January 2012 Issue

Semper Ubi Sub Ubi


Well, this is it, kids. 2012, the mother lode and epicenter of ominous predictions. Just remember, whatever else may happen, that there’s gonna be a lot of space to fill on the lesser cable channels come a year from now, so get your ideas into development asap.

Am I the only person around here who is having real trouble typing the numerals 2012? I know what year it is (most of the time, anyway), but my muscle memory has apparently had a mini-meltdown.

So, this just in: I’ve always been a bit of a news junkie, hardwired into cable news and the internet, but watching one popular uprising after another around the world produce nothing but a new roster of corrupt autocratic stooges (on top of our somewhat more sedate domestic iteration of the same dreary process) has finally, at least temporarily, burned out my political synapses. So I’ve decided to throw in the towel for a while and submerge myself in the soothing balm of the collected works of PG Wodehouse, which I first read many years ago but now seem even funnier. So for the next few weeks months years I plan to use Jeeves’ soothing purr to drown out the barking of the crowd  outside.

Meanwhile, for those of you who persist in paying attention, I suggest you take a gander at All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, a three-part documentary made by the remarkable Adam Curtis for the BBC in 2010. It is available, along with many of his other films, at the Internet Archive. Fascinating stuff. It explains the connections between, among other things, Ayn Rand, communes of the 60s, systems theory, the “balance of nature” and the rise of computers.

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