This is why cyberpunk and such piss me off. There is nothing romantic about poverty. Nothing glorious about living on the street, making do with scraps. It’s fear and cold and your body ages at a rate which would ruin most who walk past to their Google bus ride home. You become hunted by vicious scum in or out of uniform. You futily try for a shred of dignity, while the mere days convert finding basic hygiene into improbable adventures.
If you think most of the USA is the “first world”... Ha, you’re in for a shock.
A quarter of the USA has long ago resigned into a material despair largely untouched by the perfunctory social services ever reamed out by budget shortfalls. Another half of the USA populace barely hang on to a livable facade under mountains of debt voodoo. All are about to be cast into the dark winter cold.
Landlords and money barons... These are vile demons from perdition. Rot them all.
@Shufei it is so true, thank you
@Shufei one of the biggest changes in my life was leaving active duty army.
Not because of any huge cultural shift, or having to find/develop skills I could sell on the job market.
It was (as an army brat myself, then a soldier) not having guaranteed housing, health care, and food for the first time in my life. To this day I consider going back in sometimes, just so I know for sure I'll have a roof for my kids. The possibility of getting dropped by the labor peloton is a constant spectre.
@bamfic Sadly it’s going to snowball quickly from here, most like...
@Shufei I think the first time I realized this was when I watched Winters Bones. Having grown up on US propaganda it’s hard to know what it actually looks like no matter how many sad songs you listen to.
@kensanata The keening is silenced; the propaganda thickens to a suffocating wall of ideological faith here. The joke about “all Americans are temporarily embarrassed millionaires” hides massive, grinding despair only piecemeal hinted at in any medium: eg, the recent protests bearing on dimensions of racism. But the gestalt is... hmm... I swear to you the amnesia and anomie in the USA sometimes remind me of the PRC. Fatalism, cynicism, greed, selfishness. The imperial rot is bone deep.
@kensanata There’s the USA you see on tv & film. Literally, the Thirty Mile Zone around Hollywood. LA is as exotic aspiration to most of the USA as it is to the millions who consume it worldwide.
There’s the plastic box store USA. The streams of empire feeding gluttony of empty calories along the highways. Cheap cardboard suburbs. Box stores.
Then there’s the “sacrifice zones”. Ghettos. Native reserves. Burnt out towns. Rust belt. They are careful to not show that with an even gaze.
@kensanata I really don’t know what people in the USA will do when the streams of empire finally cut short. Community has been steadily eviscerated by elite social engineering for 100 years now. There is virtually no palpable ties upon which to build commonweal most places. The exceptions are often toxic. Many places social services are mere rumour save those given by churches. When the trucks do not roll with cheap goods, when usurious credit finally dies... Not much will be left here.
@Shufei it’s a nightmare. I still hope that there is a way to pull back from the brink, a charismatic person, perhaps a singer and songwriter, a politician, perhaps something that starts on the state level. I don’t know. The way you write it, the post-apocalypse is already upon us, just unevenly distributed. 😨
@kensanata Well, the grain of salt is that I’m a burnt out social work derelict. The winners play in their coastal cities; nice, if you like fresh plastic. But yes, “the catastrophic”, as Cornel West calls it, is USA tradition. The issue is the society has not invested in itself. The global empire’s booty is slurped up into pockets of billionaires and their pretty hipster courtiers. The rest is ever narrowing austerity. People just cannot keep up.
When this Rome falls... ha. 🤷🏽♀️
@Shufei and the privatized pharma and healthcare complex. And Big Oil and Big Tech. And... well crony unchecked capitalism basically.
@michel_slm My blood pressure can’t take even mentioning the profit driven medical charnel house without dangerously spiking.
> This is why cyberpunk and such piss me off. There is nothing romantic about poverty.
You may have missed the point of cyberpunk? It was a warning about the dystopia that awaited if we let the Reaganites and Thatcherites set the world on fire to keep themselves warm. Sadly, most people ignored that warning and enjoyed the warmth, and that dystopia has now arrived.
"I appreciate SDF but it's a general-purpose server and the name doesn't make it obvious that it's about art." - Eugen Rochko