Sunday, October 26, 2008

No More Bowling For Man-Machine?

While I was hand-painting my recently kilned urns with wild pomegranate juice, I looked deep into the village fire, and I saw in the news that online social networking sites have recently usurped porn in internet traffic and popularity -- and Praise the Lord it was not consumed by the blaze!

When one sits back for a moment to view the greater picture, one cannot help but to be amazed. What is this new human way of being? As a species we’ve gone from eating a consistent diet of Giraffe bone marrow and succulent mud to living a majority of our lives in some enigmatic, abstract plane of nothingness. Our fluids jostled and heated by series of data in the form of zeros and ones; and how carefully orchestrated they are into ever-organizing structures with their ends of stimulation through hardware projecting into the brain via the eyes and the ears.

To think not that long ago, the greatest mental stimulus for the human was whether or not Jews, or any other foreign people, were pooping in the town well, thusly poisoning it -- oh, simpler times, when the Earth was flat and the Jew recognized for his unending mischief. Here and now, times change, look at what we have: a person must consider a litany of individual human emotional statuses, vaguely formed in simple sentences, and placed in a growing labyrinth of an ever-complex network of social relations -- my brain is hemorrhaging in the cacophony of “[Proper Noun] is currently!”

Some might see this swell of popularity over social networking as a positive thing; we no longer have to hang our heads and shamefully admit the greatest ark of information and knowledge in the history of humankind is completely overrun and ruled by pornography. Turns out the last great collections of information, the library of Alexandria in Hellenized Egypt, was razed because it was so embarrassingly full of porn -- and Plato’s dialectics -- fuck that shit is boring. You cannot argue with historical fact! Where ancient man brought justice through sword, we brought justice through our narcissistic “interests list” and insatiable need to stalk people online.

And as I’ve spoken of the greater picture before, let us take a further step back, so that we may consider this on a cosmic scale -- in the most literal of senses. I always wondered if holier-than-thou and intelligent extraterrestrials did ever come down to Earth, how would we hide all our porn? Like a bad son who has lived in his mom’s basement for the majority of his teens, amassing a plethora of porn magazines, going unhindered for years, sooner or later, mom is going to want to vacuum -- and then what!? To save ourselves the embarrassment, we’ll probably just pretend we don’t even have any computers or the internet. We’ll say the computers belong to…uh, the… dolphins (!) with their large, active brains, who are currently seeking therapy for sex-addiction. We’ll use computer illiterate John McCain as a demonstration and keen rebuttal that we surely know nothing of these so called “internets” with its series of tubes and trucks for dumping. If these computers were ours, how could we ever consider such a man as a potential leader?

But back to social networking in the specific -- to me the trumping of porn is not a step for progress at all. Pornography’s near-ownership of the internet stems from the social mores that exist in our society, and the anonymity and voyeurism the internet can provide to escape social constraints. Sex, sexuality and the exposed human body are powerful things, and much of culture and civilization is nothing more than the trying and succeeding to control these areas of intense and potentially destructive energies. The “pornification” of the internet is really the latent shadow of our society’s Puritanism; that’s why you have to drink an entire 30 rack of natty ice just to get close to a girl in Ugg boots for a chance at failed copulation. Porn on the internet stems from sex, sexuality and one’s own body being alienated from a totality, or wholeness, of an individual personality. That which is sexual is ripped from a person and denied its essentialness to the person in total. The internet is the perfect vehicle for the fearful, alienated people to play-out a removed “sexuality” anonymously online, as they cannot merge this sexual being with themselves as a whole. Later on, this artificial and “pornified” sex and sexuality are played-out in real life acts as a supplement of something aching for authenticity. Please see fat chick dancing on table in bar for reference to the dangers of pornification.

If people are using the internet for socializing now more than ever, the accusation just brought against pornography above probably holds true for socialization. People are becoming ever-removed from their neighbors, townships and greater communities. This is a well-documented fact, and if you don’t believe me, take the anecdotal evidence of “when is the last time you smelled your community’s smelly feat through the sharing of rental bowling shoes?” There are fewer and fewer bowling alleys, along with other community recreation centers, because public use is decreasing. Authentic socialization and relationships, free of the artifices that cause and are the product of alienation, are being exchanged for something else. In sum, many of the social bonds that unite us and help to form our identities are deteriorating. The social networking sites are both a product of this shift and an accelerant for it. And when our bonds go quietly into the darkness of internet space, there is little social cohesion to keep people from wearing crocs, or keeping fat girls off of splintering tables, or keeping people from embarrassing themselves by writing online.

1 comment:

yatpay said...

Well, if it makes you feel better, the majority of internet traffic is actually Bittorrent, which is almost always used for pirating movies and TV shows.