The thing that surprises me most about this book is the lack of caveat that I got from the various people that recommended I read it. Granted: the writing style is easy to read; there are some funny parts; it covers numerous subjects in which I have interest (raves, computers, drugs, communal living); it’s about a cult (which is how some people insist on characterizing my project).
Despite all those seeming pluses, Rushkoff manages to fuck it up. The psychedelic experiences he describes are questionably accurate; the uses of computing technology ludicrous at best. The raves he gets about right, except that I’ve never seen kids knocking over speakers trying to get off on the bass. The characters exaggerate the importance of people and ideas to fit their conspiracy theories. Rushkoff conspires with them by telling us, unconvincingly, what outrageous and extraordinary things those characters are doing. He even has the gall to dig up the grave of WarGames and throw in some scenes where Pig hacks into “important” computer systems. How early eighties.
But I’ll stop ranting because I’m making the book out to be worse than it is. I’m just miffed because someone wrote a book about people in my generation doing the things that I’m doing and my life is far less exciting or ridiculous.