Jump, you fuckers

Those immortal words, flung in abuse by a protestor on Wall Street last fall, also constitute the title of Dan Hind’s essay on the economic crisis. Hind, the author of a book on our use/abuse of the Enlightenment, seeks to get to the root causes of the accelerating economic downturn, and finds them in the dismantling of the Bretton Woods agreement, which allowed the U.S. to run up massive debts even as the rich became disproportionately richer—and the overall system became ever more unstable amidst the orgy of profit-taking green-lighted at the very highest levels of the political/economic elite, all at the expense of the Average Worker.  This is the kind of explanation you’re unlikely to see much of among the elite’s Tame Intellectuals (as Hind so aptly calls them), who are charged with continuing to proclaim their Faith in the Free Markets, as well as “let’s not blame the system for a few bad apples”, but it’s one of the more compelling arguments I’ve read thus far on what we’re facing.

It also gets at one of the things I thought about a lot while writing MIRRORED HEAVENS:  the notion that our civilization is heading rapidly toward some kind of mega-discontinuity/overhaul out of which something new will emerge, for good or ill.  Again, our Tame Intellectuals don’t help us here—they’ve encouraged us to believe in our current Way of Life as the culmination of everything that went down before (see, Fukuyama, Francis). But imho science fiction is all about this discontinuity, whether it comes in a month, in a decade, or in a century. It’s about somehow unshackling our minds from the tyranny of the now—that mindset that literally can’t envision anything else. We’ve got a long way to go here; preoccupied with its own petty infighting, SF is largely absent from serious debate on the causes or ramifications of our current crisis. One hopes this will change as the situation worsens (as it assuredly will); now, more than ever, we need to take the long view.

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7 Responses to “Jump, you fuckers”

  1. TechnoDestructo Says:

    Capitalism is dead, and it’s about time. here comes the PAIN.

  2. meesh Says:

    springen sie bumser!!

  3. Polter Says:


    I’m glad you include it in your work a bit and more so here

  4. Eric Garland Says:

    Science fiction is the study of discontinuity? That’s funny, so is foresight.

  5. Polter Says:

    Battlestar Galactica’ at the UN
    Posted: 09:07 AM ET
    Fantasy and reality will collide Tuesday night at the United Nations, as writers and actors from the Sci Fi Channel’s hit “Battlestar Galactica” meet UN representatives to discuss issues such as human rights, children and armed conflict, and terrorism. Also on the agenda: dialogue among different civilizations and faiths. The meeting happens just days before the two-hour final episode of the show airs Friday.

    Actors Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell will appear at the United Nations Tuesday.

    Commander William Adama and President Laura Roslin – at least, the actors who play them (Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell) – will meet with several UN representatives. Two executive producers and writers will also participate. Whoopi Goldberg, purportedly a big fan, will moderate this historic meeting of minds.

    I briefly chatted Monday with Dave Howe, president of the Sci Fi Network, about the importance of the United Nations event.

    “Traditionally, sci-fi has always been an opportunity to look at the human condition, and then extrapolate out. Science fiction has always held up a mirror to society and to humanity, and has asked tough questions about where are we going, and whether we’re going in the right direction, and that’s the nature of Battlestar Galactica,” Howe said.

    The new “Battlestar Galactica,” which re-imagined the original 1978 series by the same name, has developed a cult following of devoted fans since it debuted as a miniseries in 2003. Since the beginning, when the Cylons annihilated the human colonies and forced the only survivors into outer space, we have been diligently keeping track of who’s a human and who’s a Cylon, and pondering whether they can ever truly coexist in peace. The final confrontation between factions on Friday will be the show’s final word on the future of both races.

    It will also be the final word on the identity of Kara “Starbuck” Thrace, who keeps hearing that she is the “harbinger of death.”

    (Incidentally, am I the only one still rooting for her and Captain Lee “Apollo” Adama to get together for more than just a quickie? Given that Lee’s father, the commander, already thinks of Kara as a daughter, their union would make family gatherings, like their equivalent of Thanksgiving, all the more pleasant.)

    For the uninitiated, the whole concept of the show can be explained in the opening credits for the first season: “The Cylons were created by man. They rebelled. They evolved. They look and feel human. Some are programmed to think they are human. There are many copies. And they have a plan.” So: Humans made robots, and they evolved, and some of them are virtually indistinguishable from humans, and conflict ensues.

    We fans appreciate that this is not a “good guys vs. bad guys” space battle. The show’s four seasons have been jam-packed with difficult ethical questions. From the torture of a pretty Number Six Cylon aboard the Pegasus to a suicide bombing campaign to the hiding of a child who represents the “face of things to come,” we viewers are constantly challenged to think outside the box and tackle issues that are just as pertinent in our own world.

    The characters that may seem evil in one episode may suddenly look heroic in the next. Even Dr. Gaius Baltar, the dreamy ladies’ man who was told in the most recent episode that he had never done anything that wasn’t selfish, and who is responsible for much violence and destruction, is still somehow lovable. On Friday, he may finally redeem himself.

    Incidentally, the Sci Fi Channel just announced that it’s renaming itself “SyFy” on July 7.

    –Elizabeth Landau, CNN.com Writer/Producer

  6. Len Cobia Says:

    nice little blog you got, is your template custom? Looks really great

  7. Polter Says:

    yes, it’s custom and has been going very strong since 1998!

    Wide opened commentary of the times archived and searchable – used to be part of politics.com till the tech bubble burst and I kept it going as I put so much work into it (but don’t get paid anymore)

    Did you look around? join? if so what was the name?