A Writer’s Utopia
...Created On on the 19th day of September, 2014
Don’t judge me too harshly for tuning into the first week of Fox’s new show, Utopia. In my defense, I lasted about twenty minutes. And ABC has yet to cast Dean Butler in the role of old TV star on Dancing With the Stars. The Utopia concept is solid, the behind the scenes production is slick, the host is delightfully quirky in that Boulder/Austin/Johnny Depp/rubber-nose-and-glasses kind of way. What is the problem, you ask?
The casting is abysmal.
No, really. I wouldn’t even sick these people on my backdoor neighbor. I get that Fox wanted conflict. Conflict is the engine that drives stories (even if they are manufactured in the mind of a producer instead of an author). But if you’re going to tout this as some kind of revolutionary social science experiment, lets not scrape the bottom of humanity’s barrel. It’s like Lord of the Flies meets MTV. Where are the engineers? Doctors? Survivalists that might actually teach the audience a thing or two about life beyond a nudist colony?
Sadly, I’ll never get those twenty minutes of my life back. However, it did make me wonder what a writer’s utopia might look like:
Every citizen would have his/her own “retreat,” complete with noise-cancelling headphones, propane-heated stoves and napping space.
Every citizen would be limited to 500 words or less during tribe meetings to keep from composing dissertations and novels on the merits of starting a fire Kerouac-style.
Citizens who write horror are not allowed to give the post-dinner pep talk.
It isn’t enough to sell your work for money. You must also pitch in your soul. No doubt, the soul will generate more income for the tribe.
The babbling brook running through the compound would be brimming with coffee. That Utopia smells like your old high school social studies teacher is an unfortunate side effect.
Once per week, editors and agents would visit the gate, fat contracts in hand. Citizens could then vote them off in a grand “slush pile” ceremony.
What would your Utopia look like?