In Coupland’s most recent novel, Generation A, one of the main characters is a Sri Lankan call centre worker called Harj, who defines his own professional identity as
...a chunk of disgraced meat at the end of a phone line, forced by the global economy to discuss colour samples and waffle-knit jerseys with people who wish they were dead.which would have been useful in my deliciously fleeting contribution to the BBC2 show History of Now, in which I discussed the ersatz Englands being constructed right now in the cubicles of Bangalore. And Harj also encapsulates the Noughties interface of capitalism and celebrity culture with his prank commerce site:
For $4.99 you could visit my site and download one hour of household silence from rooms belonging to a range of celebrities, all of whom promised to donate their royalties to charity. There was Mick Jagger (London; metropolitan), Garth Brooks (rural; some jet noise in the background), Cameron Diaz (Miami; sunny, sexy, flirty)) and so forth. For cachet, I threw in household silences from the Tribeca lofts of underworld rock survivor Lou Reed and motherly experimental performance artist Laurie Anderson.