We humans devote a huge amount of our brain power to thinking of all the ways the world could suck less. Almost all of our entertainment is based on letting us escape to some other world where people can do magic and even the hardships look like fun.
What is interesting, though, is how terrible our fictional fantasy worlds really are. They look like fun for two hours at a time, but with a little thought you see why living there would make you want to drink yourself into a stupor.
#6. The Disney Universe
Disney movies show us an animated world full of dashing heroes, beautiful princesses and loveable sidekicks. Everyone prances about so joyfully and carefree they must spontaneously burst into song and dance every once in a while just to let off steam.
If you're a good person, a happy ending complete with riches and true love is pretty much guaranteed. Death is apparently uncommon, at least on screen. Evil doers will get their comeuppance and everything always works out in the end.
"And then I fucking DIE? I should have read this script earlier."
Why It Would Suck
In the Disney universe animals talk, which at first all looks like good fun. When you're feeling lonely or rejected by your fellow humans, you can always find an animal sidekick to provide conversation, keep you company or at least entertain you with their bumbling/farting antics. Crickets give you goal-setting advice and adorable fish become your best friends. And even animals that apparently can't talk can still help out with household tasks, like the birds that help make a dress in Cinderella.
Which makes it all the harder when it comes time to eat them.
Yes, with every animal around you potentially being a fully conscious, thinking being, any animal product or service used by humans would involve murder, harassment or in the very least slave labor.
Want to enjoy some seafood? Then you'd better be OK with listening to Sebastian, the crab from The Little Mermaid, crying in his pidgin English all the way down your throat. Merely milking a cow becomes sexual harassment.
Becoming a non-leather-wearing vegan doesn't help either, because in this universe, inanimate objects can also be enchanted humans in disguise. Want to throw a cup at your prince after he comes home from another long night of "saving princesses," the stink of "magic potion" wafting from his crotch? Now you've shattered Ms. Teapot's son, you killer. Oh well, maybe he'll make you feel better by building a romantic fire with that old tree he just cut...
Everything you use to live, work, create a comfortable life and sustain yourself likely talks, wisecracks, parcels out sage wisdom and most certainly will scream their asses off when you take a hatchet to them. That mosquito you just swatted had hopes and dreams. The flower you just picked for your princess just found out it was accepted to Princeton, you dick!
#5. The Marvel Universe
We're not going to try to pretend that being a superhero isn't awesome. The sheer joy you feel the first time you punch a bad guy and make him fly through a brick wall would render any such arguments ridiculous.
And life is never dull in the Marvel Universe, because there's always a supervillain around the corner ready to indulge in an impressive battle with you, which after varying amounts of struggle, you'll win every single time. So yeah, life would be pretty sweet.
If you were a superhero.
Above: Spider-Man and some normal chumps.
Why It Would Suck
The Marvel canon lists approximately 5,000 characters in its entirety. Even ignoring significant others, aliens and advisors and assuming that every single one of those is an Earthling with superpowers, this means that for every successful superhero, there are 1,400,000 regular people. So in Marvel world, the odds of winding up with super powers are less than half the chance of being hit by lightning (although to be fair, being hit by lightning in the Marvel universe would probably give you superpowers).
So that means you're almost certainly not the Hulk, but rather one of the screaming panicked bystanders running around the streets while he's flinging cars around. For those people--that is, virtually everyone--everyday life is a living hell.
Pray your insurance covers this.
Think about how long the trauma lasts in a city like New York after a terrorist attack. Then consider that in the Spider-Man movies alone, a superpowered terrorist attacks the city once every couple of years.
Throw in the Fantastic Four franchise and you've got shit exploding in the Big Apple every year or so. They wouldn't even have time to put a memorial together before the next one struck. The poor bastards living in the city are basically going to work every day in a warzone, where at any minute their office could be exploded by a costumed asshole who can do magic.
But would an asshole wear this?
But let's say you somehow beat the odds, avoided being one of those de-powered mutants or normal humans, and are a superhero. Lucky you! You can use your powers to scale buildings at will and blow up shit with your eyes. Oh, but there is a high chance of your loved ones dying and/or morphing into nemeses which you then have to ironically fight.
Well, at least there's an end to it all. You can retire, or die bravely in combat while saving the planet. Oh, wait, no. No matter how painful and final your death, no matter if you were an adult in the 1930s and everyone and everything you know and love has passed from this Earth, somewhere, eventually, you will be brought back to life and forced to continue your eternal, unending struggle to provide enticing drama in serial form.
#4. Middle Earth
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.