James just reminded me of something. We all read Zero History together.
For a book that felt like it was about now that felt important. It bound a bunch of us together in, as James puts it, “a constant, low-level hum of Bigend references, fictional brands, and in-jokes”.
This has happened a couple of times this year. Gibson was the last, Scott Pilgrim before that, that swept through my feeds with near-ubiquity. It suggests a few things: maybe mono-cultures aren’t as dead as we imagine; maybe mono-cultures are totally dead, but the fragments that took their place are bigger than we thought they’d be; perhaps we share our in jokes more readily than we used to; perhaps this happens all the time, but we only remember the biggest (the things we get right?).
This all steps beyond the realm of ‘you can wiki this’. Memory places, memory kingdoms, in-jokes at broadcast depth. Marketing, or something like it. I imagine, if I was a slightly different person, I’d be adding Nike Grid or X-Factor to the list. This is all big media, operating at a global scale, and that I can cite the examples I do probably means we’re none of us beyond it.
I think I forgot that the internet didn’t kill the zeitgeist. I think I forgot that some things don’t move as quickly as a news cycle.
P.S. A wiki-hole found me some startlingly Gibsonian fashion, Nom de Guerre.