07 June 2007

Thomas Scoville

Some years ago, Mr Thomas Scoville created the Silicon Valley Tarot, primarily as a satire of the culture of the industry ... but it's also a cracking good demonstration of the principles of tarot.

It's an unconventional deck in several ways; it doesn't always map neatly to traditional tarot symbolism. The four suits are networks, discs, cubicles, and hosts, numbered one through eight because of course the deck counts in binary. Court cards are CIOs, Marketeers, Salesmen, and New Hires. But the major arcana correspond surprisingly well.

The art is crude but effective, and the card descriptions are just genius.

Frustration, stupidity, mindless repetition, wasted effort, lost bandwidth. The Spamee is consumed in fiery indignation, but the Spammer also wastes time and resources—nobody cares about his message. Lose/lose royale. Reversed: unenlightened self-interest, failure to comprehend the appropriate use of the Network.

Ace of Cubicles
It's the dawn of the Age of the Cubicle. “Tell us again, Grandpa, of the days when office walls stretched all the way to the ceiling.” Anonymity, facelessness. Reversed: safety in numbers

Salesman of Disks
Start with a little Dale Carnegie, add some Tony Robbins, some fire-walking, and a slice of some musty, well-aged EST. Garnish with words like “synergy”, “value chain”, and “incent.” Finish with hairspray just prior to serving. Bon Appetit! Annoying, formulaic rhetoric. Reversed: garden-variety stupidity.

I own a deck and keep it at the office. I don't use it often, but on a large handful of occasions at work, it has given me pretty good guidance in the biz.

I learn that Mr Scoville has recently returned to the well, to give us the even sillier Metrosexual Tarot.

Four of Shoes
Slumbering metro dreams conflicting dreams: Bad girl and big hair versus good shoes and great loft space. .... Meaning: Aesthetic lifestyle conflicts.

Five of Clubs
The evening's pleasures turn quickly enough to pain in the hard morning light. In this case, the dirty martinis' trailing hangover brings a sidecar of green-gilled nausea to boot. Oh, for some aspirin, coffee and an old-school bloody mary. Has the sun really always been this bright? Shudder. Meaning: Regret, remorse, new resolutions. Reversed: Amnesia, blissful ignorance, penance, dry-cleaning.

The Barista
The fool who makes your coffee languishes at the bottom of the metrosexual heap—shaggy hair, shabby chic, non-existent manicure. So why does he seem so serene and self-actualized?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks for the write-up! Your interpretation is spot-on, and even a little flattering... you silver-tongue'd devil, you.

- Thomas Scoville