Inception, and an odd feeling...
It was incredible.
Go see it as soon as possible.
Except, there was this one scene in the movie that really bothered me. In the beginning, right after the introduction of the chemist, with the room full of people on sedatives dreaming.
A few years ago, I started a trilogy of short stories; parts one and three never developed past the first paragraph, even though I still have all three mentally written, but part two came more naturally. It was supposed to be a progression based on some weird societal tangent I thought of, and I wanted to use it to write about, you know, the usual things. Alienation and malaise and ennui and philosophy. And each of three parts would be named for a new word, a negative cultural trend based on technological advances, leading to the slow-but-sure decay of human society. Something like the Dune Universe, sans the Golden Path.
And don't get me wrong; I have a huge repository of unfinished story fragments, some no more than a sentence. But this was one of those that... I actually, really do think I am going to finish. And I still will.
So, yeah. I had that idea, years ago. Independently of course, and I never did much with it. And it was only a three minute scene in a two hour movie. And, for the life me, I can't find any reason why it matters in the slightest.
But I can't help but to feel that it's now forever too late to write it.
They called the new phenomenon 'dreamism;' people, mostly female adolescents and young adults (but also a high proportion of middle-aged, lower-middle class males) putting themselves on respirators and attaching themselves to feeding tubes, and then entering drug-induced comas for up to a week. Formerly, they were recluses and outcasts, locked away in basements, hospital rooms, or abandoned flats dedicated to the... art. But recently, it had become nothing short of a cottage industry; people maintaining squats loaded with respirators and feeding tubes, beds, and drug cocktails, waiting to assist in the ultimate form of escapism.
Or it was a date; whereas the elite of the former generations would go to museums or restaurants, and the dredges would consume copious amounts of alcohol or marijuana, the en vogue romantic encounter now happened on a broken antique sofa with a breathing tube in a dark, dank apartment.
The government leaders still paid it little attention. The cold calculations of the computer simulations, oh so important to the running of society, could offer the mindless bureaucrats no insight into reason nor resolution--justification nor solution. Luckily, the problem was still small, and yet to put any statistically significant drag on the economy. Certain consumable goods for young adults, especially female, had taken a small downtick in production and consumption, but the invisible mechanical hand called Economics moved on.
She was thin, of medium to medium-short height. A brownish hair with amalagous patches of past and present color. Reds and blacks, auburns, maroons, crimsons, terracotta. She walked merrily, almost skipping, hand-in-hand with her beloved, himself, tall, of slim build, with long black hair, an unkempt beard, and effeminate clothing. And down the yellow brick road they went, to the abandoned warehouse by the cerulean sea.
Opening the heavy, wooden door (lo! the anachronism of the setting, she thought!) they walked inside, taking note of the smoky, earthy air. Thick and inescapable—as if one could inhale, but take in no oxygen. Like a fine scotch whisky, but with dust instead of sediments expressing the age. Can't this room be decanted?
A male stumbled from the darkness towards the couple, surprising him but not her. Older, with a grizzled face, long, feathered hair, and a chewed up bottom lip. He twitched and jerked... or rather, he trembled badly, but his face was calm. Calm in terms of motion and in terms of the euphoria that his eyes and smiles had a way of communicating. A zen-like trance quality. If he asked you to jump off of a cliff, you would do it. Because you would implicitly trust him, and know that he could never hurt you. And historically, that would have been a facade—a talent held in special reserve for the most devious in society. But no, not him. History looked not here.
“How can we help you today,” he whispered in a voice which carried with it the pure flavors of absinthe and ambrosia. She could only to lick her lips and grab her beloved's hand tighter in anticipation.
Finally, an escape.
For the record, part one is called Infonography, while the third is called Technoutilitarianism (Paris, 1844). I like the names. And, rereading this for the first time in over a year... damn. There are a lot of typos and unintentional run-ons.