• Archive: Cyberpunk

Cypherpunk rising: WikiLeaks, encryption, and the coming surveillance dystopia

Dec 12

The Verge, March 2013

This article, which predates the Edward Snowden affair (ongoing), seems to be getting renewed interest. One thing I would draw your attention to today is the segment that discusses the commercial availability of turnkey systems that can intercept all the communications of a medium sized country. In other words, the next revelation may be about private companies vacuuming up Big Data for their own uses, even without funding from the NSA. This, in fact, is entirely likely to be occurring. Read on…

A Possible Introduction to the MONDO 2000 History Project

Nov 12


10 Zen Monkeys, June 2010

Let the story beginning in the Spring of 1967. I am 14 years old and in 9th grade. It’s early evening and the doorbell rings at the suburban house in Binghamton, New York where I live with my mom and dad. It’s a group of my friends and they’re each carrying a plastic bag and looking mighty pleased. They come in, we shuffle into the guest room (where the record player is kept) and they show off their gatherings — buttons (“Frodo Lives!” “Mary Poppins is a Junkie” “Flower Power”), beads, posters (hallucinatory), incense with a Buddha incense burner, and kazoos. A lonely looking newspaper lays at the bottom of the pile, as though shameful, the only item unremarked.

Sex Machine: David Cronenberg Interview

Oct 13

Wired, May 1997

Director, writer, and cinematographer David Cronenberg has constructed a career around visions of bodies in transition – focusing variously on disease, gynecology, drug addiction, and the scope of physical mutation.

In 1992, he dared to film one of two “bibles” of cyberpunk bohemia: William S. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch. Now he’s taken on the other: Crash, by J. G. Ballard. Ballard’s strange and disturbing 1973 novel revolves around atrophied, affectless citizens who attempt to locate meaning and erotic pleasure in automobile crashes.

Fetishizing crippled flesh, hard metal, and the emotional distance of his characters, Cronenberg has created a film distressing enough to upset journalists at Cannes (where it won a special jury prize) and his distributor, Ted Turner, who declared it “really weird.” In the words of Ballard, “The film goes farther than the book I wrote. What is so powerful about it, and its performances, is that they start where the book ends…. It’s one of the best films on sexuality, violence, and the motor car.”