Saturday, February 11, 2017


What many quizzically miss about analyses pertaining to the hypocrisy of the internet is not that their own distasteful employment of the internet to accomplish some end is, in itself, an evil or hypocritical act. It is not. Using the internet in order to tell people, "The internet is inadequate," or "The internet is a poor substitution for human contact," or any other similarly unoriginal banality, does not make one a hypocrite. One may rightly consider oneself conceding; pragmatic; bound by material or technological limitations; et cetera.

Those who employ the internet to warn us about the inadequacies or degeneracies of the internet are, of course--and, of necessity, if you define "necessity" as the only potential way to reach an audience--using the internet. Facebooking about traditional lifestyles, retweeting tweets about irrational mass movements, blaring simplistic memes mocking real-world costuming, blogging or otherwise internetally commenting about any of the above: these acts are themselves what they critique. Those who use the venue to criticize the venue may see themselves as heroes, rather like stepping through a mud puddle to save someone. That is not what they miss--the unpleasantness of the mud puddle is a genuine unpleasantness, a genuine brokenness, and yet, a genuine necessity, given the reach and power of the tar pit, and the fact that most of us are trapped therein.

The angry confusion here stems from the inability of the arrogant commentator to appreciate that the people they're targeting believe that they themselves are using the internet in the same way. To many of them--perhaps most, perhaps all--it is a muck through which they wade to accomplish an end that would be more likable in the alternate. Internet fora are, themselves, terrible, but only as terrible as we make them. Even designed to facilitate terribleness, it is our choices, and not the tools of written or network language, which make the internet so unpleasant. Ergo it is appropriate to note our shared hypocrisy in hectoring one another as to both the moralism and the utilitarianism thereof, if we decry media-users within said media.

Like professional sports, the internet could be a pleasant expression of mundanity. Posit a society of internally-sound individuals, largely rational and immune to the fabricated need, rather than the circumstantial choice between one or the other otherwise-necessary product, aspects of marketing. In such a place could exist a quite reasonable set of small businesses involving some level of skill-based leagues where a minuscule subset of the population pursued excellence in an organized physical pursuit for remuneration, with said remuneration and associated popularity roughly comparable to that on 2017 Terra associated with community theater (albeit without the aggressive donatory pursuits and the heinous use of public resources funded by taxation-at-gunpoint, e.g., an unrealistic, idealistic community theater). A healthy society could have, in short, an NFL without any of the NFL's badness, and then the idea of a person choosing to watch other people play sports would not, in and of itself, be such a bad, tainted thing. So too the internet, where a group of acquaintances might use a verbally-limiting format like Twitter to exchange abbreviated schedules, jesting poetry ciphers, or suchlike, or a sub-webpage offshoot like Facebook to share familial or social information. Those things, absent any of the broken-soul-based desires to virtually peacock or self-affirm, and the concomitant advertising-based-response, both ideological and merely acquisitory, would not produce such lamentable states of being. The technology itself is no more damning than cuneiform or the printing press. Similarly, the ruination of the potential of cheap food or mass product does not mean the factory system itself is evil and/or broken. We are and have been, instead, the beneficiaries of technologies for which we were not prepared--largely due to the combination of colonialism and production, both internal and external, in which technological progress became inextricably linked to mass mental regress, when it ought to have been correlated otherwise.

All our actions and achievements are now tragic, and have been for a long time. This is, again, not due to the mechanics of said achievements, e.g., "factories ruined craftsmanship," but our own recursive tragicity. Our use of the internet to augment our stupidity is not the fault of the internet. So, too, is the propensity of many of our internet overlords to magnify and feed upon that stupidity not the cause, but the result, of our own ongoing sickness. It is tempting to exempt some given portrayal of Terra as the anti-process rather than the process. Tempting, yet erroneous. Every abrasively disgusting comments section is, in its own way, an expression of the same behavior as this itself.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah... but fuck everybody.
    I will just chill on the sidelines until Stalin is resurrected. (It works - many of the USSR factories and technologies were western built initially. Except, not for profit, but to lift a people. Before the war, a new factory was going online on average every 2 (!) days. During the war, a new factory was going online every 8 hours (!).

    Fuck the senile post-Stalin leadership for giving this all away. Burn in hell, motherfuckers.