a well-written guide to our shitty future

I’d been meaning to share this article by Douglas Coupland, in which he offers “A Radical Pessimist’s Guide to the Next 10 years.” It’s 45 quick, pithy ways things are going to be different whether we like it or not. A few favorites:

9) The suburbs are doomed, especially thoseE.T. , California-style suburbs

This is a no-brainer, but the former homes will make amazing hangouts for gangs, weirdoes and people performing illegal activities. The pretend gates at the entranceways to gated communities will become real, and the charred stubs of previous white-collar homes will serve only to make the still-standing structures creepier and more exotic.


17) You may well burn out on the effort of being an individual

You’ve become a notch in the Internet’s belt. Don’t try to delude yourself that you’re a romantic lone individual. To the new order, you’re just a node. There is no escape.

I think the beauty of this list is how widely varied his points are, how short and simple they’re stated, and how true they all feel.

Any one of these points could be an entire treatise, but instead, it’s a list of pithy points that feels disturbingly right on.

This is something a lot of great writers, comedians (see last post), politicians, and even marketing strategists/copywriters have in common: a real talent for telling us things that we already believe, but either didn’t know consciously, or hadn’t quite put into the best words.

Convincing someone of something is hard when you have to present a long, reasoned, evidence-backed case. And with enough time, research, art direction, word-smithing and so on, really anyone could do that. But the most impressive folks, the ones I aspire to be like, are the people who can cut all that part out and just deliver that sense of “Yes! That’s exactly how I feel!” in one artfully stated sentence.

[Nevermind the clear evidence on this blog that I still have a long way to go, since every post containing one interesting idea is about five paragraphs long. Discipline, my good man!]


Also in the department of things that just feel true in your core: the new album by No Age. Top five of the year, at least. I’ve been ‘Fever Dreaming‘ and ‘Glitter’-ing like crazy for the past month since seeing them open for Pavement. Highly recommended.

Posted: November 1st, 2010
at 8:14pm by briancollapsing

Tagged with , , , ,

Categories: thoughts

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