20 Reasons Why I Want to Live in a Cheesy SF Dome City

October 31st, 2006

It’s been way too long since I’ve posted anything here on DeepGenre, so pardon me if I indulge in something frivolous. I’ve always had a secret desire to live in one of those sci-fi domes you see in hopelessly dated ’60s and ’70s films. Logan’s Run. Sleeper. THX-1138. The Island. Yeah, I want to live there.

Logan's Run

Why?

  1. No insects. I hate insects. Haaaaaate them. If we could create an entirely indoor civilization where I’d never have to see an insect again, I’d sign up in a heartbeat.
  2. Simple fashion choices. I’ve never enjoyed clothes shopping. I’d much rather somebody deliver me a shiny new single-sex uniform every week. That way, I never have to worry about being out of fashion. I can just choose the vibrant pastel color I feel like wearing for the week, and away I go. (And of course, at the end of the day, I can just drop the thing in the big tube in my room for dry cleaning.)
  3. Meals in pill form. I’m not saying I’d always want to eat meals in pill form. But every once in a while, it would be nice to indulge in a nice hot apple pie without having to actually, you know, indulge in a nice hot apple pie.
  4. All other meals cafeteria-style. The meals you don’t pop into your mouth in pill form are all eaten in big, open cafeterias where you can hang out with all your friends, just like college.
  5. Large flat-screen TVs everywhere. Never again will you have to strain your eyes to see the picture on a tiny screen. Half of the walls around you will convert instantly into flat-screen TVs. (So half of the programming will be government-mandated propaganda. But is that really so different from what we have today?)
  6. Universal health care. Have a cough or an ache? Go to the dome doctor, who’s always available and always sits down with you on a nice, comfy couch to discuss your problems. And don’t worry, because the government is taking care of you, you won’t need to pay for it or file insurance claims.
  7. Cool androids. Don’t you want to walk around in a city with a bunch of metal humanoids talking in clipped monotones with phony British accents? Best of all, they obey commands, answer your questions, and fetch things for you.
  8. Everyone is bald. For once, I naturally fit in.
  9. Music piped everywhere. In a domed city, you’ve got speakers tucked into every nook and cranny broadcasting Wendy Carlos music 24 hours a day. No DRM system in sight, because there’s no private ownership.
  10. Floating cars. I can’t wait to ride on one of those two-person floating mini-cars you always see in the old SF movies. They’ve got a navigational computer onboard that ensures you never get lost, and they run on some form of cheap, inexhaustible energy.
  11. Videophones. No more fumbling around with cell phones and complaining about poor reception. There are videophones around every corner, which are always perfectly in focus. (As a bonus feature, you don’t need to remember anyone’s phone number. Just tell the videophone who you want to talk to, and it’ll connect you.)
  12. Sexual naivety. No matter what kind of dome city you live in, there’s always a buxom beauty who has lived her life in woeful ignorance of human sexuality and needs to be taught about passion by some renegade hero. (And did I mention how easy those unitards are to get in and out of?)
  13. Easy-to-remember names. Who wants to be called David Louis Edelman when you could be called Echo 416? No confusion, no ambiguity, no worrying about whether to hyphenate last names when the kids come along.
  14. Easy-to-clean surfaces. Everything in the dome city is either made of chrome or white plastic, and both of these surfaces are very easy to clean. You’ll never have a permanent stain again.
  15. Hacking made simple. If you ever need to fool the authorities, it’s very easy. Just remove any nearby wall panel and you’ll find a million brightly colored wires you can use to hack in to the city’s computer systems. If you manage to get access to one of their terminals, it’s even easier, since security is always based on a single, unencrypted password and all of the commands are written in plain English (e.g. “SHUT DOWN SECTOR 12″).
  16. Your government cares about you. Wouldn’t that be a welcome change? Sure, your dome city government is frequently controlling and manipulative and periodically drags your friends off kicking and screaming who knows where for horrible medical procedures never to return. But isn’t that still better than living in New Orleans?
  17. Cushy punishments. If the authorities catch you doing something you shouldn’t, there’s no hard labor involved. The government just drags you off to some secret chamber, dopes you up, and wipes your memory. Big deal!
  18. No more sunburns. Since we all live indoors and none of us sees the sun anymore, there’s no possibility of sunburn. Or suntan, for that matter, which puts us indoor geeks on equal footing with everyone else for the first time.
  19. Light bulbs never burn out. Which is a good thing, considering that there’s no natural light to be found anywhere.
  20. No more politicians. This might be worth the price of living in an SF dome city alone. You’d have an all-powerful government headed by a charismatic but dim figurehead that operates under a set of hazily defined rules, insists you not question its judgment, and takes care of insurrection by dragging people off to some remote facility nobody’s allowed to see for vague and undocumented punishment. Imagine that.

22 Responses to “20 Reasons Why I Want to Live in a Cheesy SF Dome City”

  1. Madeleine Robinson 31 Oct 2006 at 12:22 pm

    Universal health care. Have a cough or an ache? Go to the dome doctor, who’s always available and always sits down with you on a nice, comfy couch to discuss your problems. And don’t worry, because the government is taking care of you, you won’t need to pay for it or file insurance claims.

    Unless, of course, you’re in the u/dystopia in which a sniffle is cause for Euthenasia.

    Meals in pill form. I’m not saying I’d always want to eat meals in pill form. But every once in a while, it would be nice to indulge in a nice hot apple pie without having to actually, you know, indulge in a nice hot apple pie.

    As long as you get to say “I’ll have the nice hot apple pie, but pass on the Soylent Green.”

    Sexual naivety. No matter what kind of dome city you live in, there’s always a buxom beauty who has lived her life in woeful ignorance of human sexuality and needs to be taught about passion by some renegade hero. (And did I mention how easy those unitards are to get in and out of?)

    A unitard that’s easy to get out of is definitely advanced technology.

    I always wondered who did the cleaning in those domed cities. Because they’re always so clean you could eat off any surface at all, but those shiny white walls show the dust like nobody’s business… Are those robots, droids, or the underclass washing the windows?

  2. Kate Elliotton 31 Oct 2006 at 1:18 pm

    We will never escape rats and cockroaches.

    But I particularly like #20!

  3. [...] 18 – 20 Reasons Why I Want to Live in a Cheesy SF Dome City “It’s been way too long since I’ve posted anything here on DeepGenre, so pardon me if I indulge in something frivolous…” Mr. Edelman, consider yourself pardoned! Very funny. (tags: list humour city dome movie cheesy sf scifi fiction science) [...]

  4. Joseon 01 Nov 2006 at 3:24 pm

    Nice one David, I think you missed a few so I added five reasons of my own:

    http://memetherapy.net/01/five-more-reasons-to-live-in-a-cheesy-sf-dome-city/

  5. West Coast Productionson 01 Nov 2006 at 10:56 pm

    Awesome Posting

    I will be lovin’, lovin’, lovin’ the fyut-cha!!

  6. [...] DeepGenre has compiled a list of 20 reasons to live in a dome city like those from The Island, and THX-1138. [...]

  7. Mark Tiedemannon 02 Nov 2006 at 10:54 am

    This is completely self-indulgent on my part, but I’d like to thank you for posting that picture. Jenny Agutter was one of my favorite actresses in the 70s and particularly in “Logan’s Run.” When last I saw her she was part of the cast in MI-6 and still managed to make me smile with left-over erotic fantasy nostalgia.

    More on topic, though, I’d like to recommend Frederik Pohl’s Years Of The City which chronicles the history of New York en-domed, from the construction of the dome through to its eventual dismantling as a new environmental aesthetic emerges. It’s one of Fred’s more interesting and, I think, underrated novels.

  8. David Louis Edelmanon 02 Nov 2006 at 1:38 pm

    I have to admit, Mark, it’s been at least 20 years since I’ve seen Logan’s Run, and that just happened to be the clearest pic of the flick that I could find on Google Images. Glad it hit your nostalgic spot.

    Re the Pohl novel: Sounds fascinating. I’ll have to check it out.

    I once saw a fantastic collection on the web of old artistic sketches and blueprints for Gernsbackian SF domes and such. If anyone remembers seeing this and can point me to it, I’d be very appreciative.

  9. LauraJMixonon 02 Nov 2006 at 6:32 pm

    Man, David, I am SO-O-Ooo there with you, in the domed city of the future.

  10. Camiloon 03 Nov 2006 at 12:10 am

    You remember Brave New World? The betas, deltas and undocumented aliens were the ones cleaning the windows.

  11. Sareneon 04 Nov 2006 at 11:19 am

    I really enjoyed this post too!
    Camilo, As a dystopia-enthusiast, in Brave New World they used Delta’s and Epsilons. The undocumented immigrants part, I’m not sure which book that’s from but I remember it from an episode of Sliders.

    I love #16 and #20.

    BTW, we already have health care up here in Canada. It’s awesome, but somehow I think the line ups would be better in a domed city.

  12. Jeffon 04 Nov 2006 at 10:47 pm

    I always liked Asimov’s gigantic domed cities, with a transportation system that’s a cross between a moving platform and a subway. You just step onto increasingly quicker platforms untill you are going the speed of the cars, and you get in. The cars never slow down, only you do.

    And then I’d like to chase an android across the city in one… yeah.

    I wouldn’t dig eating yeast all the time, I didn’t like that part of his domes, hehe.

  13. Brandonon 06 Nov 2006 at 5:36 pm

    @Jeff,

    Somehow the ATS (Asimov Transportation System) sounds like a large version of Frogger.

  14. dennison 21 Dec 2006 at 7:12 pm

    I would be up for a communal dome town :)
    if you ever decide to make one send me an email hehe

  15. vipstickson 12 Feb 2007 at 6:31 am

    Hey guys, there’s another English person about, :)
    I’m a new on http://www.deepgenre.com
    looking forward to speaking to you guys soon

  16. Iridescent Cuttlefishon 09 Apr 2007 at 12:50 pm

    This was actually a response to Jose’s comments over at meme-therapy, but since this is the source, I thought I’d share my view here. (Say, Mr. Edelman, you wouldn’t be friends with David Brin, by chance, would you?)

    Jose wrote:
    To the best of my knowledge, after a flurry of GD building in the 1950’s through the 1970’s, the market for this kind of structure has pretty much disappeared because GD’s don’t work very well as practical shelters. From hindsight Fuller’s career as an inventor looks pretty unsuccessful, as evidenced by his inventions’ absence in the material culture.

    The “market”? Would that be the “free” market? The only possible reason that domes (and the whole of Bucky’s philosophy, which can be reduced to this ultimatum: “We have to choose between the business of death and the business of life”) is because such things are “impractical”? Well, well, well. Aren’t we trusting in invisible hands?

    It couldn’t possibly be because domes are better than the rectilinear, toxic boxes in which we “live,” could it? Let’s see…they can be designed so that they have a positive energy and water coefficient (they produce more of each than they require, making utilities obsolete), they’re fire, storm & flood-proof, they’re eco-friendly and they provide the basis for universal autonomy, since their occupants are no longer dependent on the “economy” and the cartels which run the government “of, by and for the people”…Yeah, I guess you’re right. It’s all just so impractical.

    I’m so inspired by the quality and the depth of the ideas tossed around by such deep thinkers here. Edelman might have written his list with his tongue firmly in his cheek, but the overall effect of this sort of defending the Empire by ridiculing the alternatives demonstrates that his head is lodged just as firmly between his other cheeks.

    For those who are interested in using some of that rare grey matter to better effect, try the following:

    Bright Green Buildings And Dark Green Buildings

    and

    n’KoziHomes

    These are but two of the many unnoticed homes of a better alternative to how we live, but by all means, don’t stretch your minds too much. It can be dangerous…to a whole way of “life”.

    (My apologies for the ruthlessness of my remarks, Mr. Edelman. It might be that your work as a whole does not reflect the tidy, tiny-mindedness that your “humorous” treatment of this subject demonstrates…maybe you could show me the error of my preconception.)

  17. David Louis Edelmanon 12 Apr 2007 at 6:46 pm

    Thanks for that, Iridescent Cuttlefish. I did get quite a laugh about your claim that my head is lodged firmly between my other cheeks.

    This piece was intended strictly for laughs, though I guess there is some slight political satire there too. As for my general views about the market and such… I’ve actually done quite a bit of thinking about the nature of capitalism and Adam Smith’s invisible hand and that sort of thing, and I’m 2/3rds of the way through writing a trilogy about it.

    You can read an excerpt of the first book, Infoquake, at http://www.infoquake.net. If you’re curious to know more of my thoughts on the subject, you could always buy the book. I’m not sure that I’ve come to any tidy conclusions about free markets, but even if you disagree with what I have to say, I think you’d find it difficult to say I haven’t done any thinking about the subject after you read it.

    If you’re really curious, you might browse through my personal blog too.

    (Oh, and no, I have not met David Brin, although it’s my understanding that his politics and mine don’t mesh particularly well.)

  18. kateelliotton 13 Apr 2007 at 4:35 am

    Cool links, Iridescent Cuttlefish. Thanks.

    I do feel obliged to note that Dave was specifically sending up Cheesy SF Dome Cities, as he points out in his post’s title, not any other kind. Although I admit to particularly liking point #20.

  19. Chrison 10 Dec 2007 at 11:44 am

    You would yearn for oblivion. You all should see Zardoz, and learn well.

  20. [...] I only care about whether we can continue to live on it. If we could accomplish that by setting up big climate-controlled science fiction domes and letting the rest of the globe rot, on an emotional level I’d be just fine with that. (On [...]

  21. coreflapson 25 Jan 2009 at 4:52 pm

    unencrypted password

    What would be gained from encrypting a password? :)
    Do you mean that passwords are always simple dictionary words, names or are otherwise explicitly meaningful and therefore subject to dictionary attacks or simple social engineering? ;)

  22. David Louis Edelmanon 25 Jan 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Ok, coreflaps, so I ain’t exactly Bruce Schneier. Yeah, I meant what you said. ;-)

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