The Unknown: The Red Line.
  That whole Fear of Y2K thing turned out to be pretty overblown. There were some pretty major systematic fuck-ups, don’t get me wrong, but the world hardly came grinding to a halt. The problems came where people least expected them. All the banks were fine, so that last minute rush to withdraw funds that nearly itself created a financial catastrophe of, well, catastrophic proportions, was premature.

Some systems did go out—like Peoples Gas in Chicago. The heating gas. People never thought something as seemingly low-tech as the heating would be effected by this ubiquitous computer problem, but there you have it. This would have been a major crisis, because it was so cold, were it not for the fact that during 1998-99, all of the city’s trees had been infested with Asian Longhorn Beetles, which meant plenty of firewood was available right on the streets. Mayor Daley saw to it that wood-burning stoves were distributed on every corner, free of charge. There were bonfires in the streets. People were dancing and sharing home cooked meals (a lot of beef stew was served to neighbors from dutch ovens) and hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps. No more people died than usually die during a harsh winter and after a week, the gas was back on and everything had pretty much returned to normal.

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