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Everything That Lives Must Struggle


At first it was just numbers and addresses—things we used to write down on scraps of paper or in little black books. Then it was directions and names and faces. Our machines remembered as we forgot how to get from Saint Paul to Chicago and who we were with and why. Soon they told us who we were and what we liked and what we thought.

(And we trusted them because machines don’t lie; they merely malfunction.)

We loved living in the Now—carefree—without history or tradition or any aspiration beyond our own bodily comfort.

That was how the machines subjugated us, not by violence or revolution, but by giving us everything we want and making everything easier and easier and easiest until all we were or thought was stored in vast data warehouses accessible only to government entities by court order or to the corporations that collected us and owned us and could do with us whatever would increase their profits.

Only after this dull apocalypse did we discover that the place where the people are most complacent is Hell.


Bad Memory


James Frey ( The Trouble With Memoirs — Jan. 23, 2006 — Page 1) appears to have lied in his memoirs. I think the publisher must bear some responsibility when he shopped his book first as fiction, then changed it to a memoir before it was published. I can just hear the publisher’s lackey telling him, “It’s a great book, but it’ll never sell as fiction. It would make a dynamite memoir though.” Maybe no one had to say it, but he appears to have gotten the message.