Tag: paranoia

26Oct

“Nothing Is Real Anymore. Nothing Is As It Seems.”

An Astroturf campaign:

… is a fake grassroots movement: it purports to be a spontaneous uprising of concerned citizens, but in reality it is founded and funded by elite interests. Some Astroturf campaigns have no grassroots component at all. Others catalyse and direct real mobilisations. The Tea Party belongs in the second category. It is mostly composed of passionate, well-meaning people who think they are fighting elite power, unaware that they have been organised by the very interests they believe they are confronting. We now have powerful evidence that the movement was established and has been guided with the help of money from billionaires and big business. Much of this money, as well as much of the strategy and staffing, were provided by two brothers who run what they call “the biggest company you’ve never heard of”.

Charles and David Koch own 84% of Koch Industries, the second-largest private company in the United States. It runs oil refineries, coal suppliers, chemical plants and logging firms, and turns over roughly $100bn a year; the brothers are each worth $21bn…

Americans for Prosperity is one of several groups set up by the Kochs to promote their politics. We know their foundations have given it at least $5m, but few such records are in the public domain and the total could be much higher. It has toured the country organising rallies against healthcare reform and the Democrats’ attempts to tackle climate change. It provided the key organising tools that set the Tea Party running…

Astroturfing is now taking off in the United Kingdom. Earlier this month Spinwatch showed how a fake grassroots group set up by health insurers helped shape the Tories’ NHS reforms. Billionaires and corporations are capturing the political process everywhere; anyone with an interest in democracy should be thinking about how to resist them. Nothing is real any more. Nothing is as it seems.

The real world is a far more frightening place than could be created by the combined minds of the freakiest SFF writers. What’s more concerning is how few people know, and that fewer even care. It’s as if by closing our eyes to this that we’re all narrating our own apocalyptic futures.

21Aug

27 Club

I’ve had some strange stuff happen in my 27th year, much of which I don’t want to put on here, but it started with the book deal with Tor UK / Pan Macmillan (awesome), and then this almost Ballardian moment:

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I walked away from this with a few cuts to my hand and a couple on my forehead, and a bruised ego. The passangers, two people I work with, were fine too. I took the brunt of the strike as the other car hit my door. What I was also pissed off about is that my copy of M John Harrison’s Travel Arrangements—which I keep to hand should I be waiting for any reason in the car and don’t want my brain to turn to mush—got totally trashed. I hate it when good books have to go.

I was chatting to one of my oldest friends about the 27 Club, which is the rock and roll year of death. We used to think it we passed this, then we were safe for a while. Well, last night, as you can see above, I appeared to have tried my best to join. I’ve been feeling strange at this age—not so much worries about getting older in life, but I don’t know what. An adjustment, nostalgia for a non-specific time. This was interesting, not that I usually go in for astrology, but I kinda like what it offers, if anything.