But the braggest thing about the feed, the thing that made it really big, is that it knows everything you want and hope for, sometimes before you even know what those things are.Titus and his group of friends are more concerned with following the latest trends and trying to find an activity that doesn't "suck" than with the increasingly hostile world political climate, the fact that trees are being cut down to build air factories, and the mysterious lesions that everyone seems to be getting. Feed is many things: a love story, a coming of age story, a biting satire of America's consumerist culture, and an intriguing "what-if" that takes today's hyperconnectivity to its logical conclusion. At times, Anderson's soapboxing comes on a little too strong, and sometimes one wishes it were possible (technologically speaking) to smack Titus, but in general Feed is well worth a read.
Random Thoughts: What's most disturbing is that the future Anderson has created is not that far-fetched. When I was watching the Daily Show the other night, two things struck me as frighteningly relevant: the recent Supreme Court decision that allows corporate spending on political campaign advertisements, and Bill Gates, who was discussing his foundation's support of educational initiatives. Anderson's world, or at least his America, is controlled primarily by corporations, who have at some point on the past (thoughtfully) stepped in to fund the failing school system.
. . . it's good because that way we know that the big corps are made up of real human beings, and not just jerks out for money, because taking care of children, they care about America's future. It's an investment in tomorrow.This is the subject of another post entirely, but I am an advocate of the public school system, and believe that the road to corporate sponsorship--even as well-intentioned as the Gates Foundation appears to be--is paved with pitfalls.
I listened to Feed on audiobook rather than reading it in a conventional manner, which I have to say (having reviewed the text for quotations used above) was probably the best way to go for this book. The first-person narrative of Feed is filled with interruptions from the actual feed in Titus's head (sales from Weatherbee & Crotch, "banners" from nearby businesses, etc.), and the cast of announcers was pitch-perfect for the flood of smarmy advertisement, complete with requisite techno beats and saccharine children's-show theme music. These interruptions are represented by italics in the written version, and don't have quite the same satiric zing.
Dead Mother: N