Zadie Smith–“Meet the President!” (New Yorker, August 12 & 19, ) | I Just Read About That
Zadie Smith: “Meet the President! . A graphic novel might be another approach: two characters inhabiting two different landscapes on the. He indeed—well, not really—met the President. by Zadie Smith world of Bill Peek, which is a nice theme the whole work could work toward. This is a most unexpected story from Zadie Smith. other people it will stop his mission of meeting The President–his will be the fastest mission.
Bill is pleased to have the beach to himself so he can plug in. But then he is approached by an old lady with a young girl.
The girl, Agatha, is simple. And both of the women talk to Bill even though he is doing his best to ignore them while he interacts with his virtual goggles. Bill is deep in his world, creating his avatar which has breasts and a tail and by arming himself with grenades and knives. He is trying to create the landscape. Other users wondered whether you should augment the area around you or use a more or less barren world as your basis.
‘Meet The President!’ by Zadie Smith
Bill has chosen the barren world and learns that it is three miles to the White House. Then she asks Bill to look after Agatha for a few minutes. He nods, but in the game, so the woman takes it as a real nod and leaves.
She is afraid of missing the viewing and of being tracked by the drones of the Program. Bill says she is innocent and has nothing to worry about from the Program. While remaining in his virtual world, he begins talking to the girl. And he feels a human moment where he is compelled to touch the girl and then immediately sends it out virtually as a human moment. In this world, environmental degradation Scotland has now become a tropical country and wide-spread warfare have caused the gap between rich and poor to open so widely that little privileged teenagers like Bill Peek now wear computers inside their heads and fly??
Meanwhile, places like England have been ravaged by flooding, fires, war, and grinding poverty, and the remaining inhabitants read: Aggie's sister, all of 12 years old, had already become the town tart.
“Meet the President!” by Zadie Smith « The New Yorker Fiction Review
What Smith is doing here is simultaneously charting the course of technology, societal stratification, and human alienation all at once.
It's clear from Bill Peek's interaction with Aggie and some of the other townspeople that he is completely uncomfortable around actual people, strangers.13th National Black Writers Conference 2016-Conversation With Michael Eric Dyson
Not in the normal way one might be uneasy around strangers, but because he has no social skills. When an old woman introduces herself to him, he feels silly, "like someone in an old movie. Wonder what she could be pointing to here? Smith might be accused of laying it on a little thick, but that's what spec fiction is all about, in my opinion: In reality, I doubt it would get this bad, but Smith's not concerned with reality here.
The New Yorker Fiction Review
She writes enough books about that. She's turning the volume up to 11 on what she sees as some disturbing societal trends, in order to call attention to the absurdities of modern life.
Is it absurd that a 15 year old kid can have the entire history of a town in East Anglia fed to him by computer, in a millisecond, and already be bored by the town before he's ever been there?
Ranking it against other towns he's never been to? When Aggie asks Bill Peek to take her to the church where her sister is buried, he corrects her, saying "Not a church," and reciting the building's history. Though, mind you, he's never been there. It's as though the overabundance of information has caused an almost inhumane type of arrogance to become the norm. Smith is painting, in vivid detail, what it looks like when people value information over wisdom, speed over process, and lose their humanity as a result.
It's really not to hard to look out into the world, in your daily interactions, and see this kind of behavior everywhere already. In this story the lower class people, who do not have the computers attached to their heads, are the only ones with any manners left.