Dystopian Fascination: Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron


Good afternoon! Special welcome to those of you stopping by from my 6 Odd Things Doomsday Preppers Stockpile (That Make Sense) Cracked article.

Apocalypses and dystopian futures go together like Rad-X and Nuka-Cola. I thought that during my journey from Anthem to Zardoz I'd consumed just about every piece of fiction centered around the idea of eventual societal dissolution, so my recent discovery of films based on Kurt Vonnegut's dystopian short story Harrison Bergeron proved a happy surprise.

In the story, society has become "completely equal" by handicapping those who would strive to become better than average. Smart people receive periodic bursts of noise through headphones that disrupt their thoughts. Strong people are physically weighted down to keep them from using their strength. Beautiful people wear masks. The films provide more or less loose interpretations of Vonnegut's work, with Harrison Bergeron tending towards campy romance and 2081 providing a visually stunning, more grounded version of the original.

Enjoy watching these interesting genre pieces, and share your thoughts below!

Full length 1995 version (starring Sean Astin!)





Short film "2081." Note: you'll have to rent the video from Youtube to watch the whole thing (but it's worth it!). Also available on Amazon.