Monday, June 6, 2011

Pathophysiology of Arsenic Zulu Tango

Lately, I've considered publishing a science fiction short story here. The only problem with this idea would be,  I'm guessing, writing the damn thing.

There's that. Actually expending effort and time in coming up with what, in all probability, be a rather lackluster and quite ordinary piece of pulp fiction. The other problem in writing something would be cryptomnesia - that state of affairs where you think you come up with something original, when in fact, you are merely unconsciously plagiarizing the works of someone you have since forgotten you read. Case in point: Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita".

I actually almost succumbed to this when I started to write up a treatment about a future world involving a great many, many, many have-nots, ruled over by only just a handful of haves. Oh, wait, that's our recorded history, with a very brief and anomalous few decades when a middle class existed.

However, this  diseased and unnatural time will soon cease to be - as is only fitting. Certainly, such will be the case if  when the Republican wet dream comes to pass* and all the wealth of the world is finally concentrated back into the hands of the ruling class. It has been a distressing number of decades when, ugh, practically anyone was allowed a decent living. Ah, but soon the world will be set aright again, the privileged few will once again be the few, and the rest of us?... why we can go fuck ourselves, as is our wont.

But there actually was a book I read some years ago which explored this theme to its bleakest extreme. I can't remember the title. It was a summer read, a book I picked up from the library mostly based on the cover art, and it was set in a post-scarcity world of the 22nd century. Robotics and cloning had made sure that no one ever really completely starved to death, but the surfeit of available labor, and the lack of jobs requiring skills, made sure that no one but a favored few would have anything close to a fulfilling and dignified existence.

Then, of course, there were the hyper-rich. The trend towards increasing wealth concentration (1970: the top 1% of the US population taking in 9% of the nation's income to 2007: top 1% taking 23.5% of the income  to 2030: 1% grabbing 99%...) continues. The novel explored the interesting condition where, by  2097 or thereabouts, some dozen people controlled 99.999% of the world's wealth. And those dozen people, having acquired the lower 99.9999% share of the pie, their greed insatiable, proceeded to divest the upper 1%, and then the upper .01%, etc. of their wealth in a cannibalistic feeding frenzy of truly artistocratic proportions.

You can imagine the stinking black venom of fear, the sickly swamp glow of jealousy, the scintillating pulses of purple paranoia, the oily psychoses, the razor pathologies, all pulsing and throbbing through the demented intellects of those twisted, fucked-up souls populating the increasingly small top of the food chain. What a fucking nightmare that book was.

Ah, the very flower of humanity.

*Really, read the link. Looking so fucking prophetic now. Krugman nails it. A manufactured fiscal crisis via the Bush tax cuts, so that current 2011 Republicans can point to a massive deficit, which they caused, in order to deprive, defund, dismantle the assets of federal and public institutions, and sell them to the highest bidder. Meanwhile, all public means of assistance to promote the general welfare shall be privatized, meaning you are fucked pay double: once to corporate providers of shoddy assistance and rickety social safety nets, and again through past payments to public funds now in the hands of your corporate overlords. AND! AND!  They get the tiny-brained Tea Party tards to fuck themselves up the asshole with no lubrication by accepting austerity and thinking it was their idea. Fucking A!

In short, the corporations won, and the current fiscal crisis was manufactured just to clean up the chump change. Welcome to the Age of Neo-feudalism.

What say you? About ready to sharpen up those guillotine blades?

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