It has been fourteen days since the last dispatch from Bug World. Disassociation continues, the creatures around me are having a hard time holding together their human visage, the skin is sloughing off, revealing slimy carapaces.
I was welcomed back to work with a catalog of mandatory online training. We switched to a new computer system. A highly sophisticated, world-wide implementation that will revolutionize our workflow and productivity. It won’t.
What used to take two clicks now takes seven. One window workspace now uses multiple windows and obtuse menus. Forty hours of mandatory online training on a laggy platform that has almost nothing in common with the final user-end state due to being developed before the current version rollout of the software.
“Great cloud masses boiled up, immense in their quiet majesty. They seemed to drink up all the noise below, even the sound of the sea.Yukio Mishima
It was the height of summer and there was anger in the rays of the sun. ”
I came across the concept on Twitter, @moldbugman described techno-crapitalism as the tyranny of half-broken technology dictating your lives for capitalist gains; immiserating the consumer-user in the process.
Techno-Crapitalist Psychosis. I go take a piss and the toilet sensor doesn’t work. Rage. I wash my hands, still soapy so I have to wave them like a dumbass because the water sensor turned the faucet off. Rage. I want to dry them, I can’t because the goddamn automatic paper-towel dispenser won’t give me any so I dry them off on my pants instead of flapping my wet hands like an asshole. Rage. My wife calls, I can’t hear anything because my thousand-dollar cellphone somehow has shittier service and audio quality than the first one I owned in high school. Rage. I need to transfer some money, my bank app won’t work, I can’t call because my expensive cellphone streams HD pornography but sucks at being a phone. Rage. I try to write a post in WordPress….
Technology was supposed to make our life better.
To clear my mind I go running after work. Did you know the female German cockroach carries an egg capsule with 48 eggs attached to her body? She produces a new one every six weeks. In one year she will have 10,000 descendants. It’s a beautiful sunny winter day in California. I only have to avoid one oxygen-deprived masked simpleton as he shambled around looking for a dark moist place to shed his exoskeleton.
I like running, but lately, I can feel people’s digitally connected doorbells watching me, tracking, feeding the information to the intelligence, the insect queen at the center of the hive. Why would you allow a corporation to monitor and control your front door? Doors have mystical, spiritual, and symbolic power, they are portals, liminal thresholds into your personal space. You bring your bride over the threshold. You mark your door for protection. Religion and myth are filled with examples. Vampires have to ask permission before entering. You should never allow corporate techno-demons free reign and power over your sacred doorway.
In between mindlessly clicking through online training, I read short stories. I’ve always liked the short format. When I’m reading a novel I like to immerse myself fully and read for long periods. I get frustrated if I’m forced to read novels in small bursts. Short stories on the other hand are perfect. I like to have one short story collection on me at all times so I can read one whenever I get the chance.
When it comes to collections I prefer author curated over large compilations. The short story collection is like a music album, it’s a reflection of the author at a time and place. The best are collections put together by the author where each story, while not interconnected, the plot is often connected spiritually due to the period and style of the author.
“The greatest antidote for despair was the faith of a man and woman in each other.”Yukio Mishima
The ideal short story collection is nine or so pieces selected by the author from a cohesive stylistic period.
That’s why I loved Death in Midsummer and Other Stories by Yukio Mishima. Nine stories personally selected by him that illustrate his mastery of the format.
Yukio Mishima was a master, one of the best writers of the 20th century. His work is dark and fatalistic yet tender and poetic. There’s an ethereal quality to his work that I have a hard time explaining, dark, sad, yet beautiful and touching. He sees and accepts the darkness in the world but also recognizes beauty in it.
Death in Midsummer is a standout collection and the title piece is a painful exploration of grief, a mother loses her children in a swimming accident and their deaths permeate her life. Will she be able to move on, is she grieving enough, how much grief is required or expected?
Patriotism is a story about a young Japanese Army Officer and his beautiful new bride committing seppuku. A brutal yet erotic story about the nature of loyalty and honor, one of Mishima’s best. This story foreshadows Mishima’s own suicide in the name of Japanese honor.
My favorite, Onnagata, about a theater director’s love for a Kabuki actor that explores gender, homosexuality, art, and love, from a very Japanese perspective.
Who are our people? We’ll create them. What is our credo? We’ll live it.John “Borzoi” Chapman, Cultured Grugs
Cultured Grugs: Dispatches from America in Collapse by John Chapman. A collection of essays written by Chapman on his blog or for The American Sun about a range of topics dealing with our cultural and social collapse. This is one of the best collections of dissident right commentary I’ve read. It’s insightful and powerful. I finished the last piece, a letter written for his unborn child, hours after I had the same conversation with my wife. Topics in this collection deserve further discussion.