It seems that no matter how hard status quo-oriented people want the world of the last few decades to carry on forever, it is obvious that the old days are not only ending, but perhaps actually ended a long time ago. Consider these facts:
1) Finance-Capitalism has collapsed. No matter how Republican you want to be, it is, as you have known it, done, down in the ash-can of history, dead forever. Finished as surely Stalinism was. The party’s over, and it probably should have been cancelled long before the food and the band showed up;
2) The planetary climate is undergoing a shift that is currently and will continue to be perceptible within the lifetimes of people living now. The estimates of how long it will take to move radically toward a warmer and much different-looking planet are starting to look way too conservative and, (sorry to my neighbors, the “I-Don’t-Need-Facts-I-Got-Faith” folks of Jesusland) there is no serious scientific doubt anymore that something is happening. None at all. You can argue all day about how and why and what to do about it, but it is happening, and continuing to pollute the hell out of the planet is not going to help;
3) We have created (and by “we” I mean, collectively, the people of countries where people get to sit and type on computers like I am right now) mountains and heaps and rafts and flotillas of—excuse my language—shit. There is shit heaped everywhere, towers of manufactured crap, hordes of cheap and useless consumer goods, monumental barge-loads of human-made garbage as far as the eye can see. There’s a vortex of water bottles, trash bags and other plastic crap the size of Texas out in the Pacific ocean for eff’s sake! This is simply unsustainable in a world where the level of human anguish and the depth of planetary exhaustion and the complete and total fuck-all-this world-pain demand profound change at nearly every level.
End of lecture. But I said all that as a preface to presenting the following: Matt Staggs’ “GreenPunk Manifesto,” published yesterday on his fine blog Enter the Octopus. He proposes to identify and promulgate a sub-genre of fiction centered around this premise:
“GreenPunk: a technophilic spec-fic movement centered on characters using and being affected by the use of DIY renewable resources, recycling and repurposing. GreenPunk would emphasize the ability of the individual – and his or her responsibility – for positive ecological and social change.
“Rejecting steampunk’s romanticism while embracing its focus on approachable, ‘knowable’ technology (as opposed to the ‘black box’ nature of digital tech), GreenPunk envisions a world in which the detritus of consumer culture as propagated by the Elite is appropriated and repurposed by the masses toward the reconstruction of a devastated ecology and the address of social ills.”
Please go to Matt’s page and read more. A lot of people have posted interesting comments suggesting some already-existing literature that may fit under this umbrella or which may presage it. Also, according to recent Twitter updates from Matt, there will soon be a full-blown web resource for GreenPunk (if it hasn’t been launched already), and I will update as appropriate. Finally, I will commit right now to using M-Brane resources, such as they are, at some level with producing an anthology of new GreenPunk fiction should that seem to be demanded by the Movement.
[I’ll note that the website www.io9.com also ran an article about Matt’s post today, but (as is common on that site) somewhat missed the point (at least in user comments) that this is first and foremost a written fiction concept and not just a visual aesthetic. That may come later, but the TV/movie/videogame fanboys who like to dump on book-related ideas are not yet the whole intended audience for this. Also, I swiped that image of a library with trees growing in it from Matt's own post.]Related Articles :