Thursday, March 23, 2006

Margaret Atwood Must Destroy All Humans

[News] [Literature]

I've been pretty dismissive of blogs as a social medium; largely because they encourage people to use their idealised inside-on-the-outside persona to interact with the idealised icons of others in a substitute for real social interaction or actually developing social skills. (Not that I engage in much of that "real developing social skills" - it's just that I'm making a conscious choice.)

So naturally my girlfriend, a long-time blogger, had some mocking to do when I started The Dust Forms Words. "But there'll be actual content!" I pleaded; it was all as nought in the face of her tofu-fuelled powers of mockery.

As an incentive for my girlfriend to read my blog (and also because the idea is just cool) I offer the following evidence that Margaret Atwood Must Destroy All Humans (courtesy of Collision Detection, which I found through the wonderful Grand Text Auto).

Margaret Atwood, in what is either:
a) an act of inspired genious,
b) a clever marketing scam, or
c) a blatant act of contempt towards humanity
has taken to signing books via a telepresence robot. She sits in, say, Florida, wiggling a robo-pen, and the miracle of modern technology recreates her movements in, say, Sydney into the book of some unsuspecting plebian. A touch impersonal, you say? Never fear, there's a webcam. You can see her smiling face in all its two-dimensional glory and talk to her while she wiggles the robo-pen.

This elevates the already surreal book-signing phenomenon to a whole new meta-level of absurdity, and I love it. If the search for meaning in getting geniouses with poor social skills to deface your clean expensive product with their bizarre scrawls was a game, then this is (to me) like a whole expansion pack jammed with robot-orientated content goodness.

I plan on making use of this telepresence signing thing. I can happily exhibit a copy of the Blind Assassin, and say, "Look, it was signed by a robot driven by the insane disembodied presence of Margaret Atwood! This proves that I bought the book, attended an Atwood-themed event, and was sufficiently insignificant to her that she saw no need to direct her paper-signing killbot to extinguish my life!" I'll be the talk of town, and small children will envy me.

Now we need to get some of our more youth-challenged bestsellers like William Gibson and Ray Bradbury into these things as soon as possible and record the results; with a little foresight, we can get Stephen King scribbling "To My Constant Reader" to devoted fans long after his rotting corpse has been safely disposed of. Celebrations are in order.


Sylom said...

Ok, this is weird.
Your girlfriend and I have a livejournal friend in common.

Man the Internet is a small place :)


GregT said...

... which one? A big bunch of those people are located in Western Australia. Many of them are relentless zombies dedicated to the eradication of humankind. More information will help inform the human resistance.

Anonymous said...

Wheelofbrie here....

I think I shall return to this here blog more often, if only to stay on top of this robo-signing bonanza.

GregT said...

Subscribe to the feed! All blog, all the time, all in your personal inbox! What's not to love?

Julia B said...

You know, I had previously heard of this idea and thought it was awesome. Then I heard Margaret Atwood started it. She wasted a whole night of my life reading 'Cats Eye' and I refuse to read anything she ever writes ever again, and that includes her signature.