It’s with a frisson of both pleasure and dread that I enjoy the experience of seeing speculative ideas of dystopia start to form in the lived firmament, it’s one of the reasons I recommend annual readings of “Snow Crash (‘burbclaves, the Raft) and “Cryptonomicon (WikiLeaks). One of the great and tragic elements of Gary Shteyngart’s great “Super Sad True Love Story is how he sees America governed by the Bipartisan party, and those not with them are subject to what amounts to authoritarian occupation.

How close is all this? Well, we do live in a country that spies on all its citizens, illegally and with impunity, and although I do trust that torture is no longer official policy (I find it naive to trust that all members of the Security State have given it up completely), those who did commit what is a crime in this country have essentially been told, bygones, don’t sweat it. If only that worked for every felony. And this with a Constitutional Law Professor as President. And then there’s this, the party in the majority, in a position to govern, unable to even describe the concept of doing something that is both good policy and good politics. Because neither party does much governing for the country as a whole, the talk with, listen to, know, and govern for a select few, those Shteyngart calls HNWI. The institutions of government exist to serve these people:

The idea is to run the habitrails until such point as you become a HNWI, then the world of inattentive corporate boards, government contracts and sinecures, think tanking ignorance and responsibility and consequence free failing-upward will be yours. If you can survive until that point, that is. More and more I think the only hope we have for the future is that the whole undeserving Establishment will collapse from their own decadent ennui.

UPDATED: Now with key link; sorry, baby fatigue . . .


Author: gtra1n

I'm a composer and musician, and I write about music—I do that here, for the New York Classical Review, at the Brooklyn Rail (I edit the music section there) and any place else that will have me, like New Music Box and Music & Literature. I also wrote the Miles Davis' Bitches Brew book in the 33 1/3 series.