Trends for Cyberpunk | Arranged Marriages

In ToC, we examine up-and-coming trends that just might have made into common western culture by 2020 and beyond. And this is what FOX thinks will be the Next Big Thing:

Because Mom Said So: Are Arranged Marriages the Next Big Trend?

“The best way to find your partner for life could very well be the oldest: the arranged marriage, according to one trend exper: ‘Today is the era of the arranged couple who fall into love around the birth of the first child,’ said Marian Salzman, co-author of “Next Now: Trends for the Future.”

“It sounds traditional, but in some ways so much of the future is back to the past, turbo-charged,” she said.

Arranged marriages have been part of many cultures for thousands of years, primarily born out of the desire and/or need for a financial, political or property-based partnership. As America expanded multi-culturally, this custom filtered through as certain ethnic groups sought to preserve cultural and class traditions.

But, contrary to the “old” arranged marriage, in which children are forbidden from choosing their own partners, the modern arranged marriage is not about being forced into federation. It’s about relying on the matchmaking mastery of Mom and Dad.

“This is about picking a marriage partner — not about falling into bed for a world-class romance,” said Salzman, whose trend forecasts are based on pattern recognition and what stylemakers are talking about. “There is a newfound interest in letting someone else solve the love dilemma,” she explained. “We’re on option overload, and we’re maxed out in terms of time, and we’d all love a partner. So it makes sense to enlist those who know us best to forge a proper and satisfying match.”

One such woman who has been happily hitched for 14 years — thanks to her folks’ marriage pick — is 38-year-old Tomoko Chibana. “I always knew my parents would find me a lovely gentleman, so I was able to concentrate very hard on my professional studies while at university*,” said Chibana, who was born in Japan and now lives in New York City with her husband and their three children.

*Now replace “parents” by “corporation” and you know where this might have evolved into by 2020…

I never had to waste time looking for love. After graduation I started working, got married and had a family.”

*Scarily effective from a mega-corporate point of view, indeed

Chibana believes that one of the primary misconceptions of arranged marriage is that just because it is a traditional concept, it must mean traditional male/female duties. “I am more than just a housewife,” she declared. “I am a career woman who has traveled the world and built my own fortune independent from my husband as well.”(…) Most experts believe arranged marriages will never be commonplace in America.
“We’re too individualistic, too much into personal freedom,” said Dr. Robert Epstein, a visiting psychology scholar at the University of California, San Diego, and host of the satellite radio program “Psyched!”

“On the other hand, I think the way we seek love will change, in part because of what we can learn from arranged marriages in other cultures. We leave love entirely to chance, but in many arranged marriages, people deliberately learn to love over time.”

So is it really possible that just by giving it a go, a solid relationship can grow out of an arrangement?

“There have been many arranged marriages that started out as being for the family, power, property and procreation, and love grew out of that bond,” Veshinski said. “It is believed that assisted marriage is about having others help to go through the stack of potential spouses to find those that meet the criteria for top-10 status, so that the potential bride or groom can have a smaller but more appropriate pool to choose from.”

Salzman said arranged marriage makes sense in a world in which the search for “the one” has disappointed so many people.

“I think of so many of my friends who married for lust or ‘true love,’ and most are now divorced, cheating or lost in therapy,” said Salzman. “Who knows what true love is? Thus we seek true partnership — and we rely upon others to help us pick suitable partners.”

More Hello Kitty Craziness

Once you have started collecting stuff and following weird links to a certain suspect … erh … subject, you end up in very strange places indeed. This week’s excursion brings us to Youtube, where we find a collection of everything Hello Kitty from guns to dental work, tarot cards and hash pipes, one pseudo-exclusive vid of the Hello Kitty Gun in pseudo-action and a (fake) interview with the Prime Minister of Japan about the Hello Kitty Gun! Enjoy!

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Continue reading “More Hello Kitty Craziness”

Cyberpunk Fashion Scan 1: Boots

Blog | Cyberpunk Fashion Scan

11 02 2008
“Attitude is everything” is and always has been the rallying cry for all true Cyberpunks. And what better to project one’s attitude than the way you dress and style yourself?

In this and other articles of the same venue, I’ll try to shed some light on the various fashion trends that make up Cyberpunk fashion. Today – and tomorrow. In addition to “classic” EBM and Industrial fashion – and Gothic fashion galore, of course – you will also see what new technologies – like the “wearable computer” – can contribute to future fashion trends.

For this first edition of the Cyberpunk Fashion Scan CFS, let’s take a look at shoes.

All of the following examples are real and actually quite buyable shoes from the German shop X-tra-x (available in German or English). I don’t know if they ship to customers outside Germany, but I think so. They are located here in Berlin and have greatly contributed to what can be called a “renaissance” of hard combat boots.


Click on any thumbnail for a larger picture!

One of the pics above features a cool fashion item not for the foot, but the forearm. Have you discovered it? *g*

Please check also this website that features an ongoing Cyberpunk fashion project. And if you know other sites with or about Cyberpunk fashion, please leave a comment!

Hello Kitty craze – the female 'punk no longer wears leather

Damn, wasn’t I in love with tough Molly Millions when I read William Gibsons Neuromancer for the first time. Implanted Mirrorshades, Rippers under the fingernails and tight leather pants… he defined the look of tough ladies for ages. But these days, a girl with crowd approval needs to be cute. Even if you are a cyberpunk. Especially, if you’re a cyberpunk!

But we from are well aware of the difficulties to brave a dangerous dystopian world and look cute while firing an fully automated shotgun at a gang of cybercrazed boosters. We gave you the Hello Kitty assault rifle, a Hello Kitty handgun, and more pink guns than you can shake a stick at. But we realize that a gun is not the only fashion statement the female punk can make. You ladies are usually very interested in your fingernails, so we can help you there.

If that’s overdoing for you, check out these Hello Kitty Contact Lenses – they really freak me out!

Depending on the change in your pocket, there is cheaper or more expensive transport available for you. As you can see, the Hello Kitty franchise keeps the girl punk covered: Look cute while being deadlier then Molly Millions ever was!

Defending CP2020

Many people think that Cyberpunk 2020 is outdated, because the game makes assumptions on the future that – meanwhile – have proven to be wrong.

That’s okay. Let them. They are right.

But: What can be done about that? There are three basic “roads” open to “revamp” or adjust Cyberpunk 2020 to keep it up with the pace of technology and society:

  1. Ignore the problem. Hey, to err is human. To ignore is divine. You can just say that Cyberpunk 2020 follows a timeline that may have been our own up until nineteen80something. But which went another way since then. This way you can just stick with the oversized mobile phones and the huge “computer in a suitcase” stuff from CP2020. Our world went iPod. CP2020 went Cyber. Deal with it – by not dealing with it.
  2. Revamp the system. This is the Cyb3rpunk way to go: Either redo the whole system (or use the HARDWIRED setting instead, which is less of a contradiction to our “real here and now”) or – if you don’t want to trash your ongoing CP2020 campaign – move the timeline ahead 5-10 years and use this “gap” to place historical events that explain the change in the setup (you can use the articles tagged “cyb3rpunk” on this website for inspiration).
  3. Use your imagination, dammit! “So a mobile phone costs over a hundred eb and still looks rather huge in CP2020? Well, players, of course you can have a sleek mobile phone for free from one of the corporations – but I thought we were playing CYBERPUNK here. And Edgerunners sure are paranoid, so they use “overexpensive” (and dead-ugly) mobile phones from a small manufacturer in some far-away land that doesn’t sell out its customers to the IRS and the LEDiv.” This third road is somewhat a mix of the 1st and 2nd way to handle “contradictions”. It’s not the most elegant (that would be totally revamping the setting) nor the most time-efficient (that would be to ignore everything), but it takes “the best of both worlds”. The only thing you have to do is take a fresh look at CP2020 tech and gear and make up explanations for seemingly (key word!) incorrect prices and stats. Memory Unit seem too small? “That’s 1 MU for Data PLUS the necessary encryption or license attachment”. Laptop computer seem too huge? “That’s because in 2020 you need extra powerful radio transmitters to cut through all the electronic smog”/”That’s including acid rain protection”/”That’s the model of the only independent manufacturer left in the ISA”/”That’s pimp style, because size DOES matter”.

Have fun!

Bizarre Nomad Cycle

Just when you think you have seen everything, including Hello Kitty Gun Designs, you find something really new, like this approach to a truly “all-terrain” motorcycle:

The info about the bike comes from this site, where it reads:

“You may not have room in your garage (or budget) for a dirt bike and a snowmobile and a four-wheeler. But what if one vehicle could take the place of all three? That´s the idea behind the Hyanide, a wild concept vehicle created by German designers Oliver Keller and Tillman Schlootz for the 2006 Michelin Challenge Design. This year´s competition showcased vehicles made especially for California´s diverse and often rugged topography. Named for its supposed resemblance to a crouching hyena, the Hyanide is designed to run on a flexible rubber tread that spans the machine´s entire underside. So if any part of the bottom is touching the ground, the Hyanide should be able to move, no matter how deep the quagmire, no matter how rough the terrain. (…)

Both the front and rear of the Hyanide rotate into a turn, which would give riders extra control while making sharp turns or climbing hills. To drive the vehicle, you´d steer with your hands as well as your feet, and you´d wear special shoes that snap onto the pedals, like on a racing bicycle. To turn left, for example, you´d push the right side of the handlebar forward, to point the front of the tread left-it´s the same motion as on a motorcycle. At the same time, however, you´d also push back on the right pedal, angling the rear of the tread into the turn. This action would twist the tread into a crescent shape and whip the Hyanide around a turn.

The Hyanide currently exists only as a one-fifth-scale model, and Schlootz and Keller have no plans to bring a production version to market. Keep your fingers crossed, though-Hyanide´s unique drivetrain impressed a lot of automotive-industry heavy hitters at the Challenge Design. Maybe one of them has an overcrowded garage.”

Thanks to the guys from the Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century RPG Forum, who brought my attention to this gem.

Cyb3rpunk | Attitude STAYS everything

Attitude stays everything – dies gilt in der von Marken und Ersatzkulturen beherrschten Welt von 2035+ noch mehr als je zuvor. Jeder cyb3rpunk Charakter wählt einen Cult als seine persönliche Identifikationsbasis.

Jeder Spieler kann selbst bestimmen, wie stark seine Hingabe zu „seiner“ Szene ausgeprägt ist. Diese Hingabe wird in Form eines Rang (= REP innerhalb jener Szene) ausgedrückt und kann am Start 1 bis 3 Punkte betragen. Im Falle, dass der Spieler Continue reading “Cyb3rpunk | Attitude STAYS everything”