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The Hipcrime Vocab

03 Feb

“The real universe has a marvellous and unique quality, in as much as it, and only it, can take us completely by surprise” —John Brunner

Published in 1968, a year I’ll come back to in a future post, John Brunner’s Stand on Zanzibar contains a number of entries from this fictional reference book by Dr. Chad C. Mulligan. I thought it would be interesting to collect them. If you enjoy them, go and buy the book.

ART

A friend of mine in Tusla, Okla., when I was about eleven years old. I’d be interested to hear from him. There are so many pseudos around taking his name in vain.

COINCIDENCE

You weren’t paying attention to the other half of what was going on.

CRYING WOLF

An ad-hoc form of Pavlovian conditioning adopted by those with a lust for power to prevent the people due to be slaughtered in the next war from taking them out and humanely drowning them.

HIPCRIME

You committed one when you opened this book. Keep it up. It’s our only hope.

HUMAN BEING

You’re one. At least if you aren’t you know you’re a Martian or a trained dolphin or Shalmaneser. If you want me to tell you more about that you’re out of luck. There’s nothing more anybody can tell you.

IMPOSSIBLE

Means: 1 I wouldn’t like it and when it happens I won’t approve; 2 I can’t be bothered; 3 God can’t be bothered. Meaning 3 may perhaps be valid but the others are 101% whaledreck.

LEADERSHIP

A form of self-preservation exhibited by people with autodestructive imaginations in order to ensure that when it comes to the crunch it’ll be someone else’s bones which go crack and not their own.

LOGIC

The principle governing human intellection. Its nature may be deduced from examining the two following propositions, both of which are held by human beings to be true and often by the same people: “I can’t so you mustn’t,” and “I can but you mustn’t.”

NEGRO

Member of a subgroup of the human race who hails, or whose ancestors hailed, from a chunk of land nicknamed—not by its residents—Africa. Superior to the Caucasian in that negroes did not invent nuclear weapons, the automobile, Christianity, nerve gas, the concentration camp, military epidemics, or the megalopolis.

NEW POOR

People who are too far behind with time-payments on next year’s model to make the down-payment on the one for the year after.

PATRIOTISM

A great British writer once said that if he had to choose between betraying his country and betraying his friend, he hoped he would have the decency to betray his country. Amen, brothers and sisters! Amen!

POPULATION EXPLOSION

Unique in human experience, an event which happened yesterday but which everyone swears won’t happen until tomorrow.

RUMOUR

Believe all you hear. Your world may not be a better one than the one the blocks live in but it’ll be a sight more vivid.

SHALMANESER

That real cool piece of hardware up at the GT tower. They say he’s apt to evolve true consciousness one day. Also they say he’s as intelligent as a thousand of us put together, which isn’t really saying much , because when you put a thousand of us together look how stupidly we behave.

UNFAIR

Term applied to advantages enjoyed by other people which we tried to cheat them out of and didn’t manage. See also DISHONESTY, SNEAKY, UNDERHAND and JUST LUCKY I GUESS.

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Posted by on February 3, 2011 in Literature

 

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