People want to live in Middle Earth--or one of the countless knockoff fantasy worlds it has spawned--so badly that they dress up, gather in the park and spend the day pretending it's true.
We can see why. All of these Tolkien-inspired worlds present us with a beautiful alternative to the complicated, hectic modern life of today. No traffic jams, computer crashes or student loan repayments. The bad guys are clearly and unrepentantly bad and easy to spot, politics are reduced to clear good versus evil. Plus, there are goddamn Wizards.
And they don't all sit around making tiny unicorns.
Why It Would Suck
Just look at the little hobbits, living in harmony! And here are the elves, in a completely separate, roped-off area, also living in harmony! And here are the people of Gondor, living in harmony in their homogenous enclave! And the dwarves, happily mining for minerals with other dwarves! And only other dwarves.
For there is no race-mixing in Middle Earth. There are no humans or elves living in the Shire, and if a hobbit is going to live in Rivendell, he'd better be a big goddamned deal. Ask yourself: If everyone has wound up perfectly segregated, how did it get that way? What happened to people who tried to intermarry with other peoples of Middle Earth? Whatever it was, it discouraged everyone else from daring to try it.
The orcs never stood a chance.
So maybe you want to do something to fix this, like electing a new government that makes it illegal for shops in Rohan to refuse to hire orcs. Well, too bad: power in Middle Earth is hereditary. You have a king, a lor, or maybe, if you're lucky, a thain. Were you pissed off when George W. Bush was in office? Well, imagine his line continuing in power, forever... and you can't move away because you (presumably) get your ass kicked if you try to buy land among another race.
Sure, we see a human get to bang an elf at the end of the saga, but he had to save the freaking world to earn the right.
Speaking of elves fucking, let's talk about that for a moment. Although most of the elves are hundreds or even thousands of years old, there are hardly any children around, and their population has remained relatively small and stable. Since it's unlikely that the staunch-Catholic Tolkien would have allowed birth control inside his creation, it is obvious that no one in the Elfish kingdom is getting any, anywhere.
We wonder why.
Of course all of this avoids the obvious, which is the fact that if you get a toothache in Middle Earth, you've got a date with a dude with a hammer and a rusty pair of pliers. Did you notice how the flashback in Lord of the Rings from thousands of years earlier showed there has been zero advancement in weapons, clothes or anything else since? That's because technology of all sorts was generally considered evil in Tolkien's imaginings, and pretty much anyone who tried to mass produce anything in Middle Earth soon became both immoral and insane.
No wonder everybody is baked on pipe weed every waking moment. It's the only escape from the soul-crushing depression.
3The Star Trek Galaxy
In the idyllic future that is Star Trek, warp speed allows mankind to travel in comfortable starships to the furthest regions of the galaxy. Rather than barren rocks and lifeless stars surrounded by light-years of nothingness, this universe is inhabited with fascinating metaphors for humanity, wise philosophers and whole races of humanoid female aliens who want to learn want love is.
On top of this, in the human society of Star Trek, abundance and satisfaction are so widespread that money is actually obsolete. People work simply for the joy of it. And the jobs are great, particularly in Starfleet: intrepid space adventurer, hardcore science officer, seducer of many babes.
Why It Would Suck
Starfleet, which apparently holds a monopoly on cool space exploration in Star Trek, is run pretty much exactly like a military organization. And in the average military, the ratio of officers to enlisted averages around five to one. On Star Trek, we usually just see the officers' decks, quarters and day-to-day life. What we don't see is that the majority of people on starships--the enlisted--clearly work in places like engineering, in unsafe conditions around unstable bulkheads and vats of flesh-eating gas.
Petty Officer Ricky, RIP.
Well, we do see them sometimes, when something explodes and they are graphically ejected into space to die in slow agony, their bodies destined to float through the void for all time with shrieks of pain still frozen on their faces. But more often we hear about their deaths in passing, while the camera zooms in on Captain Kirk or Picard's face so we can see his guilt over the death of so many of his men. That's your life, majority of people in Starfleet. A passing bad mood before Kirk cheers himself up by bedding a green-skinned woman on his sparkly bed made of gold.
But at least these poor dudes can relax after work in the flesh-eating gas room with a stiff drink, right? Wrong. In Star Trek, you drink synthehol, a drink with all the pleasant-tastingness of whiskey but without its "undesirable elements" like well, drunkenness.
So in this galaxy, you can't even get drunk and fantasize about the sparkly officer's sheets that without a currency, you can't even save up to buy.