A place for me that is Utopian, currently, is nowhere honestly. I have places that make me happier than other places, but I don't think I've experienced any place that felt truly Utopian. A place that I think seems pretty Utopian however is Japan, and it's the place I most want to visit in the world. They have made incredible achievements and advancements in technology and architecture while also respecting the old culture and traditions. They aren't afraid to embrace clean energy; they have great laws on guns; crime levels are extremely low compared to the rest of the world; the streets and environment are extremely clean, and, of course, the food is wonderful (trust me, that's very important to a Utopia). The issue there however is that much of that "Utopian" feel that Japan has created largely comes from sheltering. The political/governmental body is very good at sweeping large scale issues under the rug, and they also keep the country very vetted as far as immigration is concerned. Becoming a legitimate citizen is very difficult if you weren't born there. From what I've researched, the Utopia is one for the people, where government officials are kind of keeping a veil over the citizens, protecting them and hiding them from as many issues as they can, and also by avoiding global conflict as much as possible (which may or may not be an issue depending on who you ask).
After speaking on Japan, I feel this is a good way to segway into the first question, which is, what is Utopia? As defined, "Utopia" is "no place". Another view is a "hypothetical place where everything is perfect". As a genre, to me, Utopia is a work that caters to our human fantasy. A means to envision what most of us normal people strive for: a life that is perfect. A genre that gives us ideas on what political, ethical, and moral means must be taken in order for everyone to live in harmony. I think for me, Utopia as a genre is much more about how we create a Utopia, or how we destroy one. To me, it would be pretty boring to read about a book where everyone lives perfect lives, and that's it. Perhaps that issue alone is why we as humans struggle to create something like a Utopia, or perhaps why it's impossible. We feed off of drama, action, rebellion, war, violence, struggle, and even horrendous things like murder and violent crime as entertainment. I believe as well however that despite these things, as the professor and Jameson say, Utopia is also an impulse. Despite our tendencies for entertainment, violence, drama, and other things that seem in our nature, we as humans have a Utopian impulse. We have a subliminal force within us that drives us to keep improving, to keep building not just our personal lives, but society as a whole. The way we do things is all in an effort to make our lives better, which to me has to stem from some kind of Utopian impulse. I don't know anyone who constantly works to make their life worse. It is our impulse to constantly try and improve and to be better, both personally and politically. I do sincerely look back on my childhood as Utopian, at least, or especially, compared to my life now. I didn't have the same worries and cares back then as I do now. Life was simple. I felt almost constantly happy as kid. This is where I think Utopia most represents a memory, which is a good segway into my analysis on The Walking Dead.
In The Walking Dead, there is certainly a "Utopian impulse". While it takes a while to get there, the characters are striving to build a new society. They want to return to a state of happiness that once existed but is now lost. As they live and survive trough a nightmarish Dystopia, the characters work to build it into a Utopia. I think this show sheds some light onto how subjective and malleable the idea of Utopia is. Right now, it feels like the world is in a rough place, and is absolutely not a Utopia. In the Walking Dead however, before the zombie apocalypse, the characters were living in the same world we lived in. For them, at that point, it wasn't a Utopia either. The world still had issues, and the people still had their personal issues. When the world goes Dystopian however, after surviving for a while, the characters start trying to recreate a Utopia within the Dystopia by rebuilding society. Utopia now is returning to that world that once existed, returning to a happier time that is now a memory. They refurbish towns, create small governments, recreate farms, live in houses, raise children, play games. Life begins going back to the way it was before the apocalypse. For a while, it seems truly Utopian. Everyone is living in harmony. Not long after however, cracks begin to form. People begin wanting to do things their way, and on the turn of a dime, the Utopia is destroyed. Time and time again, the only thing that interferes with the Utopia is other people. Maybe this is a paradox. Humans are able to create a Utopia, but first we must endure a Dystopia that allows us to "reset". However, because of human nature, we will destroy the very Utopia we created. I think that's what the show is trying to say, and this can be another way of viewing the allegory in the show of humans being "The Walking Dead" (as compared to the way I described it in the first post). No matter what, humans will destroy themselves. No matter how great of a Utopia is built by humans, the same humans will destroy it. The state of the world is irrelevant. Humans are the problem.