Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Dreaming of Electric Sheep

I used to think we could peek at the Future and understand the Present when reading science fiction, but now I'm afraid we've landed in a warped world where the horrible ideas of Future dystopias are filling the Present. No personal rocket cars here, more the wreckage of a world gone over the edge into absurdity and delusion.

For instance, I was reading the rather odd press reports from Great Britain, where the government has decided their nation is removing the phrase "war on terror" from their political lexicon:

"
The words "war on terror" will no longer be used by the British government to describe attacks on the public, the country's chief prosecutor said Dec. 27.

Sir Ken Macdonald said terrorist fanatics were not soldiers fighting a war but simply members of an aimless "death cult."

The Director of Public Prosecutions said: 'We resist the language of warfare, and I think the government has moved on this. It no longer uses this sort of language."

London is not a battlefield, he said."

Who knows, maybe such attempts at language modification will lead us to ... well, somewhere other than where we are, I suppose. Language modification to accommodate bizarre policies has been a staple in science-fiction tales for some time. (I always laughed at the scene in "Brazil" where the government chief combating terrorism was asked his thoughts on the 13th year of constant terrorist attacks and the chief replies with a laugh, "Beginner's luck!")

Still, after reading the above story today, I then ran across this blog, which offers frequent updates to the world to tell us "Which Phillip K. Dick Story Are We In Today". And yep, right there on January 1st is mention of the story from Britain and which story relates to it.

Don't get me wrong - I like PKD's works, always have. But if we can catalog current events as elements of his fiction, we are in deep, deeeep shit.

For those who don't know his work, suffice to say it painted a world of endless deceptions and paranoia, of fakery elevated to it's greatest height, of reality sliding into madness.

Not the best way to start the New Year - offering evidence we inhabit the nightmarish landscape of PKD's imagined future.

1 comment:

palmer_eldritch said...

Do you think anyone else has noticed, Joe? Thanks for visiting the blog, btw. And happy new year!