Friday, October 4, 2013

The Cyberpunk Shutdown

The government shutdown is the latest revelation of the GOP's anti-democratic juvenile mindset, the equivalent of a child throwing chess pieces at the wall after losing. They've also sabotaged their own party since tea party support is tanking fast this stunt will only cost them further support. The republican idea of patriotism involves internationally humiliating the USA with an action that could financially cripple America and her allies to stop people from getting better health care.

Anne Applebaum wrote that "from my perch overseas, I’ve also been watching the run-up to the government shutdown in Washington. At times, I have tried to explain it to bemused foreigners. Many of them think, mistakenly, that Americans are having an argument about the budget or the deficit. I have to put them straight: This is an attempt by one part of the U.S. political system to use the budgetary process to stop the implementation of a single law, the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). If my interlocutors come from democratic countries, they then look puzzled."

Despite the republican hatred for science cyberpunk societies envisioned by Gibson and others resemble GOPia. Cyberpunk societies feature deep class divisions and lack empathy or welfare with governments that are oligarchic at best. Weapons are bountiful and easy to acquire producing mass violence while womens' bodies are commercialized and controlled.

The shutdown resembles Snowcrash the most. In Snowcrash people use virtual reality goggles to access online worlds, Stephenson has compared his metaverse to MMOs. During the shutdown VORPx was revealed which makes over 90 games compatible with the oculus rift, including world of warcraft; the metaverse is now real!

In Snowcrash the federal government has shut down as well - permanently - ceding authority to burbs and enclaves. One character explains that "in D.C., all the museums and the monuments have been concessioned out and turned into a tourist park that now generates about 10 percent of the Government's revenue."  An extreme laissez faire economics is the norm during an encounter with thugs one character "counts two more revolvers and a pump shotgun. Any more of these guys and they'll be able to form a government." So wait out the shutdown with your mirror shades, '80s electronic music and people who think all drugs are temporarily legal for entertainment.

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