I sometimes wonder if Cyril Kornbluth will be the next Philip K. Dick movie/screenplay-wise. Actually, he may already be – my ties to to the motion picture industry consist of being able to look up titles on IMDB. Two Kornbluth/Pohl collaborations I read ages ago have stuck with me to this day: Gladiator-At-Law and The Space Merchants. Gladiator-At-Law seems especially apposite nowadays, what with the housing finance mess (aka Big Shitpile) – revolving as it does around housing and arcane financial arrangements to obscure who controls what. I wonder whether Pohl or Kornbluth read Gangs of New York; one of the gangs in Belly Rave (a slum housing development originally named Belle Reve) is the Wabbits – surprisingly close to NYC’s Dead Rabbits. Wa-wa-wabbit twacks! Also – struldbrugs! The Space Merchant’s Chicken Little (a huge blob of chicken tissue that’s fed chorella algae -IIRC- and has hunks sliced off that become people food) resonates today as well – here’s a class on animal tissue culture and tissue engineering. I can’t wait for Ron Popeil to get involved – “Makes beef jerky for around $3 a pound, and you know what went in it, because you made it yourself!

Kornbluth hit the silver screen at least once – The Marching Morons fathered Mike Judge’s Idiocracy. I loved the Marching Morons when I first read it – in my defense, I was fourteen – since then, well… It’s great fun, but when you’ve finished there’s a strange odor in the air. I smell eugenics. We’ll ignore the statistical cold water as well – tons of dopes, tiny elite – what are your chances of rolling lucky seven in the can’t-choose-your-parents crapshoot. That’s right – in all likelihood, you’d be one of the pinheads. The Marching Morons does give me an excuse to introduce a great new word: tlonian – adjective applying to a product that has metastisized off the screen and into the real world (see: Holiday Inn) and post a video of an AWESOME new tlonian product from Idiocracy, Brawndo: The Thirst Mutilator. I love Borges.

2 thoughts on “Kornbluth

  1. C.M. Kornbluth – now that’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time. When I was 8 I inherited a pile of SF books from the son of a family friend who had just left for college. It included his novel “Not This August” which really stuck with me. I remember thinking later that it had the same attention to gritty squalid detail that marked Orwell’s “1984″