Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Apocalypse Then

...and in the death
as the last few corpses lay rotting on the slimy thoroughfare
the shutters lifted an inch in temperance building
high on poacher's hill
and red mutant eyes gazed down on hunger city
no more big wheels
fleas the size of rats sucked on rats the size of cats
and ten thousand peoploids split into small tribes
coveting the highest of the sterile skyscrapers
like packs of dogs assaulting the glass fronts of love-me avenue
ripping and re-wrapping mink and shiny silver fox
now leg-warmers
family badge of sapphire and cracked emerald
any day now
the Year of the Diamond Dogs...

This ain't rock'n' roll! This is genocide!

Bowie, Diamond Dogs, 1974.

And because I'm in the mood, the eerily beautiful "Sweet Thing"

I was working in the City for a stockbroker on Black Monday in 1987, responsible for developing and managing the trading floor software.

Walking onto the floor that morning and seeing red screens everywhere, I thought I must have made some terrible coding error, and began frantically wondering what I could have got wrong. It was a temporary relief to find out that the red was reality. That was my first taste of The Fear.

One of our traders was out in Ireland on a picnic and decided to show off to the girls by spending the day on his new-fangled mobile telephoonical device. "Buy! Hundred thousand ICI! Buy!"

It has always impressed me that all day not one of the traders he was buying from let on about the markets being in free-fall.

He lost more than £50m.


x said...

I know the feeling. Every time there is a plane crash I wonder if it was a bit of software I wrote accidentally deploying the flaps on take off or something.

Chertiozhnik said...


Luckily for all I've never worked on safety-critical systems, which is why the UK is not strewn with aeroplane pieces, nuclear fireballs etc.