Paranoia or reality?

les territoires du nord ouest

Before I do the review of this book, I would like for you to listen, watch, think about to this must-have, classic song “Use me” by legendary soul singer Bill Withers who must have a place in your collection of music. Play it in loop for better effect!

With the lyrics and power of this amazing song in mind, I would like to give samples of this amazing, mind bending, graphic fantasy written by Laurent Chabin called “Les Territoires Du Nord- Ouest” or in English “Territories of the Northwest”, this title is already provocating given the fact I live in the Northwest of the great US of A, but this story has such reach that it could be applied anywhere capitalism is at work.

Laurent Chabin has written this grab-at-your-throat story with a narrative voice that seems to be always yelling about a vicious and corrupt society where shit, -and please excuse my french, but it is highly appropriate in this case- is everywhere. I usually don’t read this kind of book, but it’s a class assignment and I intend to read more of him when I will have nothing else to do if you catch my drift.

Anyways, the story itself is in a loop, but once in a while the writer gives great insights in our society, so I took the liberty to translate his best quotes:

“what’s beautiful about Game, is the belief that you can win”

“who needs slavery nowadays, when people are willing to work for a minimum wage?”

“anxiety, depression, and no time to relax-and thus less productive! that’s where the enemy was: the uncertainty of the future, the fear to not market oneself well, to not conform to the current market, to be a useful member of society to the same title as a machine or a building, and for which maintenance and proper usage are needed, insecurity and uncertainty will disappear.”

The following quote is quite interesting given what’s going in Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya: “as soon as there is an obligation, there is refusal and cheating. it is coercion that creates revolt. all dictators know that. because fear only last for a while.”

“when you don’t know what’s good, you wouldn’t desire it either.”

“the only difference between reality and representation is that representation is real.”

“workers who have decided to work more than 60 hours a week, are incredibly efficient, because since they have chosen it, they can decide to become martyrs by adding more!” : So true, I know people who complain about their jobs just to be admired for their bravery under such ‘harsh’ conditions.

“information can’t be controlled. we don’t create information, information creates us. its only weakness is its own excess.”

“riches could only be enjoyed when displayed publicly.”

and my all time favorite quote for those who believe in the power of narration: “there is only truth in narration: the world gets made as we narrate it, even though the listener and the narrator still don’t get it. when the narrator shuts up, he stops from existing. the only thing left is the story to be believed.”

These are just few gems that I picked out of a story that could leave you haunting because of its insights into our modern society.

I have my interpretation of these quotes which I don’t want to bore you with, because I rather listen to what you have to say or I could just read your mind–mmmm, no I think reading what you have to say is the best way!

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