Privilegemobile 16: Slithering through the Futuropolis

It is all a parlor game, every bit of it. Anyone who tells you any different is a person with real problems, real concerns. You want to avoid people like that. They are hooked fish, twisting on a line. Be glad you are not one of them. Not grateful, because no one is looking out for you, not really. You just got lucky and avoided their fate for now.

The bus rolls down what used to be called Army Street before its name was changed to Cesar Chavez back in the 90s. The projects on the left were torn down and rebuilt around that time, and now look like pretty townhouses. I wonder if it’s still dangerous there. Probably. You wouldn’t expect Aileen Wuornos to have a change of heart just because you gave her a makeover.

The houses on the right look the same as they did 20 years ago. They are still decaying heaps with cracked plaster and leaky pipes, only now they are going for 900K a pop.

The bus passes through without touching the sides and I’m on 101 heading south. After leaving the city, the hovels lay low, most of them undetectable behind tall stone walls that line the freeway. The tall buildings are all bad scifi.

I don’t know much about the movie industry, but I know there are people called location scouts. It is their job to travel around and find places for filming. It looks easy enough. A western? Monument National Park. An overwrought love story? The Hotel Del Coronado. Science Fiction? Any modern architecture that tries too hard.

The Peninsula and Silicon Valley have no shortage of edifices built by and for a dystopian future. If you want to know where the architects get their design ideas, my guess is they go to a lot of scifi flicks.

I don’t know how true that is, but it sounds good so I go with it. Like most people, my worldview comes from what I find agreeable. The only thing that sets me apart is my love affair with the unsavory. Tell me about an atrocity, however improbable, and I will accept it as gospel.

Maybe that is not such a bad thing. Perhaps humanity has something like a fairness doctrine. It exists to allow opposing loads of bullshit cancel each other out.

On the one side, you have pretty much everybody. They will get off on a story about a special-needs puppy wetting himself upon seeing his master, a returning combat veteran who is burned beyond recognition, but still loves his dog.

And then there’s me. I’m the sort who would like nothing more than to read about a company purposely lacing energy drinks with bath salts, ensuring both record sales figures and face eating.

None of this holds up under scrutiny. Lies create more lying, not less. Whatever reluctance people have to embracing nonsense goes out the window when others are doing the same thing. It’s depressing to obsess over that so I don’t. I stare out the window and wait for the next amusing thought to arrive.

One thought on “Privilegemobile 16: Slithering through the Futuropolis”

  1. “Whatever reluctance people have to embracing nonsense goes out the window when others are doing the same thing.”

    Bedrock truth right there.
    Understanding that is the foundation to understanding much of what is going on in the world.

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