I have a stack of notebooks on my desk, one book, several uncounted note cards, and 9 tabs in my browser baring the name of one William Gibson as I look for a very specific quote that I never seem to have added to my every increasing list of notes on the man and the subject of dystopian cyberpunk.
Having re-read old notes and accidently stumbled upon ever newer things that should have been there in the first place, I took a look at what was currently in progress vis a vis my blog and realized that the post is going to take longer then I thought it probably would. My state of affairs is bordering on the ridiculous, but it's a situation I take seriously, so it needs to be remedied.
In the mean time, let me assure you that my presence here is not mandatory. I genuinely kind of want to talk to you. I am aware that I am freeloading, but there is also time for this kind of business - especially when this kind of business frames my struggles with an amusing feeling of purpose.
Did you know I specifically cleaned my desk so that I could mess it up with literature notes? It's true. That is a long way of saying, "Obviously, I am a nerd."
The quote I was looking for was when Gibson said that his writings were not really intended to by dystopian, but what I did find came close. The interview was with Scientific American*, and he was asked, "Your fiction has depicted wide class gulfs in which "lowlifes" co-exist with the rich and feudallike corporations that concentrate mind-boggling amounts of wealth... do you think that this disparity will continue to greater extremes as they develop further, and could they potentially restructure the current social order somehow?"
The printed answer, "I depict those socioeconomic gulfs because they exist and because most of the imagined futures I grew up with tended not to depict them. Migration to cities is now so powerful, so universal, that people will create cities, of sorts, simply through migration—cities that literally consist mainly of the people who inhabit them on a given day." is similar to what I assumed the reason had been, or what I remember saying, I forget which is which. Basically that this wide gulf already exists, and when you write it, it looks like a dystopia.
What I'm writing doesn't hinge on that, but it's certainly part of it. There are lots of times, because Gibson repeats himself, where he says that most fiction, and especially his fiction, is about when it was written. 1984 is about 1948, The Sprawl trilogy is about the 80's, and The Bridge trilogy is about the 90's - regardless of original intentions. This is all in the writing, by the way, so you'll see it again with proper sourcing. If you want to ask about the relevance of cyberpunk, the thing to remember is that it almost can't help being social commentary no matter what the tropes are. Perhaps especially because of the tropes, but probably not.
I really had to take a break and write on this because my writing of
this isn't done yet and I wanted to have something up, at the very least. We're still fucking around trying to get a 'yes' or 'no' out of the insurance company about the crawlspace, and when one's as good as another, it's time to fuck off and just find another way of dealing with it since there's very little chance that it's going to be over the deductible in the first place. I also know that I slipped the whole 'I'm getting married.' in kind of under the radar, like some kind of shitty test to see if you're paying attention. There's so much ridiculous shit going around at the moment that something simultaneously good and fun a year away seems akin to fiction and, even if it's on the level, is probably happening either to or for somebody else.
Like I said before, I'm not sure on the details, so I guess you're likely to know whenever we do for sure if you're the type of person to whom these details are or become relevant and generally speaking, you know who you are.