Kick the Dog

Kick the Dog – the first book trailer for APPLIED BALLARDIANISM… Play it loud.

Excerpt from Applied Ballardianism: A Theory of Nothing

“I can trace my decline, I know I can. That is one of the bittersweet benefits of survival. You can locate the exact point in time when you joined the theatre of the unwell, and let it rise again to the surface to slowly infect the rest of your life like lead poison.

My deterioration began in the mid-90s, quickening with the rise of cyberculture, an incandescent popcult moment when the nascent internet exploded into mass awareness. The net seemed beyond rules and regulation, populated by hackers, anarchists and social undesirables, and, fermented within that heady frontier atmosphere, manifestos were abundant.

Some called for the net to secede and become self governing, others valorised the hackers and digital pirates romanticised in cyberphile magazines like Mondo 2000, Wired and 21C. Meanwhile, distinguished TV personalities floundered about live on air, asking ‘What is internet?’ and struggling with the pronunciation of the ‘@’ symbol.

In those days, the line was clear. You were either a fearless cybertrooper storming the gilded gates of tomorrow or else a clueless rube snowblind from pixel blizzards.

The net was hyped as human evolution. One day, consciousness might even be uploaded into computer mainframes, jettisoning the body like a booster rocket. For cybercultists, the body was dead weight, so much meat, holding back the potential of mind, and cyber fads like body modification enhanced the perception, displaying contempt for biological limitations.

Swept up in the fervour, I pierced my tongue, but instead of ascension to a higher state, all I received was a nasty infection and a speech impediment lasting for months.”