To those people in Sydney that occasionally like to get drunk at the Strike Entertainment Quarter at 122 Lang Road, Sydney (see here), one may have noticed they have placed a laser tag center there.
Now, as someone that once was more than happy to enjoy a game of laser tag, I found it interesting. Especially when their really, really cool video showing their arena happened to have a nicely EBM-Industrial-ish backing track (watch the video here).
This looked, to me, like a fun thing to do next time I was in Sydney.
And then I read their hideous excuse for a “plot.” Apparently their storyline centers upon “the battle for Sydney” being fought between “the resistance” and “the corporation” (anyone want to guess who the bad guys are?).
Many years ago, the people of this planet lived in peace and prosperity. But as is always the case with mankind, we wanted more. Desire created consumerism, consumerism created industry – and industry poisoned our world.
The signs were there, but they were ignored until it became too late. By the year 2030, global warming had accelerated out of control, and droughts had ravaged the land. Water began to disappear, and people became scared. Despite Government assurances, they feared for their survival – and the Great Water Riots began.
Oh dear… now isn’t this an insightful and intelligent piece of literature! [/sarcasm]
Even Cyberpunk literature of the 80’s could come up with some demented butchery of Frankfurt School critical theory to support its dystopian vision of the future. But ever since the constant plummetting of prices for computer equipment began making everyone a Capitalist (using the Marxist definition of the term), Cyberpunk’s technophobic corporate-statist nightmare has fallen greatly out of fashion amongst the advocates of Cultural Marxism. Even a libertarian like myself likes Cyberpunk, assuming it doesn’t gloss over the buddyness between State and Corporation.
But lets look at the quote and dissect it, shall we?
“Many years ago, the people of this planet lived in peace and prosperity…”
And then, it was ruined when “Desire created consumerism, consumerism created industry – and industry poisoned our world.”
So apparently, we managed to reach peace and prosperity without BEFORE industry came about! I wonder how that happened. Any ideas?
Note the title of this piece; “pseudo-Marxist” ideology. The “pseudo” is important, because this kind of narrative would make a Frankfurt School Marxist blush with embarrasment. The Frankfurt School argued that it was industry which created consumerism rather than the other way around! And Marx, for one, never scorned industry itself; he saw production as a natural (even automatic) process which humans engage in.
So, industry poisoned our world. What about the clean technology industries? Subsidy-sucking whores they may be, but they are still industries. There are plenty of clean industries which do not poison our world and scientists are coming up with a myriad of ways to clean up even dirty industries.
Even according to the ‘establishment’ scientific consensus the whole “global warming creates drought” fear is irrational. For all water that evaporates from some area, it will eventually rain down in another. And also, in the usual ‘ice-cap melting doomsday scenario’ preached by the more demented environmentalists, Australia will not have problem getting more water. Why? We’ll mostly be under water if the ice caps melt. The tropical areas will probably get more rainfall too.
Now, one can hardly expect a laser tag center’s backstory to be the height of good literature, but if I were to play a game of laser tag I would like to play a game without having a terrible, childish, badly-researched shallow-parody-taking-itself-seriously of Neuromancer shoved into several of my orifices. Actually, comparing it to Neuromancer even in a most unflattering light is an implicit insult to William Gibson.
And of course, one final point must be mentioned. A Laser Tag center uses multiple products, all of which are developed by industry and sold for profit. Indeed, the products required for this kind of entertainment are the same kinds of devices the old Cyberpunk literature feared would cause a corporatist dystopia. The game consumes electricity and thus contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. And Strike Bowling Bars are probably owned by a large firm as well.
Just like James Cameron using a massive amount of corporate finance and technology to make an anti-corporate, anti-technological film and selling it to customers in the hope of making a profit (Avatar); we have in this laser tag center a prime example of The Man Is Sticking It To The Man (in order to make a profit!).
Is that kerosene fog or hypocrisy that I am smelling?