Like the good old days…
I spend a lot less time waxing philosophic on the blog these days, and I often wonder about why and what has changed? Sure, I’m older (so old!) When I was in college, the words- usually just a stream of consciousness- burst forth like a firehose on any given subject. There was a ready ad hoc impulse to lay out my opinions- on forums, in chat rooms, on a web page- so they might live forever. Because I had *opinions*.
Then came the search engine wars, relevance, and social media; thus, writing online became a push to gather an audience. Engaging meant amassing friends, follows, and familiars rather than just thinking out loud and trying to figure out what my opinions were. Oh, you savage internet.
Now I grant that there are some great connections and conversations to be had in social media, don’t get me wrong. Not to mention the rolling earthquakes of social change that sporadically erupt forth. But it’s also a place where people isolate themselves to specific silos, and human sentiment is manipulated by marketers and malicious megalomaniacs, and the world’s static noise has been cranked up to 11.
And writing a blog post feels like locking myself in a padded room.
Maybe I’ve just gotten a bit more thoughtful about the words I’m putting down. My opinions more measured. The objective of this channel of expression is more cautious. What do I want to say? According to the old, dependable voices in my head, I feel I have to say something. That’s how one stays involved. Surely, I want to be involved?
And if there was ever a time to be involved, this is it.
There’s part of that logic that makes me loathe some aspects of myself. My voice is not one of fierce conviction. What can I add to these profound conversations? Who am I to add to this noise? Maybe I should just shut the fuck up.
I came across this statement recently (if you’re the author and you want the attribution, I’m happy to add it, but I’m presenting it here with the caveat of ‘What happens on xxxx-xxxx, stays on xxxx-xxxx’):
“The Internet and it’s (social)media are the most powerful tools propaganda has ever had. And they are used ruthlessly. Enforcing the bias, promoting the material that seems the most effective to you as an individual and your social group. Whatever it takes to keep you hooked and reveal more of yourself, that can be later used or sold. For most the sensations, scandals, riots, and increasing the magnitude of these problems are worth a lot.”
At this point in time, I have no interest in adding to the propaganda, even for just funsies. And if every word I compose on this here soapbox (or by extension the socials) is just getting scraped to furth oil the capitalist machine, then to hell with that. Find some other patsy.
I still just want to jot down a thought about how much I love Gravity Falls, or Glenn Ford, or Fritz’s Gin Fizz. I want to argue about how to pronounce GIF. I want to rant, at length, about screenplay format nazis missing the entire fucking point.
In closing, I will admit there is a certain anxiety that this aridity of thoughts and words is some sort of cognitive decline. Judging by the site analytics, it certainly isn’t for fear that my opinions will be heavily scrutinized. I’m reasonably confident that I’m just talking to myself. To which, I suspect I may need to spend a bit more time doing. It’s not a big change, but I felt I had to do it. And at the end of the day, perhaps I’m just really fucking busy, and this is some of that good old fashioned procrastination.
I have nothing conclusive to offer, just an impulse. Write. Now. The world is changing, which is good and right. I think the only people certain of the future are liars. To all you kids out there- tear it all down. Burn every sacred cow. Fuck racists. Fuck capitalism. Fuck despotic oligarchs.
I wish you, dear reader, all well.