Dystopia and the animal instinct

I’m most of the way through Snowpiercer, which I now kind of regret. It’s a grim, revolting, bizarre, cinematographic mishmash of violent Korean mob movie and dystopian American sci-fi bonanza. I really, really wasn’t expecting this.

But, as always, it made me think. Not about the science of the train, because while it’s an entertaining notion it is ultimately absurd, but because of the kind of dystopia that people might be willing to live in.

Sometimes I start arguing with the characters on-screen. You knew this was pointless! Why didn’t you just give up? Why not step out into the snow and never wake up again? 

And yet.

Humanity is desperate, tenacious, programmed, to cling on to life with its fingertips. Not just to cling, either; mourn, joke, reproduce.

After all, anyone alive today who can trace their ancestry to some European lineage knows that they’re here because some stubborn ancestor survived bubonic plague.

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