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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Kingdom Come


Back 24 hours from a week long visit to the Ukraine (I'll post more about the trip, photos and projects some other time as the inevitable catching up process begins) and now it's time to post a few things on this blog before I go away again, this time on a much anticipated holiday to Cuba.

Any trip that involves sitting around at airports and flights with no movies presents an excellent opportunity to catch up on some reading, so having devoured a copy of both Newsweek and the Economist, I turned to fiction and finally got into JG Ballard's Kingdom Come. I first posted on this here (if you want here's the publishers blurb) and now I've finished it.

It's full of interesting quotes on consumerism such as,
"Consumerism is the greatest device anyone has invented for controlling people. New fantasies, new dreams and dislikes, new souls to heal. For some peculiar reason, they call it shopping."

But for me the world it pictures needed to be a little closer to th e one we now live in, not so far away as to be discounted but close enough to make it uncomfortable. The characters were like the context they were set in distant and hard to believe, and the final section of the book seemed to drag interminably on, like the siege of the shopping mall it was describing. Having said all that, it's worth reading simply because it tackles consumerism in it's ugliness and shallowness. Hopefully this will not be the last work of fiction to tackle the tide of consumerism.

1 comments:

Gareth said...

Nice quote.
Went into our all new eco-friendly Tesco Extra for a loaf of bread and pint of milk. I was so overcome by the religious experience within this new temple of consumption that I completely forgot about what I had gone there for in the first place. After wading through the 'Extra' part of Tescos having acquired a pair of shorts, box of squash balls and a guilt complex (over the people who may have been made these shorts for less than 10p an hour) I ventured into the maze of food aisles to find that my loaf of bread was indeed at the far corner of the store. After wrestling with the self service tills (as I dreaded any human contact or any forced small talk), I left the store weighed down with two bags, 20 Tesco clubpoints and an empty soul discontent in the knowledge that I'll be back there next week.


ps great blog, thanks for the link to my 'myspace' site

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