At the Crossroads Between Fiction and Reality: Captain America, Star Trek, Hackgate


Ever feel like the world has gone mad? I do. It seems like every time you open a newspaper, you read a story that could just as easily be the synopsis of a Dan Brown novel, or a Hollywood sci-fi blockbuster. For example:

The Soviet Union had Super Soldiers
If you don’t know the story of Captain America, it’s fairly straight-forward: seven stone weakling Steve Rogers volunteers for a secret WWII experiment that catapults him to the peak of human fitness and superhero iconography. Well, now it turns out that that the Soviet Union had Super Soldiers for real – at least according to Pravda. Sadly, Wired have pointed out that this story is bobbins, which is somehow disappointing; there’s something attractive (if insane) about there being a secret history of superhero analogues sneaking through the shadows of the 20th century.

(Of course, this use of Pravda as pop culture propaganda works both ways – Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry always claimed that Chekov was added to the show’s second season because of Pravda’s complaints that the first nation in space wasn’t represented in Trek‘s utopian future – turns out the complaint had probably never been published.)

The Whole Phone Hacking Thing
I’ve moaned about this before, but here’s another slant on it – the whole thing is playing out like a narrative. Now sure, these things get mediated through the various news agencies and so there’s a reason we call all these disparate events a ‘story’, but this week the narrative has almost starting imposing itself – beyond the core story itself, twists are emerging: the initial whistleblower has been found dead amid allegations of police corruption, Hugh Grant has emerged as one of the heroes – and now Lulzsec and the guy who custard-pied Rupert Murdoch at yesterday’s hearing are positioning themselves as the chaotic, Trickster elements of the whole thing. Our moral outrage is now sitting alongside our anticipation of the next inevitable twist. It’s news-as-inadvertent-theatre, and it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out with regards to how we consume and relate to the news media.

Space-Time Cloak Could Make Events Disappear
This is just crazy.

So there you have it, truth is stranger than fiction. Or maybe fiction is becoming reality. Who knows? But if someone dressed as a giant bat starts taking down gangsters, don’t say I didn’t warn you…


4 thoughts on “At the Crossroads Between Fiction and Reality: Captain America, Star Trek, Hackgate

    1. matthewhyde Post author

      The Kardashians haven’t made it over here, as farcas I can tell – we have our own cut price version in the shape of Jordan. The world’s gone mad – these are the people who make headlines!

  1. peter baxter

    Murdock’s Eulogy by Peter Shakespeare Baxter

    Friends, Readers, countrymen, lend me your ears;
    I come to bury Murdock, not to praise him.
    The evil that men do lives after them;
    The good is oft interred with their bones;
    So let it be with Murdock.
    The noble Orwell hath told you Murdock was ambitious:
    If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
    And grievously hath Murdock answered it.
    Here, under leave of Orwell and the rest –
    For Orwell was an honourable man;
    So are were all, all honourable men –
    Come I to speak at Murdock’s inquest.
    O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
    For all men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
    For my heart is in the custard pie there with Murdock,
    And I must pause till it come back to me.
    A once noble profession graced by the likes
    Of Orwell and Greene as today become the
    Possession of a custard pie.
    A pie cooked in Murdock’s bakery.

    PS that is George Orwell or Eric Blair and Henry Graham Greene for the benefit of journalists everywhere.


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