The Blue Raccoon

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Size of a Baby Hippo
Wiliam Gibson's take on the consumers of mass culture

From novelist William Gibson's Idoru; the pop culture trends analyst Kathy Torrance is explaining to Colin Laney, a potential hire for her Slitscan celebrity monitoring firm, the metaphorical characteristics of the company's end users.

"Which is best visualized as a vicious, lazy, profoundly ignorant, perpetually hungry organism craving the warm god-flesh of the anointed. Personally, I like to imagine something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It's covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes, and makes them sting. It has no mouth, Laney, no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote. Or by voting in presidential elections."

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