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I finally get Cyberpunk

March 14, 2013

‘Cyberpunk’ by dges from deviantart

Expectations really confound people. In my experience, its expectations that stop us from truly engaging with things and finding joy in them. They create this massive impenetrable wall of shit mentally that blocks whatever you are trying to truly experience and enjoy. Its probably why in this bizarre culture of post irony the internet has created, people cling to people who appear to have some sort of essential truth, but aren’t sure why. They aren’t constantly trying to measure up to everybody in the entirety of history. Theres no way to laugh off that sort of passion, to dissect it on a cold emotional level.

Myself, I’m a little old fashioned. I entered this world just before the cusp of the first great explosion of the internet and due to upbringing, entered this world after the second big explosion.

I need books or some other form of static media (comics and paintings for example) to establish some sort of narrative that allows me to engage with things. As such, books are still how I enter a genre, unconsciously examining the underlying memes and tropes and fitting it into my own little view of the world. Looming genre giants and ‘classics’ loom in the back of my mind all the time. By missing out on seminal works I unconsciously feel I’m missing out on some part of the mythos, the world. Some essential truth.

So initially, I couldn’t get cyberpunk. Sure, when I first saw Blade Runner, visually it was impressive. But I couldn’t engage with such a world, despite how fascinating it was. Call me thick, but it didn’t connect with my world view. There seemed to be something missing.

That thing? Neuromancer by William Gibson. For years I put it off, not reading it. There was always some reason not too, despite it influencing many of the things I love like Warhammer 40k, Dark Future, Industrial music and Judge Dredd to name a few. The expectation was too great.

I also love this. Feel free to call me a pervert.

So last week I made myself sit down and read the thing. After all, this blog was meant to be some sort of catalyst of change and whats the point of a blog if you can’t have revelations for people to vicariously live off of?

The result? Relief. I had made up this big elaborate image in my head that this book would hold all the answers. When in fact, boiled down to its roots, its just a pulp novel (not to take away from it, its great a world building and it clearly does the dark dystopian future far better than a lot of modern books).

And just like that, something flicked on. All that tension is gone.

And I’m enjoying the hell out of this new world I’ve found myself in.

Note: An edited version of this article appeared on The Cult Den.

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From → Reading, Writing

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