Lines In Wax

THIRTEEN YEARS OF UNWANTED OPINION

literature

Edward Snowden – Permanent Record (2019)

Edward Snowden – Permanent Record (2019)

I’ve always had a lot of respect for Ed Snowden, and this account, not only of how the powers that be are watching us all, but of the personal journey through his entire life leading up to the point where he decided to spill the US Government’s secrets to us all, echoes that aching question that has always been in the back of my mind when it comes to Snowden. If in the same position as him, and faced with the same dilemma, would you have the guts to come forward? Ed is a natural teacher. He takes pleasure in explaining impossibly technical systems in layman’s terms, and if you’ve spent any time at all watching his webcasts or online appearances, you will read this book and hear his voice in your head as you go along. Permanent Record is a terrifying book. Googling some of the stuff talked about here will get put you on a list, so the man himself says. I wanted to pay for the book in cash at a bricks and mortar store, but my girlfriend bought this for me as a gift. In reality however, Permanent Record doesn’t tell us anything new or revolutionary about the surveillance systems that Snowden made public in 2013. Despite this, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this autobiographical work, and I hope the years are kinder to Mr. Snowden than they are to a lot of other whistleblowers.

Jeff VanderMeer – The Southern Reach Trilogy I: Annihilation (2014)

Jeff VanderMeer – The Southern Reach Trilogy I: Annihilation (2014)

I picked up Annihilation because the film struck something of a chord with me. I couldn’t tell you exactly what it was about the movie, but something about it had me wanting more, wanting to peel back more layers, or more-like, consult the source material in the search for answers to this intriguing puzzle. In book one of the Southern Reach trilogy however, there are no answers. Or, no significant ones. Where the movie channeled Lynch and Kubrick into super-glossy sci-fi New Weird, the novel revels in the smaller details, with intense, skin-crawling biological descriptions and first hand accounts from the unreliable narrator that serves to only deepen this visceral mystery. Once more, as with the movie, I have absolutely no fucking clue as to what the absolute fuck is going on, but this time I don’t find that I mind so much. Haunting, unsettling, and just downright bizarre in all the right ways, I would recommend Annihilation to anyone who doesn’t mind their sci-fi or horror being a little more abstract. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.