Wednesday, March 21, 2012

All You Need is Like

I'm just gonna pile onto the original post of this vein. Change a little here, retool a little there, get some mileage outta this baby 'cuz I love it so much and think it's just so freakin' funny.

I think The Boomers are the luckiest generation of the last several before and after, even though several thousand gallons of 50s blood was wasted in Southeast Asia, because of the unique historical and cultural vantage point we've had to watch the digital revolution unfold. Most of us experienced our entire educations without the benefit of a PC, while most of us have experienced the bulk of our careers being married to one. (end of post in progress number two. We now return to our regularly scheduled first post: )

Wherever You Go There You Like

In the beginning there were online bulletin boards...
(CUT! Yeah uh huh that sounds pretty goddamn clever, doesn't it? It's got that smarty pants "life didn't exist before the internet" air to it, and it establishes that bond between YOU, savvy digital intelligentsia, and ME, wireless know-it-all that finds it dreadfully inconvenient to have to write this much without using a hashtag or the "at" symbol at least 3 or 4 times.)

Lucky for us, we know that before online bulletin boards there were these boards, usually made of cork or some other pin-able surface, to which people would affix bulletins -  pieces of paper popularized by their use in the Napoleonic Wars as the name for dispatches sent from the front meant for the home public. Somewhere between then (not the Napoleanic Wars but shortly thereafter, right around the time of the invention of the internet which was a lot closer to the Napoleanic Wars than a lot of hashtag monkies would like to think) and now the online bulletin board became the social network.

It would be too easy to go all sour grapes on social networking. Everybody, even it's greatest proponents, knows that its basically killed what at one time were considered "social" skills. Worse yet, it would be disingenuous of me to dis social networking because I LOVE IT! I mean, I must, right? I spend so much time doing it an outside observer might think social networking was better than sex, or better than drugs! All I can say is that both sex and drugs are better when you are tweeting about them in real time, there's at least one video camera involved, and some sort of sequenced synth part droning in the background. Why bother with real sex when you could have @sex, hopefully with #sex? But there I go - the old guy getting snarky and sour grapesy on the tech scene. Entirely to be expected.

But wait just one minute there young feller let me tell ya I was online while you were still @diapers.And like I said why would I want to bite the proverbial teat on which I suckle? So, maybe I am a little behind here, but I am learning quickly and now I must ask:  why would anyone want to create anything at all  when it appears that, these days, your calling card or claim to intelligence is not the result of original thought but instead it is by knowing where to find it.

Consider the "like". Isn't "liking" something as good as having either said it, or worn it, or played it, or wrote it yourself? It's gone far beyond the idea that everybody can be their own fanzine by creating the online persona, and recreating it, and recreating it just like Madonna, except that the audience is the 8th grade. Or, for most of us the audience is a dozen or so folks we knew in high school that we now call our friends having been unable to create any new ones in the digital wasteland. (Oooh that IS snarky and sour grapesy! And cynically deliciously so! Maybe some really hip blogger will like that line and RETWEET it! Fuckin' A!! Where's my goddamn thumbs up widget when I need it?)

Today, not only can we quickly and instantly define who we are by what we "like", but, way way more importantly, we can define our success by how many "likes" we're able to collect. It's as if the idea of commerce has been redefined, and that the notions of poor, fair, good, very good and excellent can now be quantified in terms of the number of "likes" an item - be it an idea, a song, a hairstyle, or a pimple on the ass of a wild boar. The intrinsic worth of just about everything can now be characterized by how many thumbs thrust upwards it has affixed to it's lapel.

With such silliness set loose in western civilization, who could possibly go all snarky and sour grapes on Social Media. I don't just love it! I LIKE it!

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