Two homeless men walk past, communicating in sign-language. The unexpected precision of their motion almost disqualifies how slum dirty they are, the grime embedded in their skin and under their milky fingernails, but not quite. Instead they resonates like a picture captured by Rodney Smith. “Summer is meant to be beautiful,” a woman says, glancing at them like gathering clouds. She is a flower exhaling, expensive hair, an overly embroidered skirt, antique shoes found cheap at the flea market. Standing next to her are t-shirts, endless t-shirts, in a marching line with distressed jeans, hand held out beside her, clever slogans faded by repetition into a koan against design, painted blue on green and white. The past history of her seasonal relationships, embodied in one exquisitely average boy.
In 1908 a comet made up of loose dust and ice crashed into an ancient Siberian forest and flattened 2,150 kilometers of trees with a blast equal to 10-15 megatons, or 770-1155 Hiroshimas. It left no crater.
On her first night here, as I was curled in bed on the edge of sleep, my new flatmate burst into my room swinging two black dildoes the length and girth of her forearms. “See! They’re wiggly!” she exclaimed, waving them at me like porntastic ninja weapons from an exploitation flick. They did, in fact, wiggle. Alarmingly. I fumbled for my glasses, not entirely certain what I was looking at, dread curiosity goading me, and asked if she could swing them like pasties. She gladly obliged, holding their toy-sword handles in front of her nipples and jumping that particular burlesque hop guaranteed to send them whizzing in dangerous black-cock circles. My two cats, already traumatized by their recent move into my apartment, were terrified.
Warren interviews William Gibson regarding Spook Country.
After coming within breathing distance of a recurring romantic interest role on Bionic Woman, I spent a full day at the Art’s Centre pretending to be front row centre at the MTV Music Awards with one hundred and fourteen other starfucker pretty extras. Sitting in gossiping rows at cafeteria tables up on the mezzanine floor, bored eye-shadow and disco-ball boots, we looked like a misplaced mini-dress scene from Massive Attack’s Karmacoma, glamorously capable of sudden surrealism. When it finally came time to shake ourselves out of our hours spent in the cruel, overly air-conditioned hall, we then stood at the foot of a light-lined stage for hours instead, with nothing to do but traffic in speculation about the shiny people above us who came close enough to casually inspect.
One of the fledgling celebrities, recognized solely from a music video my last boyfriend worked on, was Avril Lavinge’s bass player. Blonde, unassuming, but monied, he looked younger than me. After a short discussion on the varying merits of different Les Paul’s, we settled into a conversation about the Avril manga recently produced by House of Parlance, the local publishing house that prints Shane’s poetry. He was enthusiastic, having just seen them in Hong Kong, prodding me to wonder at how far products travel and how lovely his life must be. I couldn’t imagine the scope of it, I said, and I meant it. I thought of L.A., the way the city looked from the plane, flying in. All those Spanish names strung together – Ana, Santa, Las, Los – dissolving. The groundbreaking scope of it. What that must be like every day for a solid week, but globally. Lights forever in every direction, always. When he was gone, I gave a short lecture on post-humanist body-modification, unexpected piercings, and RFID chips. “They take little shiny pieces of metal, implant them in your eye.” “Why?” “Because they can.”
The term “futureshock” refers to a psychological state having to do with informational overload most easily defined as too much change in too little time. It is invariably tied to technological paradigm shifts and can be applied to individuals as well as societies.