Friday, December 30, 2011

solid, air, etc.

My National Novel Writing Month project began with a simple premise. What if major corporations decided that planned obsolescence wasn't aggressive enough a strategy for provoking consumer purchases of new goods. What if, instead, they had teams of people who broke into our houses, broke our stuff, and made it look like normal wear and tear?

I wrote a brief scene of this last summer sometime, and then it turned into this novel.

And then the novel turned from being a goofy little satire on consumerism, into a black comedy about corporate capitalism. It's become a Kafkaesque satire, which is to say, it's funny in the way that things are funny when your choices are laughing or doom. It's the kind of funny people will appreciate who also appreciate the humor of these lines from the Communist Manifesto:

The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.

I know! And that's Karl Marx, not Groucho!

1 comment:

Bobo the Wandering Pallbearer said...

No, I no like-a mint. What other flavors you got?

--Gertrude Engels