I Can Do “Dystopian”

I have decided I may have to give in. “Dystopian” and “fantasy” seems all that we are supposed to be writing as authors. It appears I need to take the plunge…

As you may know, there is a new BBC drama (partnering with HBO) called Years And Years, which I’ve posted about before. If you are unfamiliar with it, it’s a “dystopian” pantomine awash with just about every predictably pessimistic and conspiratorial line encompassing fear of “the future” that evidently can be stuffed into it. (We are still watching it only because my wife wants to see how it ends.) I do not believe I have ever felt as unentertained and – far worse – unchallenged by a television [supposed] hour-long drama. Terming it politically and socially “heavy-handed” is, frankly, an understatement.

As you also may know, the BBC are raising the license tax fee. (Legally here in Britain you are required to pay a once a year tax of about £150 – soon to be higher – if you have a broadcast-receiving television in the house.) The “fee” supports the “free” BBC; and they will pursue you if you have a broadcast television and don’t pay it and don’t invite an inspector in to prove you don’t watch television. (Seriously.) Far more controversially, though, they have decided suddenly to take away the truly free TV license benefit from those over age 75, who had for a couple of decades been exempt from paying the fee. Reportedly there will be a protest today by over-75s at the BBC’s offices.

Well, but the BBC do have to pay for the likes of Years And Years somehow, don’t they? So, pulling “dystopianism” and “the BBC” together, and building upon what “the future” will hold thanks to insightful and gripping drama like Years And Years, I have concocted my own “dystopian” television plot idea! Anyone from ad-funded ITV out there reading? 😉

Take a, uh, deep breath. 😉 Because here we go. “The future” comes at us fast and without paragraphs – and, shall we say, decidedly tongue in cheek

* * *

…After Russian hackers stole his pitiful remaining life savings from his online bank account because he could not download the latest security patch from its Spanish parent company (because of Brexit that he voted for), and with his French live in nurse, 22 year old Monique, recently deported (because of Brexit), the 111 year old RAF Battle of Britain veteran living now almost penniless and alone in his ramshackle semi-detached house somewhere in northern England, his statuette of Winston Churchill on the table next to him, gazes briefly from his wheelchair out his lounge window at the driving rain. A food shortage (because of Brexit) has only worsened in recent months due to the Chinese invasion of Canada (because of Brexit); Canada had become Britain’s largest food supplier (because of Brexit) after the Americans would not back away from chlorinating chicken and, according to food activists, dropping sugar and Oreo bits into pretty much everything else. On the television, he notices the BBC weather presenter state this is now the 218th day of rain likely caused by accelerating climate change. After the weather report, an update from Brussels follows: the remnants of the European Union, led by Luxembourg and Bulgaria, are struggling to deal with the fallout of the ongoing Italian “Flash-ist” revolution in which Mussolini’s gay great-grandson has been praising new U.S. Emperor Trump I, while the first woman Muslim Roman Catholic pope has been decrying Trump’s taking the throne. The 111 year old reaches for his pills, but he forgets the bottle is empty because he has been unable in recent days to obtain a refill for his life-extending drugs (because of Brexit). Putting down the bottle, he sees the next news story that rushes on screen is the United Nations has overnight fled its New York headquarters to relocate to Palestine following the recent coup in Washington, D.C. led by that now self-proclaimed “Great Leader of Real Americans”; weeks ago, the BBC presenter reminds viewers, the now Emperor had ordered the deletion of all liberals (especially vegans and Norwegians: “Never trust a vegan Norwegian!” he tweeted.) from social media under his Executive Order 666. The Emperor also disbanded Congress and put all of the Democratic men to work installing solar panels and windmills at his hotels and golf courses in order to fight climate change, while the Democratic women were tasked to do “proper” women’s work at Mar-a-Lago dressed up like Eastern European supermodels. (“Except Warren, because she can’t, because she’s Pocahontas, right! LOL!” he tweeted.) With that, suddenly the 111 year old’s half-Kenyan, half-Dutch, half-Antarctican (“It’s how I identify, Gramps.”) great-grand-daughter whom the 111 year old sees only on Facetime has just appeared before him on his iPad 4. Happy to hear from her (“You gotta get the 3D one, Gramps. It’s not 2015 anymore!”), he mutes the volume on the TV as she states she desperately wants to relocate ASAP to Chinese-ruled Papua New Guinea, but she has run into a Chinese immigration bureaucratic wall (because of Brexit) for her tri-sexual Brazilian-Buddhist partner. (“They, like, still have a thing for the Dalai Lama, it seems.”) She shifts quickly next into updating him on how in Chinese-ruled Australia she has just had her brain replaced (because of Brexit) at a Cylonism (“Ugh! Cylonism is so misunderstood by you old people, Great-gramps!”) clinic with tech that enables her remotely to operate her electric car and even to unscrew Marmite jar lids with only her mind. (“Gramps, watch this!”) Shocked as next he sees her levitating around in her Australian hotel room, while he slurps water he finds himself starting to choke on his illicit – he had foolishly hidden it during a 2019 confiscation police raid – plastic straw, and fighting now for air he knocks over the iPad thus disconnecting his great-granddaughter. Unable to dial *999* to summon a National Health Service (NHS) ambulance because his Chinese mobile phone provider had been banned from Britain only 24 hours earlier in response to rumored Chinese atrocities against General Trudeau’s remaining troops holding out at Moncton, it dawns on him it would not have mattered anyway because American right-wing Christians had last year bought the NHS (because of Brexit) and were now well on their way to converting all of its hospitals into mega-churches that also manufacture assault weapons.

As the 111 year old is gasping for air, we cut to a commercial break when he realises, to his horror, the greatest terror of all has appeared without warning: six BBC TV license inspectors are banging at his front door demanding he pay his license fee immediately online.

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Have a great weekend, wherever you are. 🙂

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