for the status quo and people wanting change. I respect that in a democratic society the power of the people is to choose, and the choice has been made.
On the day of the announcement of the new US president, the world shivered as one, because well all found ourselves to be at unknown impasse. In direct reaction to the news, billions of dollars were wiped off the world's stock exchanges, while Canada's immigration website crashed as panicked US citizens looked for options.
Donald Trump: Grab her by the pussy.
Whether you like it or not, a clear path has been set by a democratic process. #DonaldTrump represents the majority's preference and in that regard, a voice has been heard. The complexities of what that decision leaves many people feeling incredulous that such a result could represent a nations interest.
Be Prepared To Be Entertained
Even though the themes contained within The Running Man were dark and foreboding, the actual quality of the movie is barley above a B-grade rating. You can only laugh at the ridiculous plight of the people and see it as entertainment.
Damon Killian: You bastard! Drop dead!
Ben Richards: I don't do requests.
Now, post-election day, the previous direction toward a perceived united goal has shifted onto a new path. The hope is that by retracing the steps of the past, many people will arrive at a different outcome.
It is true, the foundations that once held firm need realignment. However, the distraction from real substance has the risk of society willingly accepting the view that they are now better off.
Don't stress, though — 2017 is not even here yet, so the plot from The Running Man may not even transpire. Many people are running in circles, doing their best impression of Chicken Little screaming, "The sky is falling!" while others remain happy and calm.
All we can do now is sit back and watch the show. Just remember, it's not supposed to be entertainment.
Are there any movies whose plot you feel predicts the future? Sound off in the comments section below.