Yesterday, in our staff meeting a book that my boss and I have recently read came up. It's titled 'Super Sad True Love Story' by Gary Shteyngart. It is a great and terrifying modern satire of the famous book '1984' and when I say terrifying, I mean it. I read this book at the end of last year, and it continues to stay and haunt me throughout my everyday actions. In this futuristic world, scantily-clad fashionistas have flooded the mainstream, smart phones broadcast every facet of your being from your credit score to your so-called 'f**kability' for everyone to hear or see posted on towers throughout the cities. No one reads books, they are relatively obsolete and viewed as historical artifacts. The story follows a man who has not quite learned how to adapt to this fast-paced technology driven world, though he desperately wants to fit in and be admired. He meets a much younger girl and becomes almost obsessed with her. It follows their disfunctional relationship amidst growing international debt and terror crises.
I often think about this book when I go on facebook and see the ridiculous amounts of personal information that people choose to share. I think about this book when I see young kids masterfully navigating their parents iPhones, slowly being molded into another iSlave drone. (Don't get me wrong, I love Apple and own many of their products, but nonetheless view them as a corporation that has preyed on the minds and wallets of consumers desperate to feel as though they are part of the in-crowd.) I think about this book when I read about the 'Occupiers' and their efforts to enact change through passive and practical inaction. As they destroy public property, vandalize locals business and overall bring havoc to their local neighborhoods...I wonder to myself if Mr. Shteyngart has more than just a gift for writing...but a certain clairvoyance.