Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Crapsack World

The universe of Snow Crash is described thusly; [1]
Crapsack World: Society is in serious decline, and everyone seems determined to ignore that and act like nothing's happened.
Example ...
His black Oldsmobile is a fucking bullseye in a place like this. It's the worst thing he has ever seen, Compton. Lepers roasting dogs on spits over tubs of flaming kerosene. Street people pushing wheelbarrows piled high with dripping clots of million- and billion-dollar bills that they have raked up out of storm sewers. Road kills -- enormous road kills -- road kills so big that they could only be human beings, smeared out into chunky swaths a block long. Burning roadblocks across major avenues. No franchises anywhere. The Oldsmobile keeps popping. Jason can't think of what it is until he realizes that people are shooting at him. Good thing he let his uncle talk him into springing for full armor! When he figures that one out, he actually gets psyched. This is the real thing, man! He's driving around in his Olds and the bastards are shooting at him, and it just don't matter!

It's societal collapse all the way down while everything disarranges [2] .. sounds like a lot of suck, all-righty. And the characters sure 'nuff act like it's just a thing, you know?

Thing is ... if you wrote our present as a novel [3] the reader would think we are in serious decline and everyone seems determined to ignore that and act like nothing's happened.

We're a frigging category on TV Tropes.

[1] Warning: TV Tropes & Idioms is a Pit of Time-Suck. You Have Been Warned.

[2] It is possible that the background of Snow Crash is the disarranged past from The Diamond Age. In which case it's not all despair: The Diamond Age 'verse is an okay place to live, if you're a member of a Tribe.

[3] War in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, krep-heads running for President, Congress in a Red Queen's race to see who can sh*t on the Constitution the mostest, etc.
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