1.To me, the pastoral past has an incredibly strong case for being Utopian. Mostly, as we heard in the lecture, due to its rhythmic and cyclical nature. Cycles through life in a pastoral system were very strongly regimented by the changing of the seasons and the behavior of the climate. There was not much in the way of arguing with a force of nature, and thus all had to obey, or potentially face dire consequences. But this was not all so sinister. This lead to a simple, yet strict cycle of the harvest. When to plant, when to tend, when to harvest, and when to rest. This resulted in some of the first holidays centered around the changing of the seasons. Even some mythical deities (Hecate, Pan, Cernunnos) would transform with the seasons; being reborn in the spring, then growing old and dying in the winter. With a cyclical nature in mind, eventually one may find themselves falling into a steady rhythm of life. Without time for much in the way of deviant behavior, everyone would simply follow the expectations life had set for them. This would become, by definition, a utopia in every sense of the term. 2. I wholeheartedly prefer fantasy over science fiction. I hadn't considered it before this lecture, but the Utopian Impulses when it comes to time play a large part in it. Personally, I love the fantastic elements of wonder at a life with an alternate history, or a world in which the addition of a new force like magic could make the world better. Fantasizing about how the world could be a better place from more humbler beginnings makes me happy, so why not seek out more happiness? I have nothing against science fiction per se, but It is certainly not my preferred form of entertainment. While imagining a world far ahead of us is certainly a goal I admire, I find the over-saturation of technology to be very cold. My tastes incline me more to the magical and natural worlds rather than the far reaches of outer space.
I would, however, like to propose a compromise between the two genres: the Urban-Fantasy. Urban fantasy is defined as an element of a plot or setting, as well as a genre. Many stories can belong to a particular genre while still possessing urban fantasy elements. For example: Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files" series is often called the quintessential Urban-Fantasy series. Other stories include supernatural of fantastic elements as only part of their story, like how "Twilight" is (for all its faults) a story focused on romance, not on the logistics of how vampires and werewolves exist in a modern setting. I feel there is a Utopian Impulse here in a way, in that the genre imagines a world in which the impulses of the pastoral past in fantasy moved on and evolved with time. One could even say this is a marriage of the two genres into something closer to science-fantasy. Simultaneously nostalgic for a time long past, while also looking to the future for how these elements will continue to live on.