China project update
The twin perils of "woke" and "nice" Christianity

Logan's Run: Prelude to hook-up culture

Continuing with the theme of dystopian sci-fi films, I watched Logan's Run for the first time in at least a decade. 

I'm not going to say it hasn't aged well because the quintessential 70s sci-fi feel is part of its charm.  It came out in 1976, and was such a hit that a spin-off TV series was put into production.

The central conceit of the film is that environmental degradation forced humanity to retreat into a climate-controlled domed city run by a central computer.  This was when overpopulation was a great fear, with books like The Population Bomb and movies like Soylent Green intimating that we'd soon be eating each other.

At any rate, to keep the population stable, births (and deaths) are highly regulated.  Each resident has a small crystal in the left hand and it changes color as they age.  Once it starts blinking red (which happens at the age of 30) time's up.  That generation goes to a thing called 'carousel' (spelled differently) and they spin and levitate until being blow to bits.  In theory, the worthy will be given a second life, but no one's positive about how that works.

Anyhow, some people want to keep living and try to evade the security force, known as Sandmen.  They are assigned to chase "runners" and kill them.

It's standard fare, with the usual heavy-handed culture references ("don't trust anyone over 30" was of course a hippie slogan) and the plot leans heavily on ruined landmarks being scary.

What I find interesting was that it prefigured the hook-up culture that started to emerge in the late 80s.  Because everyone is safe and fed and population is determined by computers, sex is entirely recreational.  Monogamy is unknown.  Thus each evening, one can go "on the circuit" and find a partner (or more than one).  There's even an orgy district.

The obvious message is that bodily pleasure without a relationship is ultimately empty.  Our society is learning the same lesson.  The 'freedom' provided by birth control and abortion comes at a significant cost.  Numerous studies and mountains of data demonstrate that quantity of sex partners is less important than the quality of them, and that a long-term monogamous relationship results in the best outcomes in health and emotional satisfaction.

This shouldn't be a surprise - countless generations embraced this structure before us, but the conceit of the 20 Century was that all those people were stupid and ignorant.  We're now learning the opposite.

Amidst the hysterical responses to the Dobbs decision is the claim that "hook-up culture is dead."  I think the prevalence of other methods of birth control says otherwise, but I'd be very happy if that is true.

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