...or on how it is unwritten (i always loved that clash shirt that tom the chicken neck had)
i just finished reading william gibson's idoru yesterday on the train and this actually comes on the heels of a conversation i had with the k at lunchtime about firefly. you see, the k doesn't have cable. cable doesn't do what the k wants and cable cost too much money to him so instead he has netflix which subsequently puts him about 3 to 6 months behind the phenomena we know as television (teacher, mother, secret lover). anyway, he is in the midst of watching firefly on dvd at the moment and was talking about how much he liked it.
for those of you that aren't familiar firefly was created by joss whedon (of buffy fame), and is about a bunch of folks who were on the wrong side of an intergalactic civil war and now live hand to mouth smuggling. they have also essentially become unsavory people. on top of it, it plays out like a western in space. the thing i like about it and idoru and other non rodenberry-esque futures is that it doesn't end well. and i like that. in idoru our hero was experimented on in his youth and it makes him particularly adept at sifting through information and all of his flashbacks are of how his data sifting for a muck racking tv show helped push a woman who was having an affair with a celebrity kill herself. now he's working for a famous rockstar's security team to help them find out why he's trying to marry an artificial intelligence. in other gibson books, drugs are rampant, overcrowding is everywhere and if you are off the grid, you can't interact. i love his notion of virtual reality and i find it quaint that of all of the things he predicted in his body of work (he was the first guy to coin the term cyberspace) he never predicted wireless.
anyway, there is nothing particularly bad about gibson's future but it has a sam fulleresque quality to it. the bastard likes sam. he likes to rub humanity's nose in it's own crap. there are no heroes or villians. just people in a fuller work. now there ARE heroes in a gibson novel but they are flawed, like we all are and i like that. and it makes sense. the star trek future couldn't work out because we are flawed, and petty and bigots and whether we do or not, we like to smoke. or something else like that. that why in alien, 400 years in the future humanity still smokes. that's why in transmetropolitan spider jerusalem smokes and does enough heroin to choke a herd of horses because it highlights our own shitty nature.
besides, if the future became perfect, we'd screw it up anyway