Imagine: the super economy
Outward beauty as a source of happiness has been outpaced by money. Since then fashion by Armani, Versace, DKNY, YSL and Prada has never been shown in front of he rich, but by the rich.” —M.H. Vesseur, “Burning Neil Armstrong”
Now that the English translation of Burning Neil Armstrong is on my computer screen for a final check, I realize that I started writing it before the historic events of September 11 2001. Its first publication didn’t take place until 2002, but the world was a different place while I was writing my way through this imaginary super economy towards the footsteps of our first man on the moon.
There was less emphasis on wars, that much I remember. This becomes evident in the story, when it tells you that ‘the courtrooms are the new battlefields of our time’. That feels slightly at odds with the present, which is so full of new battlefields.
Still, that doesn’t diminish the prospect of this projected super economy. Because in this violent second decade of the 21st century, the economy has, in many ways, become even more important to even more people. World leaders are increasingly busy with economic problems, and they return to the forefront faster the next time.
This story is therefore still a metaphor and so I decided not to change anything to the original text. We may feel less rich as a society than we did at the turn of the century, but the economy’s grip on us all has tightened. There is no way we are going to be able to exaggerate that grip. And if we do, as in Burning Neil Armstrong, it serves an important purpose: to wake ourselves up to the possibility, however remote, that we are moving beyond a point of no return.
PS The above text is from the preface of the ebook containing Burning Neil Armstrong. I’m proud to say this story was originally published in the literary magazine Nymph (Amsterdam 2002). More information and links to Amazon, Apple iBooks and Kobo are on this page.