(This got delivered to my door just today by a weird old bloke in a trilby who walked with a limp, then wandered off.)
I don't know what kind of alternate bizarro universe Pandeism Fish above lives in, but in my 2028... well, let's just say it's like the 1980s tabletop role-playing game Cyberpunk come to life, almost. High tech and low life. Massive income inequalities. Enormous gleaming penis-shaped skyscrapers that fuck the sky next door to horrific slums. Armed police (I honestly never thought we'd see the day here in Britain, but now every PC looks like Robocop.) I give you an example. Some Russian megagarch came over to the City of London recently - I can't say who for fear of libel tourism, but let's just say he made out like a bandit plundering the Donbass for the past fourteen years - and made all the shit-sites devote endless memory space to him buying the top floors of Heron Tower out of the cash he had in hand. Literally. He cracked open a suitcase full of fifties and declared the whole place now his. Outside, one of his hangers on kicked a homeless man to death for sport and paid the Police to look the other way. I remember back in '13 that film Kick Ass 2 where the bad guy, The Mother Fucker, played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse (who later became famous for 3 Guys 4 Aardvarks) says that his superpower is that he's "rich as shit." If you are in the .1% now, you can literally get away with anything.
The rest of us... well, we're taxed too much, for a start. 50% top rate income tax? Yeah, they lowered the threshold on that pretty quickly. There's a debate as to whether HMRC inspectors should be able to carry guns in the line of duty. Probably because KPMG and Ernst & Young and PwC started hiring trigger-happy guards for all their offices (Guns became legal in '22 here during the first UKIP government.) The result is that the .1% and multinational businesses only pay tax for PR purposes while the rest of us have every line on our bank statements scrutinised and are forced on pain of immediate arrest to explain, NOW, what they were. Meanwhile, when they get it wrong (because they hire little eichmanns with no brains between them) it takes them ages to get back to you with a decision, and the tax courts are constantly overworked. There's a food bank at the end of my road. It always sees a surge in business in April.
Cybernetic implants are real. They don't eat your soul, despite what His Majesty "bangs on" (his words, not mine) about. Yep. Chuckie Bum is king. Amazingly, the monarchy survives despite overwhelming Republican sentiment from the middle classes. That means Wills is the Prince of Wales (despite the incident with the artichoke last Christmas). He's still married to Kate despite efforts from the gutter press (notably the Sun Online) to I. provoke them into a divorce, or II. crash into their car inside a motorway tunnel. No shit. That actually happened. A Murdoch (yes, he's still going, and does have cybernetic implants) apparatchik was imprisoned for trying to kamikaze her car into Princess Kate's a while back.
Communications standards are just nuts. You know how in the New Tens people thought it rude not to respond to an e-mail within 15 minutes? Try 15 seconds. And try it when all e-mail clients now show your response to the other person in real time as you're typing (or thinking) it. I got fired a couple of years back because I didn't turn off my Thinkpiece implant when a particularly annoying but rich client emailed me and my immediate reaction was to think "fuck me running, what a tiresome cuntpipe." In some professional circles, turning off your Thinkpiece is considered very poor etiquette. Most blogs are now algorithm-generated listicles because they're faster to research and generate automatically than they are to read. In fact, in the time it's taken me to produce this node, Thoughtcast (think Buzzfeed back in '14) has expanded by another 2 petabytes. With unmitigated crap.
Me personally? I'm fighting fit and as slim as I'll ever be - or ever could be, in fact. I have a special stomach implant that chemically analyses your food, hacks your brain into thinking you're sated, then only provides what nutrients you really need to get to your perfect weight and body fat percentage. Result - I can have a grease stop every day and not need to spend tiresome hours running or in a gym or suchlike to get rid of it. The only downside is I shit. A lot. It's a bit disconcerting but you get used to it. It also gives me an unfair advantage in negotiations as well. I take out the opposition to a massive liquid lunch, after disabling absorption or digestion of alcohol, then drink them under the table before getting them to drunkenly scrawl their sig on the bottom of a consent order that is massively in my client's favour.
Number 1 in the charts this week? I forget. Andy Warhol said everyone would be famous for fifteen minutes but nowadays, two minutes are a good stretch. You strike it lucky and end up trending on social media for a few minutes with something, and if you're lucky you'll sell millions of downloads. You will be listened to once probably and then discarded. There's plans to update the Top 40 daily rather than weekly.
Then there's global warming. Yes. It is taking place - or isn't, depending on what the weather's like this week. Or so public discourse would have you believe. The Chinese won't agree to any climate treaties, of course. Last week they described the Lancaster Protocol as "yet another feeble attempt by the forces of reaction to derail the People's Republic and the Revolution" and summarily executed another 2,000 environmentalists. The Aral Sea is gone though. The World Dune Bashing Championships are slated to be held there in 2030.
ISIS continues to pop up and cause grief every so often. Bit of a masterstroke by MI6 a while back where they circulated photoshopped images of al-Baghdadi fucking a teenage boy up the arse while a girl in a burka smacks them both with a riding crop. The rank and file Daeshis, being comprised of the worst sexist and homophobic scum from Middle Eastern and South Asian immigrant communities around the world, decided that they wouldn't work for a pussy-whipped poofter and set to creating splinter groups and splinter groups off those splinter groups. They now spend most of their time fighting each other. Life still sucks for people in northern Iraq and Syria though.
But the most important thing - is E2 still about in 2028? Yes. It's still always dying though but maintains a respectable churn of members. I don't know how it manages though. Nobody I speak to in reality's ever heard of it.