Destiny City is the most populous city in the Pacific Northwestern United States. With a population of 1,199,450, it’s the 9th largest city in the United States and the third largest on the west coast. Destiny City started as a small logging settlement and grew rapidly after many Chinese people settled there after the anti-Chinese riots of 1885 and quickly grew into a flourishing port city. It has long been a hub for experimental technology companies, playing host to the early days of the aerospace industry in the early 20th century and attracting the founders of many pharmaceutical and information technology startups in more recent decades.
My desk phone rang. It’s never good when my desk phone rings. Clients call my cell. Managers send email. If my desk phone rings, it’s because I missed an important email somewhere in the hundreds of messages polluting my inbox. This time it was David Meyers, a principal architect at the firm I worked for. “Can you come to my office when you have a chance?” he asked. Which meant right this second, because he and I both knew I would never not be busy.
Why Criticism Matters
Back in 2014 I wrote a longish blog post about race and sexual violence in the works of Alan Moore. Naturally, people hurled the old critic-silencing questions: “Do you think you can do better than Alan Moore?” and “Why don’t you spend your time making your own art instead of criticizing others?” Well, for one thing I can’t really claim credit for the criticism of Moore’s work. All I did was aggregate and summarize the criticism I could find, which I did to help put Moore’s comments in an interview in context.
The Faraday Bag
Illustration by L.A. Spooner I knocked out Brock’s front left tooth the day I met him. He and Colton tried to mug me during my first delivery to the Complex. They were just a couple of scrawny teenagers, but I’m not a big girl and they had knives. So I hit Brock in the mouth with my bike lock. Colton’s older brother, Connor, broke-up the fight before it got any worse.
Do work, not too much, avoid interruptions
Obsessing over productivity is a sickness of a hypercapitalist society. But in a world where you’re only as good as the the amount of work you’ve done in last 168 hours, productivity systems are survival strategies. I’ve obsessively tweaked my own routines and apps over the years to find a workflow that feels natural for me and helps me balance the things I need to do with the things I want to do—not because I’m well organized and productive by nature, but because I need to find intuitive strategies to stay gainfully employed without going nuts or letting my house become filthy to the point of being uninhabitable.
Who Will Be the Next JG Ballard or William S. Burroughs?
A few years ago Re/Search founder V. Vale asked who the next William S. Burroughs or J.G. Ballard are. “Who are the people alive on the planet who are predicting the future as well as Burroughs and Ballard?” he pondered. What follows is an expansion of my response at the time. The Next Burroughs or Ballard Won’t Come from an Anglophone Country The most relevant writers of the 21st century will be those with a unique perspective.
The Hell That I Avoided
My biological clock is ticking: I’m fast reaching age at which I will be too old to enlist in the military. It’s a strange thing to be wistful about. One of the biggest reliefs of my life is that I didn’t have to go to Iraq or Afghanistan. But I can’t help but feel a twinge of regret that I won’t ever know the military, which was such a big part of mens’ lives for so much of U.
The Golden Age of Television is Already Over
Everyone says we’re living in the Golden Age of television. Maybe it started with Buffy and The Sopranos, or maybe with The Wire and Battle Star Galactica. But whenever it started, it’s been a welcome refuge from the movie industry and its never-ending parade of sequels, remakes, and adaptations—especially super-hero comic adaptations—all aimed a the lowest common denominator. If you had an idea that warrants an R rating or can’t be shoe-horned into a “franchise,” then your best bet was TV.
I can’t be the only one that’s noticed this, but it seems that in the early days of the ‘net, people were digital nomads, wandering from one social network to the next: LiveJournal, the blog-o-sphere, Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. You’d show up on a new social network, link up with a few friends, and enjoy the new space. Gradually people started showing up that you remembered from like two networks back.
We Fear They Might Be Right
My friend Tom likes to ask people two questions this time of year: 1) What is your favorite monster? 2) What monster do you find the scariest? The idea is that you can learn a lot about someone based on their answers. For example, if I recall correctly, Tom’s favorite and most feared monster is the werewolf. That means he’s afraid of what’s within, afraid that he himself could become a monster, could lose control.