I snagged the front center seat on the Narita bus so I had a panoramic view forward; the haze of jetlag and post-speech letdown was biting hard as the Nissan Diesel grumbled up onto the Rainbow Bridge. The architectural madness around Tokyo Bay soars white on cream on beige on black in the filtered sun against the shit-coloured Tokyo November afternoon sky and when you’re weakened you can kid yourself that it all fits together and makes sense somehow, but it doesn’t. It can’t be photographed and it can’t be described, you have to see it and you still won’t believe it. It’s just crazy, that’s all.


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From: Andreas Schoedl (Nov 15 2007, at 02:37)

At first I thought you were citing William Gibson ... Your piece would be even more Gibsonian if you could find a better word for "shit", which I think WG wouldn't use here. And instead of "and when you’re weakened you can kid yourself" I think "and one could kid oneself" would be more like it.

Essence: When you're through with programming hot iron and touring the world's tech conferences, I'll be looking forward to your first fiction book!


From: Tim (Nov 15 2007, at 12:44)

Well, except for, that was the colour it was.


From: Alex Waterhouse-Hayward (Nov 15 2007, at 14:26)

While I had been to scared to play with the chess shark who happened to live near me and haunted the bohemian cafes of Mexico City's Zona Rosa in the late 60s I did get to meet Homero Aridjis when he came to Vancouver in early 1983. This Mexican poet, novelist, diplomat and environmentalist told me of his Mexico City:

The natural seasons have lost their names. We no longer speak of winter, spring, summer or fall. It is now thermal invasion season, the season of acid rain, and the ozone season.

Unfortunately few of this man's novels have been translated into English. One of the most horrific of his post apocalyptic ones (in reality a Mexico City of right now) is ¿En quien piensas cuando haces el amor? (In whom do you think of when you make love?) which is set in a scary Gibsonian Mexico City in which one short word defines an inevitable future horror. He writes of the ex-bosque de Chapultepec. It is hard to translate into English but try to imagine, "We wandered into the former Stanley Park." In a couple of early Gibson novels, Gibson puts in stuff like, (a boy and his father enter a shopping mall), "Look dad, that's a stuffed horse." This is a horse as real as whatever stuffed dodo they have in some European museum.

The horror of our future is Mexico City, Sau Paulo, Tokyo, many cities of India, etc now.

Alex Waterhouse-Hayward


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November 15, 2007
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