Event Horizon

Soon, every object, from your headband to your mailbox, will have the capability to record video, and we will finally be in our much-promised dystopia. It will be terrible, just as they told us, but think of the opportunities for celebrity. That’s the scenario (one of them) in Lee Konstantinou’s Pop Apocalypse, a satire of the near future, circa 2029. The plot — an end-of-the-world thriller with lots of shooting and driving — is no match for the cultural impact of our future technology. It goes like this: A new search engine can identify people in videos, and they can be tracked on the Web (now called the Mediasphere) nearly in real time, because everyone films everything, constantly, and uploads it (and if people don't capture you, the systemwide surveillance cameras will). The reason people film so much is that selling footage of celebrities, even those of dubious fame, can make them very rich. In the near-future, famous people have IPOs, and their Reputations are traded. Also, whoever films an event, like a terrorist bombing, owns the rights to it. Consequently, cameras are everywhere, filming everything, all for the money. To this, Konstantinou adds an apocalyptic plot, set in a riotous Middle East, a walled-in New York, and a blasted Bay Area (the author calls the Mission District home), and populates it with Jewish red heifers, foul-mouthed Christian rock, anticapitalism activists, academic theory (the author is also cozy with Stanford), and all kinds of driving, flying, shooting, and screwing. It’s a satire, serious in a ridiculous way, and just might be a blueprint of the future. Lee Konstantinou appears at InsideStoryTime with a host of local writers — Joshua Mohr, Vauhini Vara, judy b., and Carrie Hall — circling the theme of longing.
Thu., July 16, 6:30 p.m., 2009

 
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