Never Too Late!

Never Too Late!
any resemblance to anyone real or imaginary is mere bad luck
we are all lying in the gutter, but some of us are trying to get up


Transmetropolitan, and the romance of shoplifting

Of all these various near-future dystopias a comic book - or "graphic novel" for some (not in this household) - called Transmetropolitan comes nearest to capturing the incomprehensible information-saturated sensory-overload future all this media and communications tech is bringing us.

TV screens set in the street at pedestrian traffic lights (like already in buses in London). Broadband internet in your shades or glasses or designer goggles. Speakers and screens blaring at you from everywhere.

Random media idiots with head-worn cameras feeding images to live webstreams of 24-hour reality shows being filmed in the street.

Resurrected people from the 20th century who had themselves cryogenically frozen who never recover from the future-shock and are ignored by the rest of society and become sad, irrelevant, lonely outsiders. Extra-terrestrial UFO people who sell their DNA to a sub-culture who make their "life-style choice" to graft UFO-people DNA into their own and thereby become half-aliens... People who upload their minds and memories into clouds of molecular nano-machines that float around like puffs of pink smoke but can take on any form they wish...

People with programmable drug dispensers grafted to their spines for total control over their brain chemistry.

A society where your social status is determined by your access to bandwidth...

You could throw in the AI web games now being developed by shadowy top-secret directorates within Microsoft… If you take the effort to glance through these texts here you will see what I mean… A game which will intrude into reality and invade your life, make you phone calls, send you emails and faxes, graft itself into the websites you look at and the TV you watch, all as part of the plot you have to unravel...

Some people would say this sort of thing goes back to Dick. Philip K, you know, the writer. (Having the surname of Dick would be quite cool. "Name please sir?" - "Dick," I would say calmly and levelly, daring them to react somehow, thereby guaranteeing they would. I guess.) I picked up a copy of The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch for myself from Borders in Angel, where all books and magazines are free, although I am not advocating shop-lifting.

Also, you can sit there in the cafeteria bit upstairs and use the chocolate powder sprinkler (for cappuccino, y’know) and the milk to make yourself free chocolate milk. And sitting with someone special, read – perhaps - the marvellous special-edition (with fine red felt or something luxurious and plush - were they leather even? - covers) with glittering gilded lettering of The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss, and The Cat in the Hat Comes Back in the same volume. Maybe some people will think this is really cheap, though, especially if you then walk out with some magazines or something.

But to shoplift a book for a girl who likes to read, isn’t it like so beautiful and romantic? Some people I know might say something like that is really fucking pikey, Mikey , and me, I would just smile, cause they'd be a poet and not even know it.