The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'william gibson'
Twitter account of the moment: Authentic Wm. Gibson, which features “synopses for William Gibson novels that are definitely 100% real, but only in a timeline with greater authenticity than this one”:
Aberdonian widower's annual indulgence (London train, bespoke fitting, a man's careful att'n to his body) spoilt by Savile Row's move to UAE
Whale oil based lubricant favored by Nipponese sensualist cult doped w/ spores of mycotoxin secreting fungus by radical evangelical Koreans.
Pigeons wearing anklets w/16kb of homemade mem & a low power LED flasher random walk the nodes of an underground network in occupied Tehran.
Unclassifiable mega-storm decimates swaths of Boston-Atlanta Metro. Axis. NJ residents vote by fax. World transfixed by S. Korean pop video.It seems to capture the peculiar obsessions of William Gibson, the gonzo near-future geopolitics and micro-specific fashions and obsessions, quite appositely.
William Gibson talks about how the internet changed the idea of “bohemia” by eliminating the scarcity and locality of subcultures and scenes, instead replacing it with everything, everywhere, all the time:
(If punk emerged today:) You’d pull it up on YouTube, as soon as it was played. It would go up on YouTube among the kazillion other things that went up on YouTube that day. And then how would you find it? How would it become a thing, as we used to say? I think that’s one of the ways in which things are really different today. How can you distinguish your communal new thing — how can that happen? Bohemia used to be self-imposed backwaters of a sort. They were other countries within the landscape of Western industrial civilization. They were countries that most people would never see — mysterious places. You’d pay a price, potentially, for going there. That’s always cool and exciting. Now, where are they? Where can you do that? How are people transacting that today? I am pretty sure that they are, but I don’t have that much firsthand experience of it. But they have to do it in a different way.Meanwhile, Justin Moyer of the band El Guapo writes about the Brooklynisation of indie music, and how a vaguely Williamsburg-flavoured global hipsterism has displaced the myriad different, wildly divergent local scenes that used to exist, literally or metaphorically “over the mountains”:
Regional music scenes differentiate Hill Country blues from Delta blues and New York hardcore from Orange County hardcore from harDCore. RMSes draw lines between KRS-One and MC Shan, Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker, Merseybeat and The Kinks, Satie and Wagner. RMSes are why I would almost never play a show that wasn’t all ages in D.C., but would only play Joe’s Bar in Marfa, Texas. RMSes make you think differently.
Like accents, RMSes are disappearing. Sure, record stores and record labels are dead or living on borrowed time. Sure, smart clubowners can’t afford to book a show for an unknown, out-of-town band instead of an ’80s dance party. But money’s not the problem—or, at least, not the only problem. RMSes are disappearing because everyone is starting to sound like everyone else.The opposite of the regional music scenes is the globalised Brooklyn, based loosely though not entirely on the real Brooklyn, a place where the sheer concentration of hip, creative young people and potential collaborators absorbs talent from other areas, absorbing it into a melting-pot monoculture where everything is linked to everything else and there are no secrets:
Do not confuse Brooklyn with, well, Brooklyn—the New York borough that sits about 230 miles from Washington on the southwest end of Long Island over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge off of I-278. There are many Brooklyns. Los Angeles is Brooklyn. Chicago is Brooklyn. Berlin and London are Brooklyn. Babylon was the Brooklyn of the ancient world. In the 1990s, Seattle was Brooklyn. Young Chinese punks challenging Communism risk prison to make Beijing the Brooklyn of tomorrow. Some Brooklyns aren’t even places. MySpace is Brooklyn. YouTube is Brooklyn. Facebook is Brooklyn. Spotify and iTunes are perversely, horribly, unapologetically, maddeningly Brooklyn.
What this essay is saying: In Brooklyn, there is too much input.
What this essay is saying: If music wasn’t better before Brooklyn, it was, at least, weirder.
What this essay is saying: In Brooklyn, music comes too cheap. (Please note: “too cheap” doesn’t refer to price.)
What this essay is saying: A melting pot is not an aesthetic. Neither is a salad bar.
What this essay is saying: There is a tidal wave of generic, mushy, apolitical, featureless, Brooklynish music infiltrating the world’s stereos.
What this essay is saying: Beware what you put on your iPod. It might not be dangerous.
(via The Secret History)
Rudy Rucker on William Gibson's new novel, Pattern Recognition. The concepts sound interesting, at least superficially.
Mind you, one of the things I don't like about William Gibson's novels is that his characters are all from the same small set of cardboard cutouts. Everyone is, it seems, either a grizzled mercenary techie of some sort, a future-dwelling mutant geek with special senses or a sassy, butt-kicking teenage girl. In fact, I can't remember the differences between his last 2 or 3 novels, because they all melted into one amalgam of hard-boiled one-liners, snippets of disjointed, future-shocked pop culture and random Japanese things. The review suggests that Pattern Recognition may go in the same direction; we already have a hard-boiled "cool hunter" who's so sensitive to things that she's physically allergic to brand names and the obligatory Tokyo references.
I'll probably buy it anyway; whether I remember anything of the plot afterward is another question entirely.
William Gibson (best known for writing Neuromancer on a 1927 typewriter after watching kids in a video arcade) now has a blog. Which looks much the same sort of deal as Neil Gaiman's blog used to be before he started linking to stuff. (via bOING bOING)
If you've read any William Gibson, you've probably noticed his obsessions with all things Japanese. You can't pick up a Gibson novel which doesn't tie into Japanese pop-culture or society somehow; even his Victorian-era steampunk collaboration with Bruce Sterling, The Difference Engine, had a Japanese delegation visiting London. Now Gibson has written an article on Japanese culture, and why it fascinates him. (via Plastic)