Last time I suggested that our world is becoming similar to the society depicted in Transmetropolitan. Yet that didn’t answer “In what ways is that happening?” Though the following paragraphs will answer that question, they will not cover the full breadth of Transmetropolitan. Instead most of the answer will take the form of comparing examples of our world to moments featured in the collected editions Transmetropolitan: Lonely City (2009) and Transmetropolitan: The Dirge (2010).
The latter of the two collected editions covers how recent super-storms may impact socialization. We can see comparisons to that via the death and damage caused by the 2017 hurricanes Harvey, Irma, & Maria. Specifically the 2017 hurricane Maria, which hit Puerto Rico and other islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Also the changes to seasonal weather patterns show us that the timing of socialization could become very different in the near future. For example, not going out during storms due to more likelihood of injury. However, whether our world develops weather control for super-storms as is mentioned in The Dirge is very much up in the air.
Though what is not up in the air is news stories getting buried for various reasons. For example, just look at how the Parkland student-led protests have somewhat lost attention in the coverage of many national and global news sources. Yes, attention still gets brought to these stories, but seemingly more from outside mainstream sources. Therefore, a comparison could be made between The Hole in Transmetropolitan, and things like our world’s social media trends lists.
Going beyond how news is given to audiences, there is also the way in which we associate important news with censorship, protests, and the police limiting our socialization. Take two views of the police offered up in Lonely City: The first view is Yelena Rossini (Spider’s Assistant and possible Girlfriend) who believes the police will not hurt or kill others without cause. The real world comparison is the good cops we don’t hear about from the news. While the second view is Spider’s, which suggests that we should be wary of those whom society gives illusions of power, for they cannot be trusted without verification. Type into any general search engine the words “police brutality and Black Lives Matter” and you can see some validity to Spider’s view. In other words, the more dangerous society and authority figures seem, or are, the more we will fear socializing outside of technology.
However, my point with this article and the preceding parts is that we have seemingly made a future that is the same as the past, but also dystopian. Examples include the Doomsday clock ( which suggests possible nuclear war) being moved up to a point not seen since the 1960s. Also we have not seen so many people suggesting that there is no future for human civilization since the Punk movement of the 1970s.
So let’s move beyond the predictions of Transmetropolitan’s dystopian future, which is now somewhat like our present, and look to the unknown. Heck, if Spider Jerusalem can survive to see future innovations and cause change then any of us can find and cause it in our world.