I’m In Your Media, Divorcing Your Intent

Nobody told me that May 2009 was my month for finding old subversions made funny. First it was Roombas. Now it’s video recontextualization, or maybe just reinterpretation with a healthy dose of dubbing. I promise I won’t keep doing this indefinitely, I’m just struck by this little wavelet of finding multiple examples in such close proximity.

The gangs, too, were out in force that hot night: the Lizard Imperials (snake-skin boots and surgically split tongues), the Zombie Analytics (subcutaneous pixels offering up flickering flesh-images of dead video and rock stars), the anarchist-physician Croakers, the Yakuza Rebels and the Gypsy Titans; even the Naginata Sisters were out, swinging blades and drinking on the corner in front of the Iron Orchid.

The archetypal Zombie, Jonny thought. However, there were dark patches on the boy’s scalp and hands where the subcutaneous pixels had burned out or been destroyed. He obviously had not had any serious maintenance in months.

—Richard Kadrey, Metrophage

Dr. Rambali smiled. “There is always a point at which the terrorist ceases to manipulate the media gestalt. A point at which the violence may well escalate, but beyond which the terrorist has become symptomatic of the media gestalt itself. Terrorism as we ordinarily understand it is inately media-related. The Panther Moderns differ from other terrorists precisely in their degree of self-consciousness, in their awareness of the extent to which media divorce the act of terrorism from the original sociopolitical intent…”

“Skip it,” Case said.

—William Gibson, Neuromancer

(There’s about thirty more of these; the guy who makes (to my taste) the best of them has a master list.)

I should start collecting bets on what sf background element will next show up as a hot fad.

By the way, this is totally the fault of Ellen Kushner.


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