Monthly Archives: April 2011

links for 2011-04-17

  • via Bruce Sterling, a gem of the obvious but unuttered: "…a vast trade in illicit goods and services: black markets run by 'deviant entrepreneurs' who see the world’s prohibitions as opportunities for extracting windfall profits… Narcotics trafficking; sex tourism; computer hacking; money laundering; stolen artworks and antiquities; illegally harvested timber, oil, and diamonds; counterfeit medicine, software, and luxury brands; and a globally networked market for human organs…"


I dunno how healthy it is to read a lot of ‘dystopian’ fiction (or non-fiction, for that matter), though I guess I’m pretty much guilty of participation in that schadenfreudian excess. Stefan Raets’ review of Will McIntosh’s Soft Apocalypse catches the poignancy very well:

The real sadness of Soft Apocalypse is seeing normal people operating under the illusion that life will still go back to what it used to be. They try to hold down a job or complete a post-grad degree, and even though the world falls apart around them, the changes are too gradual for them to lose hope completely. It’s like watching rats in a maze, unaware that their paths are slowly being closed off around them and the maze is starting to catch fire at the edges. A soft apocalypse, indeed.

On flappers

I remember vividly the umbrage my mother (born 1899) gathered up, expressed and projected in my direction when I [quite innocently] asked if she’d been “a flapper” back in the day. “Certainly NOT!” I think she said, but the withering tone was beyond any I think I’d ever encountered. A few minutes spent with The Flapper’s Dictionary is probably as close as one can get to understanding her animus. She was a person of considerable rectitude, inclined to take moral turpitudes Seriously: with eloquent fluttering of the eyelids she declared Sophie Tucker’s songs “suggestive” (and so they were, deliciously). Very early on, I learned which of my own realities to protect her from…