Monday, February 18, 2008

the medium is (just) the medium

a lot of people think they know and understand the revolutionary changes of the 60s -- i hear so many assumptions and generalizations about "what was happening" back then, and i've been known to make a few of my own. those theories are probably all bullcrap b/c most of the people making them weren't actually around in the 60s. but regardless, i'm gonna make another one of my own right now.

see, i have this feeling that back when the kids became the leaders of the world -- when the music and art of the youth became it, became the avant garde -- the thing that was revolutionary was the substance of what the kids were championing. like, rock & roll or whatever were amazing because of what they actually were, not because of the transistor radios that were broadcasting the music to the kids.

today, the kids are still in charge, but there's no substance to what they're championing. it's all format. like, we're watching the youth not because they're going to lead us to amazing new art and music, but because we want to see what technological innovation they're going to adopt next.

the funny thing about all this is that many of the web 2.0 technological innovations have been created/advertised expressly as things that will help people be more enriched by the opinions and interests of others. social networks are great b/c they help you find more music that you're interested in, help you locate others who like the same fashion as you, blah blah BLAH. there was this mac ad that i saw last year that read:
-------"PCs are for the stuff we have to do, like pie charts and spreadsheets. Macs are for the stuff we want to do, like photos, music and movies.
------Macs are everything you need to get the job done. (And start having fun.)
------With Mac OS X, iLife ’06 and built-in iSight camera, the fun starts at just $1,299.
------Mac Mini is ready to connect to your existing monitor and keyboard – and you’re ready to start having fun with your photos, movies and more."

the ad really weirded me out when i saw it, so much so that i wrote it down. only now am i putting my finger on why. i think this over-inflated emphasis on the "fun" of the content makes for a weird fetishization of art that totally vaccu-sucks the stuff that's interesting right out of it. i don't want to be told how to interact with/given a framework for the artistic things in my life, and if someone's going to do it, i certainly don't want it to be a corporation like Apple. when it comes to the web 2.0 stuff, "mutual interests" are a totally artificial and weird way of meeting people. i mean, aren't there people in your life who have different interests from you, and that's exactly what you like about them?

or maybe this is all just me. i'm fully ready to acknowledge that the reason i'm so annoyed about this is that, as much as i'm interested in technology, i'm actually a curmudgeon who's behind the technology curve because the interactive computer screen simply hasn't captivated me the way it has others. but i won't fully yield that just yet. i have this itching sensation that things were better before. and even though i wasn't there, i just can't shake it.


Blogger Heather said...

i'd like to do a study on the percent of successful marriages from meeting online. my cousin sara got married to a man off if the divorce rate is lower in marriages off the internet than you are wrong.

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

love the use of the word "bullcrap." you sound like chunk from the goonies.

8:08 AM  

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