Today’s recurring theme seems to be the Cyberpunk Future Present and the Cyberpunk Future Past. I wake up to see a tweet from Rudy Rucker talking about his first viewing of Max Headroom, over at Bruce Sterling’s house, back in ‘the day’ and then Pat Cadigan mentioning her love of Prisoners of Gravity, a Canadian show from the late 80s/early 90s that “explored speculative fiction and its relation to various thematic and social issues.” I’d never heard of it, but of course Cadigan’s tweet is an edited-retweet linking to an archive, so in I go.
Except the TV distracts me, as I put on the 24hr govt news channel here and it shows near-live coverage of the revolution in Libya, as former govt troops and volunteer militia assemble around the free city of Benghazi, about to storm Tripoli and chase Col. Gadaffi either out of the country or to his grave… And this is haphazardly inter-cut with a press conference in devastated Christchurch, with updates on the clean-up efforts (155 confirmed dead and another 100 or so more expected to be found) with warnings not to swim at the beach on this blisteringly hot day, since the ocean is now full of sewerage. They are even giving tips for citizens on using their toilets, again the result of no functioning sewerage system (use two plastic bags under the seat – a disgusting, yet useful, tip.)
Faced with this Present, suddenly the science-fiction visions of the future don’t look so bad and it is no wonder I want to retreat there for a while. But no, that task is interrupted when @golan tweets a link to yetAnotherBruceSterlingKeynote, my distraction drug of choice – this time being the IDX closing keynote. And once again, my browser tabs begin to fill up, joining this music blog post of a rip of a cassette tape of Berber music from the wilds of Morocco, put online by a guy in Brooklyn, New York. Which seemed like the perfect accompaniment for my re-reading of Transmetropolitan, my original plan for this afternoon.
Last week my recently unemployed friend was visiting. After a long discussion about global politics and the future, she asked me if I was ever bored, as she’d found herself being of late. I just looked at her. This world is many things, both doomed (in the lands once known as the First World) and full of hope and potential (MENA); exciting and devastating; but boring? Never. Boredom is something we may just find ourselves longing for in the years to come.