Monday, July 03, 2006

Superman v. The Planet Of Slums

I was lucky enough to attend a preview of Superman Returns yesterday; I may write a short review at some point, but meanwhile I’ll content myself with saying that I do believe it’s going to be a good old-fashioned summer blockbuster. Haven’t had one of those in a while.

I’ve also just finished Mike Davis’s Planet of Slums. Sometime this year, for the first time in human history, the number of people living in cities will outnumber the rural population. And one billion people will be living in slums circling the cities of the South. Planet of Slums describes the evolution of the megaslums and the rise of an urban population that is completely disconnected from ordinary economics and politics. As with all of Davis's books (which include the classic City Of Quartz, one of the best books about Los Angeles ever written), it’s packed with vivid summaries and extrapolations of current trends backed with trenchant argument, imagining a future in which the enclaves of the rich make war against the squatters and outcasts that inhabit vast squalid termitaries of the displaced and dispossessed.
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