The Transfiguration

everything is sacred

Bunker of the Day #2440

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Bunker of the Day #2440

In Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, most of the world is owned by corporations. Government is in decline; instead of being a citizen of a country, for a reasonable fee you can become a citizen of a corporate chain, such as Mr. Lee’s Greater Hong Kong, and you can expect to be welcome at any of their many locations around the world.

The U.S. government still does exist, though, and they cling tightly to the last of their dwindling power. One of the characters works for them in a massive concrete fortress of an office building – slim windows, a heartless exterior. I didn’t realize it when I was reading the book, but when I pictured those headquarters, this is the building I was imagining.

The Bart takes me by this building every day, and when I pass it I see it as the building from the book, almost as if it were the very same place. All of the peculiarities of that book bleed out from there – the couriers with their unstoppable skateboards, the virtual reality Internet, the pizza delivered courtesy of the American Mafia, the katana-wielding hacker extraordinaire of a protagonist.

I enjoyed the book, but it didn’t resonate with me like some others have, so I was surprised to find that it has established itself in my daily consciousness, if only a little.

What actually happens in this building is a complete mystery to me, but until I learn the truth – which may never happen – it will simply be the last stronghold of a government struggling to stay relevant.

tell it by heart

Written by Umbrella Man

May 29, 2015 at 12:25 am

Posted in places

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