Starbucks is a jungle

I’m sitting here like a prat in a coffee shop renowned throughout the modern world as the natural habitat of prats with laptops who, in their whole attitude and disposition, claim to be writers. I’m struggling to make sense of a world of my own design and construction. In fact, I grapple with an idea so arcane that previous science-fiction writers who entertained it had to be institutionalized.

I look up from my MacPro to gaze at the ceiling … Read more

Starbucks and the social construction of reality

Sara and I are having breakfast at Starbucks. Being a kee niaow species of curmudgeon, I’m complaining about everything from the prices to the clonish docking of people and their digital devices. Discerning impatience in her manner, I eventually desist.

“Give me a break,” she says, going on to explain that Starbucks doesn’t sell coffee; it sells a lifestyle experience, and I should dummy up about it, she’s trying to relax.

Ah, I reply. So we’re banking some sort of … Read more

Living is storytelling: Narrative realities

Overheard, an item of happy hour flotsam: “I never read fiction. I’m only interested in the real world.”

Yeah, well. So you go ahead and tell me all about your ‘real world.’

narrative and living didionPersonality, culture, our realities themselves are narrative in structure. We and our worlds are stories we tell ourselves and each other, individually and collectively. This is something most people don’t understand. Reality is a social construct. Always. Once people do recognize this, even only tacitly, then the construction … Read more

Hot times: A weather forecast

Forecast: Cloudy times, with a good chance of precipitate moral outrage.

demagogue

chimp angryHere in Bangkok, and just about wherever else in this world you look, the moral warriors are out and about on all sides making angry chimp faces at each other. So what’s new, eh?

In the course of a recent archaeological investigation of my hard drive, I came across the following screed, composed sometime in the mid-1990s, judging by associated potshards of popular culture and carbon 14 dating of … Read more

Good distractions and bad distractions

starbucksSometimes I like to work in coffee shops. Spending too much time alone in my office back home can leave me bushed. It’s also true that some cafés, at least, offer just the right type of distraction. The establishments I favor tend to have regular appearances of eye candy upon which I might rest my weary eyes — much like a nanny app that keeps me looking away from my computer the way I’m supposed to, warding off the dreaded … Read more

New you’s: Modular commodification

 

I am Nikon. I am my iPhone. I am a chimera, a mongrel composite of my Levis, my Dockers, my Tilly hat, my Bush Country SUV.

I am whoever I choose to be. I am whatever. I am a staunch iconic mashup doing my part to keep the wheels of industry turning. I am my modular personality du jour compliments of the advertising industry and my own f***wittedness. Cool.

 

But it gets weirder than that. And maybe more … Read more

Autonomous smartphones: Is your gadget evolving?

So I’m sending an SMS on my iPhone, and I’m using “jesus christly” as a compound adjective, when this phone, even though it’s only a 2G model, takes the liberty of capitalizing “Jesus”. What’s next? It’ll probably start offering prayers to Him on my behalf. Maybe even promising I’ll do a 20-year tour of duty as a missionary in Africa if only the babe over there at that other table, here in Starbucks (which I never frequent), gives … Read more