Why Do People Keep Saying We Need More Escapism?

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Lil devils x said:
Actually it is Stress, not " escapism" ( which is actually a means to provide stress relief) that is bad for one's health.

https://www.healthline.com/health/stress/effects-on-body#1

Of course people should not ignore their problems, but finding more means to reduce stress is a good thing, not bad. Most people do not have the luxury of having too much happiness or laughter in their lives and could use more.
The hell does that have to do with anything I wrote? Are you quoting the wrong person? Pure escapism fuel does not make people happy. In the same way that if you're sad and shoot heroin, it's not actually helping you. It can be incredibly fun (Lord knows, it's fucking great) ... but at best it's a temporary stop gap.

Art is not heroin. It can't just be treated as such. Creating a layered media form isa part of the artistic process. Everything from tv shows to gallery exhibits. There's aplace for simply scintillating the senses, but ultimately it's unhealthy when it comes at the cost of merely distracting the nature of sapience.

As an example ... The Big Bang Theory ... that fucking frightens me. That people are just looking for a neurological hit of endorphins through a Pavlovian-style laugh track. Actually watch the show with the laugh track removed, and these people and the way they are delivered become the least funny, least desirable people to ever be stuck with ... and millions of people invite them into their homes and mindlessly consume them....

Quite literally because a laugh track tells people; "No seriously, these guys are actually funny."

And you think that's okay...? Things like TBBT and its popularity make me frightened of other people. Like just how awful human behaviour can they display, just add a laugh track, and suddenly people are throwing hundreds of millios of dollars at it and calling it 'comedy'.

Then I remember how during the Rape of Nanking, Japanese newspapers themselves used to publicze the results of just how many Chinese civilians various officers could behead as if it was a sporting past time. Reporting it as they would cricket scores. So much of the evidence for the East Asian tribunals for war crimes come for Japanese newspaper materials reporting on it as if it were so banal an event.

Doesn't detract from the idea that as a child, these officers were inculcated in a culture of mindless consumption of propaganda. As I was saying before ... how we consume media is kind of fucking important ... Artists and writers should recognize that burden and create more meaningful engagements with human thought rather than just producing endorphin hits of pure narration.

Because it is provably psychologically damaging.

I wrote a somewhat serious non-serious post recently about how 'Kawaii Culture' was started as basically a way of the Japanese government to coddle its own people and never really internalize their defeat or the actual horrors of warcrimes in the postwar period. As well as create a protracted image of a 'harmless Japan' to the Western world, lowering antipathies to Japanese war criminals like Prince Asaka who was still very much breathing when arguably he shouldn't have been and deserved to be hanged for war crimes ... all for the sake of Cold War sympathies and prosecuting a wider cultural conflict against the communists on mainland Asia.

Now we can discuss whether such persistent animosities to Japan itself was merited (I don't) ... but at the same time it's a bit hard to justify that part and parcel of that propaganda and manufactured culture consumption effort by Japan and the U.S. doesn't have deeply concerning aspects to it that are still relevant today. Like ... even now politicians can't give a formal apology for warcrimes without immediately retracting it.

They entirely ixnay it from their history books.

When I was staying there they moe-ified military propaganda created jointly by the JSDF and anime studios...

Why? Because at the time I was there there was a burning discussion of greater mobilization of its industry and military to be able to enter foreign engagements. Moe-ifying their military was effectively combining the built up techniques of promoting a harmless image that worked overseas, and also further distancing and coddling its own people about a past whose shadows are still in living memory.

Once again, mindless consumption of media can compromise our very morality and our interpretation of the past, and compromise truly internalizing the weight of history and the values we place on human life itself.

And once again ... all of this can be deeply psychologically damaging. And don't take my word for it... there's no shortage of Japanese sociologists and psychologists writing articles about the effects this has had on their political dynamics and the effects it has on truly piecing together a social environment that once was built on a 'pride of belonging' and how the Pacific War, and every propaganda attempt made yo curcumvent it, is creating a hole in their sense of belonging someplace.

How the 'culture of cute' on a manufactured scale and exposure, whether adults consume it or not (less than 20% of Japanese adults actually know much about their anime industry and what its producing concurrently) is damaging people, creating social isolation, and infantalizing adults, and creating neuroses concerning youth and beauty *in a country about to face a full blown aging crisis that can't afford such unhealthy fixations* ...

Hell, it even bleeds into its architectural and living or built environment conditions. You've probably heard the expression that 'Tokyo is a bit shitty in the rain' ... during the Monsoon period it makes you fucking depressed. Because during the drier periods every colour and so many pieces of niche apparel wear serves to inject a manufactured sense of coddling your urban travels and travails of living and working there.

In the rain, much of that disappears in a sea of umbrellas and waterproofed coats ...

How we consume media needs human thought in the end. Otherwise you create nothing but a dance with longterm depression by something as innocuous as rain.
 

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Lil devils x said:
You have a very similar view point to myself. For my own part, I find that I'm attracted to stories that have blends of dark and light to them. Earthbound where there's a lot of goofy things happening but there's also an undercurrent of surreal darkness to it as well. Majora's Mask involves a doomsday scenario and has a lot of death involved in its story and yet it's filled with lots of bright and diverse colors and there is in fact hope in the story.

I read a lot of history and so I'm well aware of the kinds of pain and struggle people have gone through in the past and have an idea of what kinds of things people are going through now and so I prefer stories and settings that may have a lot of dark elements to them but still have hope and kindness and all of those other happy things.

Don Bluth: Children can handle anything as long as there is a happy ending.

I like to "escape" a lot, but I'm never fully turning my back on the bad things in the world.
 

Cicada 5

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Lil devils x said:
Agent_Z said:
Lil devils x said:
Silentpony said:
I think media and fiction in general have gotten really dark, and it makes people feel uncomfortable and defeats the purpose of escapism.
Like: Man I sure am depressed about the stories of illegal immigrant girls being sexually assaulted at the border, I need to relax by watching Games of Thrones were underage girls are raped on screen.
Or
Man, Campus rape is a real problem. I'll play House Party, where the main quest is to drug a girl at a party and then blackmail her to stripping and blowing you for the antidote.

Now there are plenty of alternatives and those specific examples, but over-all it does feel like fictional stories have gotten as dark or darker than real life and that's a worrying trend. Imagine having to go to work on Monday to escape the depression you feel watching the latest GoT episode.
I agree. It actually does feel like whole plot of "Tomorrowland" where the media is only focused on destruction and desolation only to speed up mass destruction faster. Our fiction is in need of "hope" to help inspire the next generation to want to do more to make it happen because they see it as possible. When people stop seeing a great future as possible, they stop trying to work towards making it happen all together.

The idea that you can just ignore it is terribly false as well, as the sheer amount is overwhelming and the reality is there is just not much positive being made out there. A bad comedy is not what I even consider escapism, rather solving our problems is so that these horrific scenarios do not actually happen. We need more to inspire hope for our present and future and less " humans are going to F the world and everyone in it" scenario which sadly is too much our reality at the moment.
But as I said before, we already do have a lot of escapist fiction. People just have to notice it. If you keep paying attention to dark, deconstructive content, you're only sending the message that it's what you want. Creators wouldn't keep putting out that kind of stuff if audiences didn't keep tuning in for it.
We really do not. We have tons of dystopian futures where are the Utopias? Where are the films where the Biff's didn't ruin everything for everyone else? Seriously, we cannot rely on movies made 20 years ago to cover all that... We need more alternatives to Star Trek ( mind you I love Star Trek, however, we need alternative good futures not just one idea). When I actually tried to search for Utopian movies, all that come up are dystopias. Go figure. I struggle to think of movies that actually do have positive futures instead they either have the world destroyed itself and/or went back to the stone age or have the world a gross concrete and steel mess. Maybe I fail to notice it because there is so little actually available.
Here is a list of utopian science fiction novels I found mere minutes after reading your post.
https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.inverse.com/amp/article/10378-utopia-not-dystopia-the-13-most-optimistic-science-fiction-books

As for movies, there's the recent Black Panther and Wonder Woman movies which featured utopias and the Star Trek movies.


As I said, you actually have to look for what you're asking for.
 

Lil devils x_v1legacy

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Agent_Z said:
Lil devils x said:
Agent_Z said:
Lil devils x said:
Silentpony said:
I think media and fiction in general have gotten really dark, and it makes people feel uncomfortable and defeats the purpose of escapism.
Like: Man I sure am depressed about the stories of illegal immigrant girls being sexually assaulted at the border, I need to relax by watching Games of Thrones were underage girls are raped on screen.
Or
Man, Campus rape is a real problem. I'll play House Party, where the main quest is to drug a girl at a party and then blackmail her to stripping and blowing you for the antidote.

Now there are plenty of alternatives and those specific examples, but over-all it does feel like fictional stories have gotten as dark or darker than real life and that's a worrying trend. Imagine having to go to work on Monday to escape the depression you feel watching the latest GoT episode.
I agree. It actually does feel like whole plot of "Tomorrowland" where the media is only focused on destruction and desolation only to speed up mass destruction faster. Our fiction is in need of "hope" to help inspire the next generation to want to do more to make it happen because they see it as possible. When people stop seeing a great future as possible, they stop trying to work towards making it happen all together.

The idea that you can just ignore it is terribly false as well, as the sheer amount is overwhelming and the reality is there is just not much positive being made out there. A bad comedy is not what I even consider escapism, rather solving our problems is so that these horrific scenarios do not actually happen. We need more to inspire hope for our present and future and less " humans are going to F the world and everyone in it" scenario which sadly is too much our reality at the moment.
But as I said before, we alrea
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ+
dy do have a lot of escapist fiction. People just have to notice it. If you keep paying attention to dark, deconstructive content, you're only sending the message that it's what you want. Creators wouldn't keep putting out that kind of stuff if audiences didn't keep tuning in for it.
We really do not. We have tons of dystopian futures where are the Utopias? Where are the films where the Biff's didn't ruin everything for everyone else? Seriously, we cannot rely on movies made 20 years ago to cover all that... We need more alternatives to Star Trek ( mind you I love Star Trek, however, we need alternative good futures not just one idea). When I actually tried to search for Utopian movies, all that come up are dystopias. Go figure. I struggle to think of movies that actually do have positive futures instead they either have the world destroyed itself and/or went back to the stone age or have the world a gross concrete and steel mess. Maybe I fail to notice it because there is so little actually available.
Here is a list of utopian science fiction novels I found mere minutes after reading your post.
https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.inverse.com/amp/article/10378-utopia-not-dystopia-the-13-most-optimistic-science-fiction-books

As for movies, there's the recent Black Panther and Wonder Woman movies which featured utopias and the Star Trek movies.


As I said, you actually have to look for what you're asking for.
I am not a fan of "superheroes" due to their absurdity so that leaves Star Trek, and what else? I was specifically referencing movies and games within the last 5-10 years or so. Yes, we have books ( not even new at that)... In comparison, How many end of the world scenarios in movies and games do we have? Horror, dystopias, Greed, power hungry ect do we have in comparison? That is the point here. There needs to be more. I am not saying we should do away with others, just we need more. One movie out of how many? I HAVE been looking. Outside of Star Trek, it does not really exist. I already stated that above though. Considering the huge variety available of other types, for those looking for it get to watch/ play only one or two movies/games instead?

And if people don't warm to the idea of someone using magical powers in a ridiculous costume to save the world, it becomes even more limited. Most of the science fiction available does not have the positive outlook of Star Trek, The vast majority looks pretty bleak.

In the OP, you asked why people want more, and it is due to having a very limited selection of content that is actually good. I can go find hundreds of horror and dystopian movies easily, why can we not do that for positive future movies as well?
 

Squilookle

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I'd say people are all saying that because they've finally got sick and tired of all the Dark Brooding movies we've been plagued with ever since 11/9/2001. Yes, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and Casino Royale were decent. Now can we kindly go back to the good stuff now? Marvel gets it, at least.

Agent_Z said:
it seems to me we aren't lacking escapism at all. Disney alone provides enough escapism to last me till the end of the human race.
FTFY.
 

Cicada 5

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Squilookle said:
I'd say people are all saying that because they've finally got sick and tired of all the Dark Brooding movies we've been plagued with ever since 11/9/2001. Yes, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and Casino Royale were decent. Now can we kindly go back to the good stuff now? Marvel gets it, at least.

Agent_Z said:
it seems to me we aren't lacking escapism at all. Disney alone provides enough escapism to last me till the end of the human race.
FTFY.
We were getting dark and brooding movies before 9/11.

What exactly are you stating with this here? Are you under the impression I'm the only one who likes Disney?
 

Squilookle

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Lil devils x said:
We really do not. We have tons of dystopian futures where are the Utopias? Where are the films where the Biff's didn't ruin everything for everyone else? Seriously, we cannot rely on movies made 20 years ago to cover all that... We need more alternatives to Star Trek ( mind you I love Star Trek, however, we need alternative good futures not just one idea). When I actually tried to search for Utopian movies, all that come up are dystopias. Go figure. I struggle to think of movies that actually do have positive futures instead they either have the world destroyed itself and/or went back to the stone age or have the world a gross concrete and steel mess. Maybe I fail to notice it because there is so little actually available.
You raise a good point, but there's a simple reason it's like that.

Conflict is at the heart of all drama. A society other than our own requires time to be shown and explained. If the society is perfectly utopian, then the conflict has to come from somewhere else, and the audience may feel cheated if they had to sit through all that explanation and yet it doesn't actually affect the plot of the characters.

Tell you what- Go and give 'Things to Come' a go. When Metropolis came out in '27 depicting a dystopian giant machine society, H.G. Wells (yes, That H.G. Wells) wrote a film to protest against it, showing instead the possibility and scope of a future technological society. It portrays a true Utopia in the sense you refer to: the conflict of the story comes from mankind's struggle to reach that point. Also highly notable for predicting a lot of elements of WW2 before it happened.



Agent_Z said:
Squilookle said:
I'd say people are all saying that because they've finally got sick and tired of all the Dark Brooding movies we've been plagued with ever since 11/9/2001. Yes, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and Casino Royale were decent. Now can we kindly go back to the good stuff now? Marvel gets it, at least.

Agent_Z said:
it seems to me we aren't lacking escapism at all. Disney alone provides enough escapism to last me till the end of the human race.
FTFY.
What exactly are you stating with this here? Are you under the impression I'm the only one who likes Disney?
No, I simply changed it so that when you say there is enough escapism already, you speak for yourself, not for everyone. Shocking as it may seem, Disney alone might not be enough escapism for some people.
 

Cicada 5

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Squilookle said:
Lil devils x said:
We really do not. We have tons of dystopian futures where are the Utopias? Where are the films where the Biff's didn't ruin everything for everyone else? Seriously, we cannot rely on movies made 20 years ago to cover all that... We need more alternatives to Star Trek ( mind you I love Star Trek, however, we need alternative good futures not just one idea). When I actually tried to search for Utopian movies, all that come up are dystopias. Go figure. I struggle to think of movies that actually do have positive futures instead they either have the world destroyed itself and/or went back to the stone age or have the world a gross concrete and steel mess. Maybe I fail to notice it because there is so little actually available.
You raise a good point, but there's a simple reason it's like that.

Conflict is at the heart of all drama. A society other than our own requires time to be shown and explained. If the society is perfectly utopian, then the conflict has to come from somewhere else, and the audience may feel cheated if they had to sit through all that explanation and yet it doesn't actually affect the plot of the characters.

Tell you what- Go and give 'Things to Come' a go. When Metropolis came out in '27 depicting a dystopian giant machine society, H.G. Wells (yes, That H.G. Wells) wrote a film to protest against it, showing instead the possibility and scope of a future technological society. It portrays a true Utopia in the sense you refer to: the conflict of the story comes from mankind's struggle to reach that point. Also highly notable for predicting a lot of elements of WW2 before it happened.



Agent_Z said:
Squilookle said:
I'd say people are all saying that because they've finally got sick and tired of all the Dark Brooding movies we've been plagued with ever since 11/9/2001. Yes, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and Casino Royale were decent. Now can we kindly go back to the good stuff now? Marvel gets it, at least.

Agent_Z said:
it seems to me we aren't lacking escapism at all. Disney alone provides enough escapism to last me till the end of the human race.
FTFY.
What exactly are you stating with this here? Are you under the impression I'm the only one who likes Disney?
No, I simply changed it so that when you say there is enough escapism already, you speak for yourself, not for everyone. Shocking as it may seem, Disney alone might not be enough escapism for some people.
Aren't the people saying there isn't enough escapism speaking for themselves?
 

Cicada 5

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Lil devils x said:
Agent_Z said:
Lil devils x said:
Agent_Z said:
Lil devils x said:
Silentpony said:
I think media and fiction in general have gotten really dark, and it makes people feel uncomfortable and defeats the purpose of escapism.
Like: Man I sure am depressed about the stories of illegal immigrant girls being sexually assaulted at the border, I need to relax by watching Games of Thrones were underage girls are raped on screen.
Or
Man, Campus rape is a real problem. I'll play House Party, where the main quest is to drug a girl at a party and then blackmail her to stripping and blowing you for the antidote.

Now there are plenty of alternatives and those specific examples, but over-all it does feel like fictional stories have gotten as dark or darker than real life and that's a worrying trend. Imagine having to go to work on Monday to escape the depression you feel watching the latest GoT episode.
I agree. It actually does feel like whole plot of "Tomorrowland" where the media is only focused on destruction and desolation only to speed up mass destruction faster. Our fiction is in need of "hope" to help inspire the next generation to want to do more to make it happen because they see it as possible. When people stop seeing a great future as possible, they stop trying to work towards making it happen all together.

The idea that you can just ignore it is terribly false as well, as the sheer amount is overwhelming and the reality is there is just not much positive being made out there. A bad comedy is not what I even consider escapism, rather solving our problems is so that these horrific scenarios do not actually happen. We need more to inspire hope for our present and future and less " humans are going to F the world and everyone in it" scenario which sadly is too much our reality at the moment.
But as I said before, we alrea
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ+
dy do have a lot of escapist fiction. People just have to notice it. If you keep paying attention to dark, deconstructive content, you're only sending the message that it's what you want. Creators wouldn't keep putting out that kind of stuff if audiences didn't keep tuning in for it.
We really do not. We have tons of dystopian futures where are the Utopias? Where are the films where the Biff's didn't ruin everything for everyone else? Seriously, we cannot rely on movies made 20 years ago to cover all that... We need more alternatives to Star Trek ( mind you I love Star Trek, however, we need alternative good futures not just one idea). When I actually tried to search for Utopian movies, all that come up are dystopias. Go figure. I struggle to think of movies that actually do have positive futures instead they either have the world destroyed itself and/or went back to the stone age or have the world a gross concrete and steel mess. Maybe I fail to notice it because there is so little actually available.
Here is a list of utopian science fiction novels I found mere minutes after reading your post.
https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.inverse.com/amp/article/10378-utopia-not-dystopia-the-13-most-optimistic-science-fiction-books

As for movies, there's the recent Black Panther and Wonder Woman movies which featured utopias and the Star Trek movies.


As I said, you actually have to look for what you're asking for.
I am not a fan of "superheroes" due to their absurdity so that leaves Star Trek, and what else? I was specifically referencing movies and games within the last 5-10 years or so. Yes, we have books ( not even new at that)... In comparison, How many end of the world scenarios in movies and games do we have? Horror, dystopias, Greed, power hungry ect do we have in comparison? That is the point here. There needs to be more. I am not saying we should do away with others, just we need more. One movie out of how many? I HAVE been looking. Outside of Star Trek, it does not really exist. I already stated that above though. Considering the huge variety available of other types, for those looking for it get to watch/ play only one or two movies/games instead?

And if people don't warm to the idea of someone using magical powers in a ridiculous costume to save the world, it becomes even more limited. Most of the science fiction available does not have the positive outlook of Star Trek, The vast majority looks pretty bleak.

In the OP, you asked why people want more, and it is due to having a very limited selection of content that is actually good. I can go find hundreds of horror and dystopian movies easily, why can we not do that for positive future movies as well?
At least one of these novels came out in 2014. I'm sorry you don't like superheroes but it doesn't change the fact that they are escapist fiction and there are a lot of them. Even some horror movies like Get Out (a movie where the black guy lives) offer some kind of escape. You're also limiting yourself if you ignore t.v shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Andi Mack, One Day At A Time, Steven Universe etc. Media isn't just movies.
 

Catnip1024

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The media (particularly the film industry) did go through a phase where everything had to be "gritty". About the time the Tomb Raider reboot launched, and the various Marvel Comics.

It's like my main gripe with Game of Thrones - there's only so much relentless "bad shit happening" you can go through before you get sick of the lot of it. Give me some Terry Pratchett over George RR Martin any day.

I've noticed this with the big-selling fantasy novels too - they've all seemed to jump on the GoT bandwagon, and now it's all doom and gloom. Doom and gloom needs shiny bits, otherwise it is just tedious.
 

Lil devils x_v1legacy

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Agent_Z said:
Lil devils x said:
Agent_Z said:
Lil devils x said:
Agent_Z said:
Lil devils x said:
Silentpony said:
I think media and fiction in general have gotten really dark, and it makes people feel uncomfortable and defeats the purpose of escapism.
Like: Man I sure am depressed about the stories of illegal immigrant girls being sexually assaulted at the border, I need to relax by watching Games of Thrones were underage girls are raped on screen.
Or
Man, Campus rape is a real problem. I'll play House Party, where the main quest is to drug a girl at a party and then blackmail her to stripping and blowing you for the antidote.

Now there are plenty of alternatives and those specific examples, but over-all it does feel like fictional stories have gotten as dark or darker than real life and that's a worrying trend. Imagine having to go to work on Monday to escape the depression you feel watching the latest GoT episode.
I agree. It actually does feel like whole plot of "Tomorrowland" where the media is only focused on destruction and desolation only to speed up mass destruction faster. Our fiction is in need of "hope" to help inspire the next generation to want to do more to make it happen because they see it as possible. When people stop seeing a great future as possible, they stop trying to work towards making it happen all together.

The idea that you can just ignore it is terribly false as well, as the sheer amount is overwhelming and the reality is there is just not much positive being made out there. A bad comedy is not what I even consider escapism, rather solving our problems is so that these horrific scenarios do not actually happen. We need more to inspire hope for our present and future and less " humans are going to F the world and everyone in it" scenario which sadly is too much our reality at the moment.
But as I said before, we alrea
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ+
dy do have a lot of escapist fiction. People just have to notice it. If you keep paying attention to dark, deconstructive content, you're only sending the message that it's what you want. Creators wouldn't keep putting out that kind of stuff if audiences didn't keep tuning in for it.
We really do not. We have tons of dystopian futures where are the Utopias? Where are the films where the Biff's didn't ruin everything for everyone else? Seriously, we cannot rely on movies made 20 years ago to cover all that... We need more alternatives to Star Trek ( mind you I love Star Trek, however, we need alternative good futures not just one idea). When I actually tried to search for Utopian movies, all that come up are dystopias. Go figure. I struggle to think of movies that actually do have positive futures instead they either have the world destroyed itself and/or went back to the stone age or have the world a gross concrete and steel mess. Maybe I fail to notice it because there is so little actually available.
Here is a list of utopian science fiction novels I found mere minutes after reading your post.
https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.inverse.com/amp/article/10378-utopia-not-dystopia-the-13-most-optimistic-science-fiction-books

As for movies, there's the recent Black Panther and Wonder Woman movies which featured utopias and the Star Trek movies.


As I said, you actually have to look for what you're asking for.
I am not a fan of "superheroes" due to their absurdity so that leaves Star Trek, and what else? I was specifically referencing movies and games within the last 5-10 years or so. Yes, we have books ( not even new at that)... In comparison, How many end of the world scenarios in movies and games do we have? Horror, dystopias, Greed, power hungry ect do we have in comparison? That is the point here. There needs to be more. I am not saying we should do away with others, just we need more. One movie out of how many? I HAVE been looking. Outside of Star Trek, it does not really exist. I already stated that above though. Considering the huge variety available of other types, for those looking for it get to watch/ play only one or two movies/games instead?

And if people don't warm to the idea of someone using magical powers in a ridiculous costume to save the world, it becomes even more limited. Most of the science fiction available does not have the positive outlook of Star Trek, The vast majority looks pretty bleak.

In the OP, you asked why people want more, and it is due to having a very limited selection of content that is actually good. I can go find hundreds of horror and dystopian movies easily, why can we not do that for positive future movies as well?
At least one of these novels came out in 2014. I'm sorry you don't like superheroes but it doesn't change the fact that they are escapist fiction and there are a lot of them. Even some horror movies like Get Out (a movie where the black guy lives) offer some kind of escape. You're also limiting yourself if you ignore t.v shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Andi Mack, One Day At A Time, Steven Universe etc. Media isn't just movies.
You asked " why" people say they want more escapism, then you proceed to tell them why they should be satisfied when what they are looking for is not readily available. "Escapism" has subcatagories as well, as it can be broad. Some may only enjoy sci fi futuristic settings or some may only enjoy medieval setting or some may enjoy different types. The issue is if you really want to know why people want more, the details matter. Subcategories of "escapism" are just as important in order to fill the gap.

Star Trek should not be the only representation of a positive futuristic society we have to choose from here if we are not considering the idea of a magical person having a magic lasso and run around fighting the Nazis in their knickers as being " good". If people don't want that then they should just " be happy" and not ask for more " escapism" because what they are looking for is not available? Sorry, No I will ask for more escapism so hopefully it will one day be more available. I see it as lacking creativity and being lazy to set up easy tropes just for the sake of creating conflict for drama rather than actually have to truly envision and create a detailed future as is presented in Star Trek. There should be a variety of original depictions of a positive futuristic society rather than have is so overwhelmingly underrepresented. If you can find hundreds of horrific futures why can we not have the same for positive futures?

Also..simply because someone lives in a movie/ show does not suddenly make it " positive", nor does it make it escapism..LOL
 

Lil devils x_v1legacy

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Agent_Z said:
Squilookle said:
Lil devils x said:
We really do not. We have tons of dystopian futures where are the Utopias? Where are the films where the Biff's didn't ruin everything for everyone else? Seriously, we cannot rely on movies made 20 years ago to cover all that... We need more alternatives to Star Trek ( mind you I love Star Trek, however, we need alternative good futures not just one idea). When I actually tried to search for Utopian movies, all that come up are dystopias. Go figure. I struggle to think of movies that actually do have positive futures instead they either have the world destroyed itself and/or went back to the stone age or have the world a gross concrete and steel mess. Maybe I fail to notice it because there is so little actually available.
You raise a good point, but there's a simple reason it's like that.

Conflict is at the heart of all drama. A society other than our own requires time to be shown and explained. If the society is perfectly utopian, then the conflict has to come from somewhere else, and the audience may feel cheated if they had to sit through all that explanation and yet it doesn't actually affect the plot of the characters.

Tell you what- Go and give 'Things to Come' a go. When Metropolis came out in '27 depicting a dystopian giant machine society, H.G. Wells (yes, That H.G. Wells) wrote a film to protest against it, showing instead the possibility and scope of a future technological society. It portrays a true Utopia in the sense you refer to: the conflict of the story comes from mankind's struggle to reach that point. Also highly notable for predicting a lot of elements of WW2 before it happened.



Agent_Z said:
Squilookle said:
I'd say people are all saying that because they've finally got sick and tired of all the Dark Brooding movies we've been plagued with ever since 11/9/2001. Yes, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and Casino Royale were decent. Now can we kindly go back to the good stuff now? Marvel gets it, at least.

Agent_Z said:
it seems to me we aren't lacking escapism at all. Disney alone provides enough escapism to last me till the end of the human race.
FTFY.
What exactly are you stating with this here? Are you under the impression I'm the only one who likes Disney?
No, I simply changed it so that when you say there is enough escapism already, you speak for yourself, not for everyone. Shocking as it may seem, Disney alone might not be enough escapism for some people.
Aren't the people saying there isn't enough escapism speaking for themselves?
Of course, but you were the one who asked " why people ask" so when they tell you " why they are asking" you should expect them to give you their reasons for wanting somethingthey do not find what is available to be adequate for what they wish to see. Why ask if you don't want people to give you their answers? The issue is Escapism is broad, and has many " subcategories" which among those subcategories we can find some with abundant options and others with very limited options. Usually when people are Simply because you like Star Trek does not mean you will like Wonder Woman, or if you like either of those will you enjoy watching some sit com. All of which can be considered escapism, but very different interests. It is among the subcategories where you will find the difference in availability, so it is not helpful to suggest something from another subcategory and expect it to suffice. It does not.
 

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Squilookle said:
Lil devils x said:
We really do not. We have tons of dystopian futures where are the Utopias? Where are the films where the Biff's didn't ruin everything for everyone else? Seriously, we cannot rely on movies made 20 years ago to cover all that... We need more alternatives to Star Trek ( mind you I love Star Trek, however, we need alternative good futures not just one idea). When I actually tried to search for Utopian movies, all that come up are dystopias. Go figure. I struggle to think of movies that actually do have positive futures instead they either have the world destroyed itself and/or went back to the stone age or have the world a gross concrete and steel mess. Maybe I fail to notice it because there is so little actually available.
You raise a good point, but there's a simple reason it's like that.

Conflict is at the heart of all drama. A society other than our own requires time to be shown and explained. If the society is perfectly utopian, then the conflict has to come from somewhere else, and the audience may feel cheated if they had to sit through all that explanation and yet it doesn't actually affect the plot of the characters.

Tell you what- Go and give 'Things to Come' a go. When Metropolis came out in '27 depicting a dystopian giant machine society, H.G. Wells (yes, That H.G. Wells) wrote a film to protest against it, showing instead the possibility and scope of a future technological society. It portrays a true Utopia in the sense you refer to: the conflict of the story comes from mankind's struggle to reach that point. Also highly notable for predicting a lot of elements of WW2 before it happened.



Agent_Z said:
Squilookle said:
I'd say people are all saying that because they've finally got sick and tired of all the Dark Brooding movies we've been plagued with ever since 11/9/2001. Yes, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and Casino Royale were decent. Now can we kindly go back to the good stuff now? Marvel gets it, at least.

Agent_Z said:
it seems to me we aren't lacking escapism at all. Disney alone provides enough escapism to last me till the end of the human race.
FTFY.
What exactly are you stating with this here? Are you under the impression I'm the only one who likes Disney?
No, I simply changed it so that when you say there is enough escapism already, you speak for yourself, not for everyone. Shocking as it may seem, Disney alone might not be enough escapism for some people.
You can have a utopian society and still have numerous points of conflict, not just the struggle to get to that point, but rather how they overcome new obstacles they are presented with as well. Being positive future where mankind has solved numerous other issues does not mean that there will not always have new issues arise that have to be dealt with. It isn't like Star Trek doesn't have an abundance of ways to create points of conflict as they go along all the while maintaining an overall theme of being a positive futuristic society that has solved many of mankinds major problems. I see creating points of conflict as being easy in just about any setting, even in a Utopian society, when the focus is on how people interact with each other anyhow rather than needing some zombie apocalypse, asteroid or nuclear war to create the conflict for them. Fiction, like our reality should be able to have the realization that life is already complicated and interesting enough as it is without necessarily needing to throw Zombies, nukes and giant rocks at it. I see that as " cheapening it" when they could better utilize their creativity instead to create something far more interesting and inspiring. :)
 

Squilookle

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Lil devils x said:
You can have a utopian society and still have numerous points of conflict, not just the struggle to get to that point, but rather how they overcome new obstacles they are presented with as well. Being positive future where mankind has solved numerous other issues does not mean that there will not always have new issues arise that have to be dealt with.
Yes.

I know.

That's why I recommended you a movie that shows exactly that.

I'm not very clued in on Star Trek, but isn't the only utopia in that show the one the main characters have left far behind to look for something else?

I agree fiction shouldn't have to 'cheapen' itself to get interesting stories. But when you say that zombies, nukes and giant rocks are what cheapens something, others can just as easily point to the utopia/dystopia itself and say 'why can't it be a compelling story without cheapening itself with that?'

What individual elements of a story cheapen it is subjective to each viewer. But it's fairly universally agreed that screen time is precious, and useless information cheapens a work no matter what. If you have an otherworldly society, chances are the audience will expect it to be at least partially explained. And if we spend time learning about it, it will seem 'cheap' to the audience if that information doesn't prove to be plot-important later on in the story. Not a hard and fast rule, of course, but it does serve to explain why so many screen Utopias turn out to be dystopias in disguise.
 

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
Hmm, that kinda sounds like a dog whistle to me. Like the people who say it are really saying "I want a movie with just straight white people, where the hero is a male, the damsel is a female and there are no complicated political or religious undertones to make me think or question anything and will tell me I'm doing whats right just by being the way I am."
 

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Squilookle said:
Lil devils x said:
You can have a utopian society and still have numerous points of conflict, not just the struggle to get to that point, but rather how they overcome new obstacles they are presented with as well. Being positive future where mankind has solved numerous other issues does not mean that there will not always have new issues arise that have to be dealt with.
Yes.

I know.

That's why I recommended you a movie that shows exactly that.

I'm not very clued in on Star Trek, but isn't the only utopia in that show the one the main characters have left far behind to look for something else?

I agree fiction shouldn't have to 'cheapen' itself to get interesting stories. But when you say that zombies, nukes and giant rocks are what cheapens something, others can just as easily point to the utopia/dystopia itself and say 'why can't it be a compelling story without cheapening itself with that?'

What individual elements of a story cheapen it is subjective to each viewer. But it's fairly universally agreed that screen time is precious, and useless information cheapens a work no matter what. If you have an otherworldly society, chances are the audience will expect it to be at least partially explained. And if we spend time learning about it, it will seem 'cheap' to the audience if that information doesn't prove to be plot-important later on in the story. Not a hard and fast rule, of course, but it does serve to explain why so many screen Utopias turn out to be dystopias in disguise.
That isn't exactly how Star Trek works, in fact all everyone on Star Trek Voyager wants to do is go home to earth. Star Trek is about exploration and discovery for the most part. The reason they leave earth is not necessarily being dissatisfied with life on earth, but in the name of science and discovery. They are scientists, wanting to achieve more and expand their understanding of the universe. People do not go up to the space station, for example because they feel their life on earth is lacking, they do so because they have a drive to understand more than they currently do. More like Jacque Cousteau.

In addition, Star Trek is far more than about their main characters, that is why it has expanded well beyond them and thrives even as it branches and grows into different directions with many main characters, in the end it really isn't about them, they are just a part of it. It is an imagined future with many intricate details that do take a great deal of knowledge, creativity and effort to produce. The amount of work that has to go into creating something like that is probably why we do not have more of it, as it really isn't something anyone can just sit down and create.

Of course personal tastes greatly vary, I agree, what " cheapens it" is very much subjective. There are numerous elements that can seem "less than perfect", but I do not think a Utopian society has to necessarily be perfect in that nothing can ever go wrong, but instead it is perfect in the sense that people don't just ignore the problems and allow them to continue but instead actively work to solve them. A Utopian society should be one that cares deeply for it's people and environment and actively works to resolve problems that inflict harm rather than ignores or forsakes them. That in no way means that everything has to be portrayed as easily done. In such a world though, they just have to exist in it carrying out their daily lives for one to come to understand it. For example, on Star Trek, they introduce the audience to things such as replicators, holodecks, and transporters through daily interaction by using and repairing them when they malfunction or become damaged without actually having to shift focus, but instead by existing like a lamp, oven or tennis racket does in our reality. They are just tools people utilize and you learn about them through observance and interaction rather than explanation. That is how the world in general is introduced including all it's oddities and inventions.
 

Addendum_Forthcoming

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Lil devils x said:
That isn't exactly how Star Trek works, in fact all everyone on Star Trek Voyager wants to do is go home to earth. Star Trek is about exploration and discovery for the most part. The reason they leave earth is not necessarily being dissatisfied with life on earth, but in the name of science and discovery. They are scientists, wanting to achieve more and expand their understanding of the universe. People do not go up to the space station, for example because they feel their life on earth is lacking, they do so because they have a drive to understand more than they currently do. More like Jacque Cousteau.

In addition, Star Trek is far more than about their main characters, that is why it has expanded well beyond them and thrives even as it branches and grows into different directions with many main characters, in the end it really isn't about them, they are just a part of it. It is an imagined future with many intricate details that do take a great deal of knowledge, creativity and effort to produce. The amount of work that has to go into creating something like that is probably why we do not have more of it, as it really isn't something anyone can just sit down and create.

Of course personal tastes greatly vary, I agree, what " cheapens it" is very much subjective. There are numerous elements that can seem "less than perfect", but I do not think a Utopian society has to necessarily be perfect in that nothing can ever go wrong, but instead it is perfect in the sense that people don't just ignore the problems and allow them to continue but instead actively work to solve them. A Utopian society should be one that cares deeply for it's people and environment and actively works to resolve problems that inflict harm rather than ignores or forsakes them. That in no way means that everything has to be portrayed as easily done. In such a world though, they just have to exist in it carrying out their daily lives for one to come to understand it. For example, on Star Trek, they introduce the audience to things such as replicators, holodecks, and transporters through daily interaction by using and repairing them when they malfunction or become damaged without actually having to shift focus, but instead by existing like a lamp, oven or tennis racket does in our reality. They are just tools people utilize and you learn about them through observance and interaction rather than explanation. That is how the world in general is introduced including all it's oddities and inventions.
What part of it is actually utopian, however? This is the thing ... people say Star Trek is utopian, but it clearly isn't. It's merely a show that makes the argument that technological sophistication will literally give usthe stars, but that doesn't actually make an argument about what the individual can do with them. TNG has an episode where people who fled Earth to preserve their culture and way of life were being forcibly removed andrelocated, and a literal white man, who is British, portraying a French man, who is in love with his family lineage that contains noless than aristocratic fawnings, tells themthey shouldpiss right off and go elsewhere for the 'greater good'.

That's not any future I want to be a part of, and arguably we do many of the stuff better now than a show in the 80s told us the far future would be like if we simply adopted a more philosophy-centric collectivist approach to social relations.

This is why DS:9 iskind ofimportant. It truly portrays the Federation as being willing to use terrifying landmines and other weapons of the enemy against them to win a war. That ultimately, no matter how much you might disagree with the methods, the war was largely swayed with a biological weapon that nearly threatened genocide. That at the end of the show it even hints at further schisms within the alliance it had created ... as the Klingons revel over the masses of dead and broken cities, and the Federation can't even find commonality in victory (even if the intentions of that schism are partly a noble idea of the costs of war).

In all of the series of TNG onwards, even Voyager, the Federation is still painted as a fairly fractious place. One that is often only held together by the barrel of a gun ... or more accurately, the button on a phaser.

There are British WW2 destroyer and frigate captains who survived the conflict with less exposure to total war and violence than Captain Picard.
 

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Addendum_Forthcoming said:
Lil devils x said:
That isn't exactly how Star Trek works, in fact all everyone on Star Trek Voyager wants to do is go home to earth. Star Trek is about exploration and discovery for the most part. The reason they leave earth is not necessarily being dissatisfied with life on earth, but in the name of science and discovery. They are scientists, wanting to achieve more and expand their understanding of the universe. People do not go up to the space station, for example because they feel their life on earth is lacking, they do so because they have a drive to understand more than they currently do. More like Jacque Cousteau.

In addition, Star Trek is far more than about their main characters, that is why it has expanded well beyond them and thrives even as it branches and grows into different directions with many main characters, in the end it really isn't about them, they are just a part of it. It is an imagined future with many intricate details that do take a great deal of knowledge, creativity and effort to produce. The amount of work that has to go into creating something like that is probably why we do not have more of it, as it really isn't something anyone can just sit down and create.

Of course personal tastes greatly vary, I agree, what " cheapens it" is very much subjective. There are numerous elements that can seem "less than perfect", but I do not think a Utopian society has to necessarily be perfect in that nothing can ever go wrong, but instead it is perfect in the sense that people don't just ignore the problems and allow them to continue but instead actively work to solve them. A Utopian society should be one that cares deeply for it's people and environment and actively works to resolve problems that inflict harm rather than ignores or forsakes them. That in no way means that everything has to be portrayed as easily done. In such a world though, they just have to exist in it carrying out their daily lives for one to come to understand it. For example, on Star Trek, they introduce the audience to things such as replicators, holodecks, and transporters through daily interaction by using and repairing them when they malfunction or become damaged without actually having to shift focus, but instead by existing like a lamp, oven or tennis racket does in our reality. They are just tools people utilize and you learn about them through observance and interaction rather than explanation. That is how the world in general is introduced including all it's oddities and inventions.
What part of it is actually utopian, however? This is the thing ... people say Star Trek is utopian, but it clearly isn't. It's merely a show that makes the argument that technological sophistication will literally give usthe stars, but that doesn't actually make an argument about what the individual can do with them. TNG has an episode where people who fled Earth to preserve their culture and way of life were being forcibly removed andrelocated, and a literal white man, who is British, portraying a French man, who is in love with his family lineage that contains noless than aristocratic fawnings, tells themthey shouldpiss right off and go elsewhere for the 'greater good'.

That's not any future I want to be a part of, and arguably we do many of the stuff better now than a show in the 80s told us the far future would be like if we simply adopted a more philosophy-centric collectivist approach to social relations.

This is why DS:9 iskind ofimportant. It truly portrays the Federation as being willing to use terrifying landmines and other weapons of the enemy against them to win a war. That ultimately, no matter how much you might disagree with the methods, the war was largely swayed with a biological weapon that nearly threatened genocide. That at the end of the show it even hints at further schisms within the alliance it had created ... as the Klingons revel over the masses of dead and broken cities, and the Federation can't even find commonality in victory (even if the intentions of that schism are partly a noble idea of the costs of war).

In all of the series of TNG onwards, even Voyager, the Federation is still painted as a fairly fractious place. One that is often only held together by the barrel of a gun ... or more accurately, the button on a phaser.

There are British WW2 destroyer and frigate captains who survived the conflict with less exposure to total war and violence than Captain Picard.
Why people consider Star Trek to be Utopian is in that they solved hunger, wealth inequality, homelessness and most diseases and collectively focused their efforts for the betterment of society, science and exploration. I wasn't much of a fan of DS:9, so I would have to look in to that particular event to be able to comment on it, and part of Star Treks point's of conflicts was how they handled people violating the prime directive, which what you suggest clearly violates Federation law. The vast majority of prime directive violations are from individuals rather than the " Federation" itself and often that leads to them being brought up on charges for doing so, not that inflicting sch harm was actually allowed. In Star Trek Discovery, however, there were clear violations, but it's purpose was not the same as original Star Trek, due to it is presumed to show why the Prime Directive was so important in the first place and how those things came to be.

Since the different Star Treks exist in different points in time and all throughout the universe, it will have a great variety of things happening along the way. Some are to show WHY they came about creating their principles and priorities by defining why these things were important, as examples showing what happens when these things are not adhered to, while others show the benefits and happiness of the people within their society.

The threat of the Borg's attempt to assimilate the Universe showed the lengths people will go through when violently desperate to maintain their existence, and Picard is a prime example that people can overcome and uphold their principles to maintain such a society against all odds, even the Borg. Violations are an exception, rather than the rule, just as murder is illegal, I see that as being no different.

EDIT: In addition, Wesley Crusher was 16 when he voluntarily took the psych test, not a child as you suggest, and was something he chose to do, not forced upon him.
 

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Lil devils x said:
Why people consider Star Trek to be Utopian is in that they solved hunger, wealth inequality, homelessness and most diseases and collectively focused their efforts for the betterment of society, science and exploration. I wasn't much of a fan of DS:9, so I would have to look in to that particular event to be able to comment on it, and part of Star Treks point's of conflicts was how they handled people violating the prime directive, which what you suggest clearly violates Federation law. The vast majority of prime directive violations are from individuals rather than the " Federation" itself and often that leads to them being brought up on charges for doing so, not that inflicting sch harm was actually allowed. In Star Trek Discovery, however, there were clear violations, but it's purpose was not the same as original Star Trek, due to it is presumed to show why the Prime Directive was so important in the first place and how those things came to be.

Since the different Star Treks exist in different points in time and all throughout the universe, it will have a great variety of things happening along the way. Some are to show WHY they came about creating their principles and priorities by defining why these things were important, as examples showing what happens when these things are not adhered to, while others show the benefits and happiness of the people within their society.

The threat of the Borg's attempt to assimilate the Universe showed the lengths people will go through when violently desperate to maintain their existence, and Picard is a prime example that people can overcome and uphold their principles to maintain such a society against all odds, even the Borg. Violations are an exception, rather than the rule, just as murder is illegal, I see that as being no different.
But none of that is particularly utopian. I haven't seen Discovery so I can't comment, but I can comment on the other televised stuff of Star Trek, and whatever utopianism is it's merely a concerted idea of technology = good. Which isn't exactly utopian on its own. If the world could solve world hunger through limitless access to energy and asimple box that replicates matter out of it ... then we would.

If we could solve cancer with a click of our fingers ... we would.

If we could solve wealth inequality without actual revolutionary action and causing crippling macrological global problems of whatever possible 'reset' and correcting for the fact that not all countries have the same access to raw materials or industrial capacity ... we would.

The fact that the Federation has limitless access to energy, materials, and industrial capacity is actually an indictment on everything else it does that is morally wrong even in today's world.

Let's actually put it into a moral analysis here, if Wesley Crusher had stayed, done everything possible to liberate his fellow man from his terror and 'died' he would have failed the test. And all the people that would have so easily cast off such a person, these are the 'explorers' and 'diplomats' you want other cultures to first meet?

And it doesn't matter if he was 16. We don't run 16 year olds through such tests. Moreover, it ignores whatever values this society actually purports to have. It's basically a recreation of the Kobayashi Maru exercise but somehow even less moral and utterly debased. The thing is, Kirk had a point of actually hacking the network ... he did a good thing, because a commander's role is first and foremost creating every possible means by which the safety and security of their soldiers can be met and achieve their mission. You do not just roll over and 'accept death honourably and as if necessary' ... that is a fucked up message.

Kirk hacking the system and creating victory that way, and still becoming a space captain diplomat and explorer is actual utopianism. A society that quietly nods their head and says; "Now that's the real solution... and I like it." That's an actual utopian society. It lives up to its values as treating human life, and the genius of individuals, as if a covenant held above merely 'noble' sacrifice.

General Sir John Monash...

The true role of infantry was not to expend itself upon heroic physical effort, not to wither away under merciless machine-gun fire, not to impale itself on hostile bayonets, but on the contrary, to advance under the maximum possible protection of the maximum possible array of mechanical resources, in the form of guns, machine-guns, tanks, mortars and aeroplanes; to advance with as little impediment as possible; to be relieved as far as possible of the obligation to fight their way forward.
A Great War general...

As I was saying before ... Star Trek is not utopian, and its values are often barbaric. Even in terms of our own past, its values of human life, even when life was at its cheapest.
 

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Addendum_Forthcoming said:
Lil devils x said:
Why people consider Star Trek to be Utopian is in that they solved hunger, wealth inequality, homelessness and most diseases and collectively focused their efforts for the betterment of society, science and exploration. I wasn't much of a fan of DS:9, so I would have to look in to that particular event to be able to comment on it, and part of Star Treks point's of conflicts was how they handled people violating the prime directive, which what you suggest clearly violates Federation law. The vast majority of prime directive violations are from individuals rather than the " Federation" itself and often that leads to them being brought up on charges for doing so, not that inflicting sch harm was actually allowed. In Star Trek Discovery, however, there were clear violations, but it's purpose was not the same as original Star Trek, due to it is presumed to show why the Prime Directive was so important in the first place and how those things came to be.

Since the different Star Treks exist in different points in time and all throughout the universe, it will have a great variety of things happening along the way. Some are to show WHY they came about creating their principles and priorities by defining why these things were important, as examples showing what happens when these things are not adhered to, while others show the benefits and happiness of the people within their society.

The threat of the Borg's attempt to assimilate the Universe showed the lengths people will go through when violently desperate to maintain their existence, and Picard is a prime example that people can overcome and uphold their principles to maintain such a society against all odds, even the Borg. Violations are an exception, rather than the rule, just as murder is illegal, I see that as being no different.
But none of that is particularly utopian. I haven't seen Discovery so I can't comment, but I can comment on the other televised stuff of Star Trek, and whatever utopianism is it's merely a concerted idea of technology = good. Which isn't exactly utopian on its own. If the world could solve world hunger through limitless access to energy and asimple box that replicates matter out of it ... then we would.

If we could solve cancer with a click on our fingers ... we would.

If we could solve wealth inequality without actual revolutionary action and causing crippling macrological global problems of whatever possible 'reset' and correcting for the fact that not all countries have the same access to raw materials or industrial capacity ... we would.

The fact that the Federation has limitless access to energy, materials, and industrial capacity is actually an indictment on everything else it does that is morally wrong even in today's world.

Let's actually put it into a moral analysis here, if Wesley Crusher had stayed, done everything possible to liberate his fellow man from his terror and 'died' he would have failed the test. And all the people that would have so easily cast off such a person, these are the 'explorers' and 'diplomats' you want other cultures to first meet?

And it doesn't matter if he was 16. We don't run 16 year olds through such tests. Moreover, it ignores whatever values this society actually purports to have. It's basically a recreation of the Kobayashi Maru exercise but somehow even less moral and utterly debased. The thing is, Kirk had a point of actually hacking the network ... he did a good thing, because a commander's role is first and foremost creating every possible means by which the safety and security of their soldiers can be met and achieve their mission. You do not just roll over and 'accept death honourably and as if necessary' ... that is a fucked up message.
It isn't just about " Technology= good" at all. Did you not see how lush, clean and green the earth was in numerous episodes? They chose to take care of plants, animals, soil, water.. everything rather than behave like grasshoppers and just consume everything in sight. I disagree that what they do is considered "morally wrong" in today's world, as they instead worked to find solutions to solve the problems of pollution and waste instead of just allowing it to become someone else's problem or hoarding resources even when in short supply they manage to show their humanity and share with those in need. It is actually false that they have access to unlimited energy and resources as in a good number of episodes they had become dangerously low and were having to go to great lengths to obtain enough to survive. Replicators did not just create things out of nothing, they had to be supplied with resources to be able to create at all. If they were lacking matter, people were restricted from being able to replicate things that required those resources. More on those here:
https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/126563/where-do-replicators-get-their-material

As for their energy, they were constantly looking for Dilitium:
In the Star Trek fictional universe, dilithium is an invented material which serves as a controlling agent in the faster-than-light warp drive. In the original series, dilithium crystals were rare and could not be replicated, making the search for them a recurring plot element. According to a periodic table shown during a Next Generation episode, it has the chemical symbol Dt and the atomic number 87, which in reality belongs to francium.[1]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dilithium_(Star_Trek)

I agree Kirk had a point by cheating on the test, I also understand they have the test to help better prepare their Captains for the real life situations that can actually happen as a risk of flying around in spaceships. You should know that even the " best" people in Star Fleet failed the Psyche test, including Picard. Wesley did fail the test and was told he had to take it again the following year. Although he failed the test, he had overcome his fear that he would not be capable of choosing who to save if he was in a situation that required him to do so. It was more about Wesley overcoming his fear rather than about the test itself.

EDIT: I disagree about it not being Utopian, as it's primary focus is on compassion, expansion on understanding and overcoming obstacles. It depicts a society where they take care of each other and even the aliens they encounter and focus their collective efforts to help as many as possible, even those who have not been hospitable in the past, such as Klingons. Even though Klingons had repeatedly been shown to be hostile, ruthless an cruel, The federation repeatedly assisted them and showed them compassion when they had the opportunity to destroy them instead. They fought others out of not being given a choice, but would have preferred to have mutually beneficial relations with them instead and exhausted other means before resorting to "fighting back" as a last resort.