I’m sure by the end of the day everyone will have linked to/quoted this Bruce Sterling year-end interview, so I figured I’d jump in on the action.
Sterling on American denial and vampires:
People have stymied sense of denial about the situation. It’s very neurotic, anxious, and repressed. It’s feeding into a strongly Gothic political temperament where popular culture is haunted by vampires and zombies. The population *identifies* with vampires and zombies, wants to marry them, settle down with them. There’s an autumnal hush over the cultural landscape. People really hope they won’t be hit between the eyes with the two-by-four again, but they also know that they are helpless to defend themselves against the sources of the blows.
Sterling on Brazilians:
I don’t understand why Brazilians don’t whine and complain more, because by world standards their country is still awful, with weird crap going on like armed dope favelas that shoot police helicopters and even ethnic pogroms of harmless Brazilian merchants in Surinam, but Brazilians are like, “Wow! I’m big on Orkut! Look at my new haircut!” They’re like the least High-Tech Gothic and most Favela Chic of all the emergent powers. If they’d just grin more and say “have a nice day” they could be the new Norteamericanos.