Articles Archive for January 2014

Essays, Reviews »

January 27th, 2014 | Comments Off on Dispatches from Digital Dystopia | Category: Essays, Reviews
Dispatches from Digital Dystopia

David Hoffman once summarized George Orwell’s 1984, writing that “during times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” Aaron Swartz, Chelsea (née Bradley) Manning, Adrian Lamo, Aaron Barr, and Edward Snowden have all been pawns and prisoners of information warfare. As the surveillance has expanded from mounted cameras to wireless taps, hackers have evolved from phone phreaking to secret leaking. It’s a ratcheting up of tactics and attacks on both sides. Andy Greenberg quotes Hunter S. Thompson, saying that the weird are turning pro. It’s a thought that evokes the …

Reviews »

January 25th, 2014 | Comments Off on Twin Peaks: The Forest of Symbols | Category: Reviews
<em>Twin Peaks</em>: The Forest of Symbols

Setting the screen for shows such as Picket Fences (1992-1996), The X-Files (1994-2003), Six Feet Under (2001-2005), Veronica Mars (2004-2007), Pushing Daisies (2007-2009), The Killing (2011-2013), and games like Alan Wake (2010), Mark Frost and David Lynch’s Twin Peaks (1990-1991) was easily the oddest hit show in television history. Set among the trees and mountains of my beloved Pacific Northwest, the show hosted themes of dangerous dreams, reckless teens, and the paranormal, parallel, and perpendicular. With recently debunked rumors of its return and a Blu-Ray release imminent, it’s time to go back …

Essays »

January 06th, 2014 | Comments Off on It Toggles the Mind | Category: Essays
It Toggles the Mind

Twenty years ago, Arthur Kroker described the predominant spirit of the times as a “spasm” (1993). What Bruce Sterling (1998) describes as “that violently oscillating 1990s state when you feel totally hyper and nauseatingly bored. That gnawing sense that we’re on the road to nowhere at a million miles an hour.” The feeling has expanded to the point where detached irony is our default emotional setting. David Foster Wallace called it “Total Noise” (quoted in Gleick, 2011, p. 403): An all-consuming cultural state that “tends to level everything out into …