fridgepunk: (Laughing Man)
[personal profile] fridgepunk
Nonetheless, I think we can safely identify certain aspects of cyberpunk’s aesthetic vision common to all its examples.

1) “No Future” (the punk in cyberpunk) – the sense of a collapsed future, i.e., the replacement of progressive modernism’s sense of constant material and social improvement by the sense of a failed project, leaving behind ruined infrastructures as its Ozymandian monuments;

Which hit me like; Ah! Oh! Righty, so that's what the punk suffix was about, which sort of makes sense in the case of steampunk, where it employs a false technological history to avoid dealing with the present in various ways and thus renders the notion of our "future" irrelevent to the textual setting.

Oddly enough it also means a lot of most post-apocalyptic and even dystopian settings, from 1984 to the Oryx and Crake books or even the Lillith's Brood books, are all "punky" due to that "tales from after the end of history" element of them that defines the stories mood.

Then even HG Well's The Time Machine can be seen as a precursor to "punk" as a literary concept, with the final message from a deep future there the sun is fixed in the sky and life is but blobs devouring each other on beaches with waveless shores, in contrast to the approach of say the Professor Jameson stories with its "human race is dead, oh well, life goes on, let's explore the stars as awesome cyborgs! With Wings!" attitude.

Then again, we have Mary Shelley's The Last Man before even that, with an attitude that both makes it "punky" and seperates it from earlier religious themed apocalypses by taking the stance that ultimately there is no Elect, no saved, as indeed there is no salvation; For even the ideals of the enlightenment were for naught, mere wan abortions quickly strangled by its own umbilical cord even as the forces of theo-idiocy smothered its child* science under a pillow of regressiveness and nostalgia.

Looking at my own nascent writing and my thinking about the future I find myself rejecting that notion entirely as too morose and indeed too pretentious to really accept - the ultimate end point of a viewpoint such as cosmicism is not only that we are so insignificant that the universe may yet wake up tomorrow and grind us in its fathomless gearing, but also that even if Cthulhu wakes up someone will likely oversleep, miss the end of the world, and go about making themselves breakfast muttering to themselves about the horrible dreams they had and get on with shit. Simply because as the universe's vastness is unimaginable to the human mind, so too is most people's complete indifference to that universe's vastness vaster still. Even if we're all gone and have taken the bastard cockroaches with us, the world will turn and the cats will probably learn how to get the dogs to sow seeds in the fields to draw the mice to the farms again. Shit will continue inevitably continue, and history ain't gonna end, either with us or without us.

* I think the point where a fetus has had a child is the point in any good metaphor where you realise that you should stopped the damn thing a long time ago.
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fridgepunk: A sign on garrus' back reading "Shoot a rocket into my ugly stupid face" (Default)
fridgepunk

May 2015

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