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Mike Davis:

Open Media
PO Box 2726
Westfield, NJ, 07091

22 pp., $3.50

What will Los Angeles (or any major city) be like in the year 2109? Davis sorts out the possibilities in this chap, the 23rd in OPEN Magazine's pamphlet series. While it probably won't be like that depicted in the film Blade Runner, it probably won't be any better either. Projecting a "Gibsonian" map of future L.A. and drawing somewhat from the work of Ernest W. Burgess and his diagram projection of Chicago from the 1920's, Davis brings current socioeconomic-political factors to bear on his vision. From this basis we see our cities becoming technologically and physically segregated into zones of protection and/or terror. We have begun to build cages to sustain ourselves in an urban landscape grown increasingly hostile due to vast economic disparities. The rich live in gated protected regions while the poor are relegated to a high-tech maintained urban wasteland that amounts to an anarchic prison colony. Current and potential municipal strategies provide ample evidence that these agencies of control are already established and need only augment themselves to "perfect" the dystopia.

The most provocative aspect of the whole thing however is that this may be the future not only of the megalopolis, but small cities and towns as well. Does your town have Neighborhood Watch, or a SWAT team? These ideas originated from the Los Angeles Police Department's attempt to control the burgeoning multi-ethnic population. As always with the OPEN series of pamphlets, this is a chilling indictment of the forces of control. Ignorance is slavery.--Jake Berry

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This review originally appeared in TapRoot Reviews #2,
Copyright Burning Press 1993, 1995.

Contact the editor, luigi-bob drake, at Burning Press