on desire, on needs. november/december.

    the crane wife by cj hauser // speeches for dr frankenstein by margaret atwood // the crane wife by cj hauser // hunger makes me by jess zimmerman // the crane wife by cj hauser // a hunger like no ther by sk osborn // cover of war of the foxes by richard siken, art by david de la heras // hunger makes me by jess zimmerman // i had to get out by indigo de souza

    Something went wrong. That’s what the machine says when I call to say my paper didn’t arrive. Machines are trained by people, so they’re smart, they know a thing or fifty trillion. Did you miss your Sunday delivery? it asks. I did, I say. I miss everything, I say, because it’s a machine and it has to listen, or at least it has to not hang up without trying to understand why I called, which means trying to correct what went wrong. Let me see if I got this right, the voice says, you missed your Sunday paper? Yes, I say, but also I miss my childhood and fairy tales, like Eden. I miss sweet Rob Roys with strangers. I’m sorry, the machine says. I’m having trouble understanding. Did you miss today’s paper? Yes, I say, but that’s not the half of it. Sometimes I just feel like half of me, and even that feels like too much. I’m having trouble understanding, the machine repeats, its syllables halted, as if trying to mimic an empath. I’m having trouble understanding too, I say. I used to understand so much: photosynthesis, the human heart, I’d even memorized the Krebs cycle, but now all I remember is lifting the golden coil of the kitchen phone to maneuver under my mother’s conversations. It was like lifting the horizon. There’s a silence, and the machine asks: Are you still there? In a few words, please describe your issue. Where do I begin being a minimalist? Time, I say, I’ve got a problem with that. Also, loss, and attachment. That’s pretty much it, and the news in its sky- blue sleeve is meant to be a distraction, isn’t it? I ask. More silence, and then: You miss your mother? a voice asks. It’s a human voice. Me too, she says.

    — Andrea Cohen, “Something”


    So like… is she tokyo cyberpunk or seattle cyberpunk?


    Tokyo Cyberpunk: Emphasizes human relationship to technology, identity, psychological transhumanism, and the human-as-resource. In Tokyo Cyberpunk - Capitalism wants to own you.

    Seattle Cyberpunk: Emphasizes class analysis through technology disparity, physical transhumanism, and the disposability of humans. In Seattle Cyberpunk - Capitalism wants you gone.


    Aesthetically speaking…

    Tokyo Cyberpunk showcases nightlife where clean streets are illuminated by neon signs tempting you into consumerism as a therapy for your alienation. It’s percieved cleanliness acts as a symbol where corporations justify their rulership through the illusion of social progress. The robot is friendly, companionable. Societal problems and capitalist contradiction are silenced and swept away without the common person knowing.

    Seattle Cyberpunk showcases a nightlife of homelessness and decay with corporate monoliths on the horizon. The streetlights no longer work, but the darkness is kept partially at bay by the neon tubes of bars where people watch wishes of their youth vanish at the bottom of the bottle. The lucky ones working for the corporations do so with the fear they will be kicked to the street. The robot is an expression of force intended to keep the common person afraid. Corporations do not try to justify their rulership, social problems and contradiction are solved with force.