And what are some intriguing societies that you may not like, but find very interesting?
I love fairy tales. I don’t actually want to live inside one, though, since they seem a little superficial and there are probably a bazillion mosquitos wandering the woods.
Re: societies, I’m interested in Kowloon Walled City (in Hong Kong, demolished in 1993-94). According to a 1987 survey, 33,000 people populated 6.5 square acres (.01 square miles). This translates to a population density of 3,249,000 people per square mile. WHAT????
Residents living in lower floors of the city received no sunlight.
ROGER: I think living as a Smurf amongst the Smurfs would be a rather fun experience. Well, except for that rather nasty Gargamel. No guns, lots of singing, and everyone named by their specifically needed skill…what could be better? Well, except there’s only one female smurf. Hmm…
I find the whole crab fishing culture that you see on Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch” to be incredibly interesting. Something about a job that demands you live aboard a tiny ship and plunge deep into the most fierce and treacherous seas on Earth really has a “salt of the earth” romanticism about it. But I know it’s not romantic, not easy, and far from the iridescent glory that you see via television. I think it would be cool to be an Alaskan crab fisherman. But deep down, I know I don’t have what it takes to hunt the deadliest catch. And for that, I’ll just get my crab fix from the safety of my living room.
ALFREDO: I have a sweet tooth and the two root canals to prove it, so this one’s a no-brainer – Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
When I saw it on television as a kid, I pictured myself reaching into the chocolate river with a cup, drinking my fill, snapping chocolate leaves off chocolate trees, plucking giant lollipops off the lawn to save for later. This has got to be do-able: can’t some real-life eccentric millionaire build a chocolate world, just for a day or two, just until I can work up a third root canal and the place starts to melt?
I love the world of Inception and the idea that even our minds are not safe from intrusion fascinates me to no end. At some point, Chris Nolan saw the story as a sort of horror tale and that take always makes me ponder the possibilities.
One only needs to look as far as A Nightmare on Elm Street to see where he might have been going.
Also, the dream creation process in the movie seems a lot easier than lucid dream, which I’ve been trying to learn. If any Offenders are adept at this, please – GIVE ME POINTERS.
DHH: I’ve been interested in the Musuo, or Naxi, minority in the Yunnan and Sichuan provinces of China, one of the world’s few matriarchal societies. Lineage is traced through the female line, and women hold all the economic power. Though the Naxi are sometimes described as polyandrous, in the sense of women taking more than one husband, their social structure is more complicated than that. Sexual relations are called “Walking Marriages,” based on mutual affection, and both men and women can have as many partners as they wish. As with all social structures, there are advantages and disadvantages to this arrangement, but I’m intrigued by this culture of gender equality in China, a country which is routinely stereotyped only as sexist.
ANDERSON: I would definitely live in the 24th century in the STAR TREK universe. Beaming up, down and all over the place in the blink of an eye? Check. Traveling to far off worlds and exploring new life forms and new civilizations? Check. Holodeck adventures, where I can be a hard-boiled detective?
Check. Spending shore leave on the pleasure planet, Risa? Double check! I’m already living my Starfleet dreams by routinely listening to a 24 hour loop of ambient engine noise from the USS Enterprise, so I’m halfway there already!
As for real societies, I’m interested in long gone societies that have left enigmatic landmarks like the face structures on Easter Island or the druids and Stonehenge. But I am really fascinated with the Aborigine people of Australia, especially the trackers who are so attuned to the land and environment. That’s a skill set that surely comes handy in the Outback, but it’s a rough lifestyle that I wouldn’t wish upon to anyone.
PHILIP: I would like to live in a world of peace where children of all races and backgrounds can join together as one in song. Either that or a planet inhabited solely by hot women who have never seen a man and are curious and eager for me to teach them about this thing called free love.
ELAINE: Like Alfredo, I was a sugar addict at a young age (most of my baby molars were crowns or cavities) and watching ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ was practically pornographic. And of course, ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’ was largely memorable for me not because of the wardrobe portal, talking Fauns or Lions – but that damn turkish delight being pushed by Narnia’s OG – the White Witch. I got sucked into the world of Strawberry Shortcake and her posse of dessert-named girlfriends largely because the dolls were bathed in addictive fumes of artificial fruit. ‘Hansel and Gretel’ made me dream about living in a gingerbread house tricked out with multiple forms of fancy sugar. Fortunately for ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ and ‘Hansel and Gretel’ though, I eventually developed a self-preservation instinct that prevented me from accepting candy from strangers or chasing down ice cream trucks driven by creepy middle-aged guys . . .
IRIS: OK, my total nerd confession is that I am addicted to PC adventure games. I love immersing myself into the worlds of puzzle solving games (remember those old Myst games?). A lot of times they have engrossing storylines and/or beautiful artwork that I admit I can get really caught up in. It’s a true vice. But as an example, just take a look at the beautiful artwork of “Machinarium” by Czech developers, Amanita.
“Syberia” was another one where I was just blown away by the creative artistry and cinematic quality of the intro. I have spent many hours in Syberia I and Syberia II.
ANSON: I’d have to say if I could live in Super Mario World, that would be a dream come true. Kinda like that movie, The Wizard with Fred Savage when they eat, drink, sleep video games. Since the first Mario came free with Duck Hunt with the Nintendo, it became my favorite game ever. Getting a hundred men, trying to save the Princess so you can get some, swimming underwater without having to breath, or finding all those secrets gems was awesome. What if I could actually be there and talk to all the bad guys. Convince them that Bowser wasn’t a good guy. They would listen.
BEVERLY: OMG, I want to be in the underground caverns of The Goonies!!! Waterslides and pirate ships and treasure and lots of booby traps! Yeah!
Or… The Blue Lagoon (a real place probably) where I can learn to eat fish raw and discover what ‘sex’ is.
But if I could truly live what lives are like for the Rangers in Greenland (read about it in National Geographic) who travel by dog patrol and who have to shoot the dogs when they’re no longer ‘useful’, I think I’d be able to see another side of myself past my hippie dippie natural state. I’m fascinated by the gruffness.