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The Other Side of Everything

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Written on November 17, 2006, and categorized as Secret and Invisible.
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Some weeks trawl by, and however hectic life gets to be in this exotic northern junkyard they call London, every other hour I am surprised that it is still only whatever time. Shit, I think, surely it must be later than that? Not that this is an indication of my level of stress or bordeom, just an observation that some days, I am apparently, on the inside anyway, still 7 years old, when days lasted weeks and seasons lasted decades.

This week and last, I have been experiencing the same kind of time dilation. Those among you who know of Dr Who may refer to the TARDIS at this point; others might refer to Philip K. Dick or perhaps, Alfred Bester. Bester wrote in 1956, Tiger! Tiger!, later re-titled The Stars My Destination – a most marvellous tale, brilliantly told, which predicts many of the later themes to be found in cyberpunk.

Bester conjured up a fantastic vision of a bestial, vengeful man who is transformed into an evolutionary next step. I used to read three books a week as bored a teenager, and for years, my preferred diet was science fiction. Within this genre, I could project forward and outwards from family incarceration, my teenage angst and alienation. At least somewhere, I was on another world, “jaunteing” (teleporting) through space and time, and not stuck indoors, ignoring homework, waiting for Monday to start the whole drab process once again.

Which brings me neatly back to the inspiration for my current muse. Woolworths, I read, have prepared “souvenirs to mark the anticipated engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton… The chain-store’s items range from traditional china plates and thimbles to a mouse mat and a range of Will and Kate-shaped pick and mix sweets. The retailer’s bosses said they wanted to be prepared in case the couple announced they intended to marry.” (BBC)

This is futuristic act is at once appalling and marvellous, and it opens up the truly science-fiction possibility of mega-corporations, on a biologically failing, near-exhausted planet, making products and stockpiling them for possible future events, so that anyone who could accurately predict outcomes, such as gamblers, mathematicians, psychics, mediums, would become extremely valuable, fought after, traded, locked in guilded cages, sources of power, even, those who avoid early detection and exploitation, utimately powerful in themselves.

Or maybe, we can just come up with some randomly amusing suggestions for Future Tat which might become incredibly valuable just because, well, it might. Like, the Charles and Camilla Avian Flu Mug – a commemoration of their great work in the pandemic of 2009; the George Bush Global Feet Warmer – for those cold nights around a June fire when as a result of rapid warming, Earth surprises us all by actually cooling; or the Apple iFog – a must in the urban centres of the future, when finding your way around is no longer possible by eye alone, and personal radar becomes indispensable… Let’s get them made.

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This thing has 2 Comments

  1. Indigobusiness
    Posted 17 November, 2006 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Anticipatory kitsch is one thing. Prefetched pragmatic problemsolving products plying probable prickly potentials is quite another.

    It’s sort of like The Olds in applied reverse!

    I’m on it…

  2. Lazy
    Posted 18 November, 2006 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    November’s been a good month here at the Funkblog.

    Best bird flu blogs?

    Row row row your boat gently down the stream


    Merrily merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream. Hey!

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