Robert Saunders. “Imperial Imaginaries: Employing Science Fiction to Talk About Geopolitics.”Popular Culture and World Politics: Theories, Methods, and Pedagogies. Caso and Hamilton, Eds. Pp. 149-159.
This weeks reading caused me to pause and reflect on the interpretation of media and specifically that of science fiction in relation to world events. It is interesting to read how others have interpreted story lines to run parallel to geopolitical events. As I reflected on these examples I wondered how many of these interpretations are supported by the programs writers as actual correlations, versus interpretations of others who would like there to be correlations. This interested me enough that I have allocated a bit of time to go and explore this further.
I also wonder about cause and effect. In the sense that media shapes perspective, but also that perspective shapes interpretation of media.
Science fiction “the genre of the unknown, but imaginable” (Saunders, 2015) is a perfect tool for such consideration. Much of the world and world events seem to be drawn from futuristic and unimaginable headlines. The interest in bad news has proliferated the media such an extent that we have almost become immune to what was once a horror.
The internet age has provided an avenue for individuals with similar viewpoints to “find” each other and share their beliefs, whether they are of the June Cleaver sort, or the Mad Max sort. How much does science fiction provide an avenue to present an alternate reality or viewpoint that might otherwise be socially unacceptable?
As “stories” are sold as entertainment, and maybe even gather cult following, viewers are desensitized to the global correlations that might be made. When the atrocities of the world are able to be correlated to science fiction it makes one wonder what kind of world we live in where there are so many plot lines which can be aligned to the real world.