A Quick Fix

What draws most readers, myself included, into a dystopian world is the sense it is not so different than our own, that a few, strategic events could catapult us into a dark and disturbing place. After all, one hour of the evening news begs the question: Is our modern world more utopian than dystopian?

In imagining Legacy, I was inspired by my day job as a psychologist, where I am often face to face with individuals who are eager, sometimes desperate, to alter their own emotional states. Just as Lex observes in 2041, “It seemed that almost everyone was eager to feel or not to feel something.” Those words are as true today as ever. Don’t get me wrong—for many people, medications like antidepressants and antipsychotics are necessary for their recovery. But, for others, pharmaceutical companies cash in on their desire to quickly and easily alter unpleasant emotions, the longing for a quick fix. After all, Prozac is known as the “happy pill.” As a psychologist, I often wonder about the implications of the longing for a quick fix, so it wasn’t a stretch to create Legacy’s world, where Zenigenic, an up and coming pharmaceutical company, develops a line of Emotion Altering Medications (EAMs).

In 2041, EAMs are widely available, dispensed in vending machines operated by biometric identification. Mental illness is not a prerequisite, only a desire to alter one’s feelings. With a catchy slogan, “How do you want to feel today?” and a promise of no side effects, who could resist?

So, step right up and consider your options:

Emovere: Developed by Dr. Victoria Knightley; targets the brain’s amygdala; intended to reduce fear and suppress anxiety. A necessity before any big speaking engagement, skydiving, or engaging in a gun fight with your enemies.

Euphoractamine (“Eupho”): A popular pill that induces feelings of intense pleasure or euphoria. Yes, I’ll take two, please.

Agitor: A particularly potent drug for enhancing stimulation and excitement. The cure for boredom and apathy.

Substance X (“Onyx”): Impairs the supramarginal gyrus inhibiting empathy; not for public consumption, use with caution. Turns your heart as black as a stone.

Crim-X: A first generation emotion-altering drug, developed by Dr. Victoria Knightley for use with high-risk criminals; intended to reduce crime by suppressing emotions like anger and excitement. Preferred by prisons everywhere.  

How do you want to feel? Remember, the choice is yours. But a quick fix always comes at a price…

 

 

 

 

 

July 26, 2015

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