Monday, May 31, 2010

Spanner Cyberpunk Gothic Part 2: Corporations as Gods, Robbery as Vampirism

There's just 31 days remaining till JulNoWriMo begins, and the Spanner story ideas are getting wilder by the minute. In this post, I explained the Corporates' paranoia as the logical result of fanatical belief in an "occult physiology" that would strike anybody who knows anything about how the human body works as completely ludicrous, if not insane. Basically, the "bindu" cult claims that blood, semen, brains, money, gold, and oil are the same substance, not materially but spiritually. This belief, once widespread throughout America and imperial Europe, had some nasty political consequences, up to and including the Holocaust. Well, if blood, semen, and brains are (magically) the same in rich white men, then it follows logically that corporations are actually true posthuman beings whose blood consists (physically) of money and oil. Now, if money is the blood of an actual lifeform called a corporation, then to rob a corporation (such as a bank) is then by definition an act of vampirism. The "political horror" of Bad Company is based on such a notion, that the corporation is a parasitic alien lifeform; in Spanner, this becomes what I've come to call "cyberpunk gothic".

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Our Cyberpunk World: Hoverboards Are Almost Here

The article: A Real, Working Hoverboard Exists (Gizmodo)

In Spanner (set in 2014-6), Shira rides a hoverboard. For all we know, she could be the future Tony Hawk or Stacy Peralta of hoverboarding, once that Corporate Empire thing is safely relegated to the trash compactor of history. Well, a French artist is bringing the hoverboard out of the realm of science fiction (and videogames) by building a workable prototype. It's not ridable yet (it's actually smaller than a standard skateboard; compare this to Shira's snowboard-sized sky racer), but that's the next step.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Spanner as Yuri Manga: "Precious Bodily Fluids" and Cyberpunk Gothic Gone Berserk

Last week, in the state of half-sleep before I wake up during which I get most of my best ideas, I realized that the lords of the Corporate Empire in Spanner may believe in the least scientific form of the deadliest pseudoscience in history, eugenics, the form exposed and denounced in the two most famous books of Bram Dijkstra, Idols of Perversity and Evil Sisters: in essence, a cult, likely borrowed by the infamous proto-Nazi Ariosophy cult from the Brahmin priests of Hinduism (who call it "bindu"), that identifies blood, semen, brains, gold, money, and oil (petroleum) as the identical substance. Not materially — Ariosophy is consistently "spiritualist" in accepting Plato's notorious claim that matter is a corrupt reflection of supernatural absolutes — but "spiritually", in that they allegedly share the identical supernatural "essence". This they call "occult physiology". As usual, the supernatural is used as a weapon to silence rational and scientific inquiry and pawn off lies as fact. The cult's effect on the Corporates is hysterical antifeminism, hysterical racism, hysterical homophobia, hysterical class bigotry, hysterical authoritarianism, even hysterical misanthropy, and a paranoid obsession with "vampires". The Corporate ideology turns out to have a very unexpected side effect: middle- and upper-class mothers, to prevent the Corporates from kidnapping their daughters and turning them into mindless breeding slaves, marry them (this is one of the two primary yuri elements in Spanner).

Friday, May 28, 2010

Our Cyberpunk World: Humans Infected by Computer Viruses!

One story currently causing a firestorm in Britain is the case of the computer scientist who infected himself with a computer virus. Dr. Mark Gasson of the University of Reading put an RFID (radio frequency identification) microchip into his wrist as a kind of lockout device so that only he can enter his lab and use his phone; since, as he explains, RFID technology has advanced to the point where the chips have become full-blown computers, they can now get infected by viruses. Gasson's chip is the first to be infected. But that's not all, unfortunately...

Gasson also proved that his infected chip can pass the virus on to any system, internal or external, that it connects to. Some cyberterrorist could even use RFID viruses to take control of entire corporate and national computer systems and either destroy them or hijack them in a computer-viral form of the hostile takeover. If microchips are implanted into brains, either for police surveillance or brain enhancement, computer viruses could even be used to hijack people and turn them zombies (in the original African magic-war sense) like the computers hijacked and controlled by botnets.

If there's any reason to stop our increasingly paranoid elites from forcibly microchipping us, this is it. But if you write cyberpunk science fiction or technothrillers — or if you're a malicious hacker or techno-guerrilla — you could run away with this idea. And so I'm going to make it a major plot element of Spanner.

Here's the original BBC interview of Dr. Mark Gasson:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bad Company: Revealed at Last, Dictel Corporation's Deepest Darkest Secret!

JulNoWriMo approaches, and it's almost time to write again. Meanwhile, my muse has started preparing me for it by providing me with the final key to Bad Company: the deep dark secret that Dictel Corporation wants to keep secret at all costs. And yes, it involves Dictel's late-1940s origins in the infamous Nazi Ratline. Idly thinking about how Triumph of the Will was the true sequel to Birth of a Nation, I realized the connection: 1) The KKK's burning of crosses is an ancient Satanic rite called "Christ burning", or the symbolic sacrifice of Christ to Satan as a fire offering or (in the technical term of sacrificial rites) holocaust. The Holocaust was Hitler's attempt to do the exact same thing — sacrifice Christ to Satan — by offering up Christ's entire race, the Jews, as a fire offering to the Dark Lord in the tradition of Aztec mass human sacrifices. After the Seven-Day War of 1967, when Israel proved the "true manhood" of the Jewish race (as Dictel founder Roger S. Becket put it) by clobbering all its invading Arab neighbors, Dictel dropped the anti-Semitism. After 9/11, Dictel picked up the old anti-Semitism once again, only aimed at the Arabs instead of the now revered Jews. This time Islam is considered the Satanism, and Dictel wants to force America to destroy Satan by annihilating all Muslims. For Roger Becket and his sons, this is Armageddon. Literally. And there's more...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Spanner and the Problem with Superheroes

I'm an aspiring cartoonist, and superheroes are all the rage again in popular culture. I'm putting public domain superheroes, and some heroes of my own invention, into the plot of Spanner, complete with Golden, Silver, and Bronze Age versions. However, I do not allow any of my superheroes to become the protagonist. Why? you ask. Because superheroes are not cut out to be protagonists. The protagonist is the main character, the one whose crucial decision is the event that begins the story, either as a result of the Inciting Incident or as the Inciting Incident itself. If the superhero is the protagonist, he faces the danger that he will become a revolutionary tyrant, a one-man vanguard who is the very embodiment of substitutionism, the belief that a revolutionary vanguard can substitute for mass action and the heroism of ordinary people. In Watchmen, this hero turned villain is Ozymandias, the all-powerful utopian. So in Spanner, it's the slutty teenage prankster on a hoverboard who gets the leading role, and not one of the superpowered characters.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Problem with Thrillers in General

I recently read that Glenn Beck loves the thriller genre so much he has become the "Oprah" whose word sells them. This is a major problem for me, since I write thrillers (like Bad Company and Black Science) yet despise the demagogic right-wing extremist Beck. And since Beck is the supreme champion of the thriller in America right now, this means there must be something fundamentally wrong with the thriller as such. Might there be something wrong with even the left-wing political thriller as practiced by the likes of Costa-Gavras and Oliver Stone as well?

My task in this entry is to figure out what the problem is, and find a solution for it. In other words: how do I make Bad Company and Black Science the kind of thriller that Glenn Beck will hate?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Spanner and the Anarchist Theory of Government, Terrorism, and Crime

The article: "An Anarchist Perspective on Government" by Shane Solano, Ventura County Reporter, 5/6/2010

Spanner is my long-planned cyberpunk manga about a teenage prankster who comes into conflict with the world corporate dictatorship that is coming in our near future. Inevitably, Shira Thomas gets hauled before her self-appointed nemesis, Interpol agent Diana Shockley. Since our heroine Shira is a known anarchist, Agent Shockley tries to pin the blame on her for some terrorist gang's latest atrocity. Shira laughs at the accusation and replies: "Real anarchists don't do terrorism." To the agent's contemptuous nonanswer of disbelief, she answers: "That would be an unacceptable act of government."

So what is the notorious Spanner saying? Actually, she has a complete anarchist theory of government.