Category - Essays and Reviews

Being There or We are all Chance the Gardener

From Roger Ebert’s review of Being There:

The movie’s implications are alarming. Is it possible that we are all just clever versions of Chance the gardener? That we are trained from an early age to respond automatically to given words and concepts? That we never really think out much of anything for ourselves, but are content to repeat what works for others in the same situation?

The last words in the movie are, “Life is a state of mind.” So no computer will ever be alive. But to the degree that we are limited by our programming, neither will we. The question is not whether a computer will ever think like a human, but whether we choose to free ourselves from thinking like computers.

They don’t make ‘em like Being There anymore… unlike so many movies now, this one really breathes. This is my ideal type of comedy / satire: strange, thoughtful, and a little uncomfortable. And in Hal Ashby’s hands it is relaxed, but it’s never ponderous. I cringe at the thought of what most directors would do with this one had it been released in 2009 instead of 1979.

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Shoplifting Malcolm McLaren

Today Macolm McLaren’s funeral procession made its way through the streets of North London and onto Highgate Cemetery. According to the NME, the coffin, stenciled with the words “Too fast to live, too young to die,” like one of the artist’s many t-shirts, “was drawn by four black horses in full funeral regalia.” The coffin was followed by a Routemaster (the iconic English double decker bus), whose destination was marked “Nowhere,” just like one of Jamie Reid’s graphics. The whole thing, including a PA that blasted various “punk anthems” (including Sid Vicious’s renditions of Rock Around The Clock and My Way, the latter being Paul Anka’s favorite, incidentally) was met by hundreds of unruly fans at the Camden Town tube station.

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Christopher S. Hyatt: The Cyberpunk and the Psychopath

Original Falcon has just released an interview with the late Christopher Hyatt, PhD, and my publishing imprint, Barbary Shore, had a crucial role in the process!

You see, Jesse Hicks (editor and author in his own right) interviewed the late doctor for an article for Deek Magazine — an article that was never published. After years of hectoring Jesse gave me a copy, which we put in the hands of Nick Tharcher, who has made it available as an audio CD from Original Falcon Press. It will also be available in an edited form in Cyberpunk Apocalypse issue number two. Keep reading below for my introductory essay, The Cyberpunk and the Psychopath.

Read: Original Falcon: The Extreme Individual CD
Read: Cyberpunk Apocalypse

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