Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Death of Novelist Shatters Fragile Illusion of Post-Industrial Civilisation

Cold, detached observers - many of them called Jim, Ballard or Jim Ballard - have already begun to note the first signs of the breakdown of society, following the death on Sunday of cult novelist JG Ballard.

"It has only been two days, but already the thin veneer of civilised behaviour is beginning to fracture," warned Ballard, an alienated protagonist. "The death of a single novelist may, at first, hold little or no significance in any wider context. However, the repercussions of this seemingly-unimportant event will ripple remorselessly through the very bedrock of our complacent Western civilisation, challenging the norms of convention which we accept without thinking, and shaking our beliefs in all that we take for granted - until the whole edifice of our technology-dependent worldview falls apart, and we find ourselves fighting for survival in a post-modern tribal conflict."

Another clinically-aloof visionary, Jim, pointed to the rapidly-escalating torrent of pompous obituaries and other portentous Ballard-related articles in the media.

"According to my calculations, in a mere three weeks the amount of material written about Ballard will outstrip the entire global supply of paper," he predicted. "Even the internet will run out of capacity within six months. There will only be one permitted topic of conversation - JG Ballard - and our cosy world will rapidly disintegrate into mutually-antagonistic factions, which will bitterly wage relentless campaigns of extermination against all who favour any other Ballard book over their particular chosen favourite."

Jim then hit Ballard squarely in the face with a Mercedes hood-ornament, leaving a clear imprint.

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