I’ve always had something of a problem with dystopian fiction. It’s just in the extreme nature of it. I get why this stuff was important half a century ago – show us the perils of where we’ll head if fascism gets in, and all of that. I understand. But these days it’s really become a style – the rugged burned out wastelands, people running around in scavenging packs, forming primitive tribal alliances. It can be done well, but it’s also spawned this whole genre of person who thinks they’d be the one on top in that scenario.
It just seems deluded to me. This fucking survivalist nutjob mindset, but not quite crazy enough to actually go off-grid and live in the woods and shit in a bucket. It’s these guys who pride themselves on owning guns and being conservative because “when the shit comes down, THEY’LL be the ones you’ll run to!” It’s the implicit thing where it’s saying you shouldn’t have certain values because things will inevitably collapse into anarchy. It’s a weird toxic strain of individualism. A convenient way to shrug off any opposing, challenging ideas.
And it’s also just like, the dystopian future’s already here. There isn’t going to be some quick collapse where we’re all left with nothing – not in America at large anyway. Or not because of reasons that aren’t natural disasters brought on by climate change. For most of us, this is already it. The gradual privatization and homogenization of various things. We’re inundated with scam calls, our information’s always at risk of being stolen. Everything more expensive, wages still stagnant, all of us just seeing a little bit worse quality of life as time goes on. But we’ll have streaming services. So that’s always good.
These conservative reactionaries won’t be leading a pack – they’ll go to work and make shit wages like the rest of us. It’s these guys who say they’re proud capitalists but don’t actually really own anything. No real power.
And work is such a grueling thing really. I read there was a post card making company in Florida that wanted people to come into work while the fucking hurricane was bearing down. This stuff is just lunacy. The CEO even just came out and said they wanted a “good end to the quarter.” Well, in THAT case I guess it’s OK that you’re a psycho. This country has such a Stockholm Syndrome thing with work. It’s not that important, a job. It’s something you do to get paid and we make it too hard to not have one.
But oh well. I’m trying to do more on the local level. Last night’s DSA meeting had a guy here talking about how to fight back against exorbitant tourist spending in Asheville. A lot of talk about how the workers are left behind while everything gets more expensive and caters to rich out of towners. I was an out of towner here not too long ago. I visited first as a tourist back in October 2020. I didn’t stay in one of the super-expensive hotels, but I did have fun cavorting about town with no responsibility. But we all have to figure out our own ways to have the responsibility, to be part of a community. That’s the longevity and shit that you really need.
And I’m taking my art more into my own hands. Selling some short stories here for whatever price people want. I don’t know who’ll read these, but I think it’s a great thing, to have this DIY way of peddling my wares. So much of what’s good doesn’t ever make it to big markets. I never liked the idea anyway. I’d still be glad to get noticed. But a lot of the best stuff is put out on smaller scales. I want to be in control of everything I do. Head over to the FREE WORKS tab and check ’em out.
It’s almost Halloween season again, so I’ll probably be watching an overload of horror stuff going forward. There’s just something great about it all – the cooler weather, the campy aesthetics, horror films full of old ghosts and rituals and zombies and shit like that. I can never get enough. I’m going to check out BLONDE on Netflix before things really get Halloweeny though. I read this great interview with the director – he really seemed to have some ideas about this. High concept stuff. I’ve heard it’s absolutely nuts. This’ll be funny later on if I end up hating it.
There’s something to that interview, though. I like a good interview. You should always try and dig as deep as you can when you’re doing one of those. No PR shit or easy softball questions – or not many of them. I always liked doing a good interview myself.