Vale JG Ballard…long live the Metro Centre!

April 23, 2009

JG Ballard passed away on the weekend. An amazing literary talent has left us, one whose later works were, in my humble opinion, sheer genius.

Best source for stories about his death is here. Its a great site run by Simon Sellers. Its a little bit of a pomo wankfest, but informative, detailed and sincere.

I wrote this post below Sellers obit, comments and tributes are welcome there:

“A genius, who saw the future. He didn’t write science fiction in his later years he wrote science fact. His prescience about a new form of fascism being the only legitimate form of resistance to later day Capitalism, in his last novels, could not be closer to the truth. Viva The Metro Centre, James! Something is coming, you won’t live to see it, JG…but many will…”

I think it says all I need to say…

Here is a visual tribute to one of Ballard’s last books, the masterful career ending Kingdom Come, with its Metro Centre, a mall that acts as a site of a people’s uprising. The mock Metro Centre website is here. I love these photos, a guy looking in a rubbish bin with a light emanating from it, a guy depressed in a shipping department with headline “Sale Now On”, other ads promoting losing it and going completely crazy, and the last chestnut, “The Wait is almost over”. This is an advertising campaign supposedly designed by and featuring character David Cruise from “Kingdom Come”, that was created to publicise said novel. Its intentions are to unsettle and unhinge people with the utter and complete emptiness of capitalism, thereby fostering some form of new fascist revolution. Indeed, that is the purpose of the book, also. Don’t believe me? Read the book… tell me if I wrong…



3 Responses to “Vale JG Ballard…long live the Metro Centre!”

  1. Shane Lyons said

    His work has an irony and ambivalence which seems to escape you.

  2. j g ballard’s very last short story @ that bastion of touchy feeliness :


  3. richard777 said

    Don’t tell me we both like something, i.e JG Ballard? RE: Your Comment. Maybe you dont fully get it, Shane… Remember Vaughan in Crash saying that he uses post modern talk of studying traffic systems and the implications of technology merely as a front for his revolutionary project of psychopathology? Maybe you see nothing under the satire and irony, because you are afriad of its implications?

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