It sounds pathetic in this day and age. In a world where every Tom, Dick and Sally is frantically typing his or her every waking thought, the quaint notion of writer’s block in a social media environment seems like a poor excuse of sorts.
We are in the midst of one of the most fascinating presidential elections in modern history, where, the notion of a black man as front-runner would have been unheard of not that long ago. Where his political rise to power and financial prowess was largely orchestrated by the fusion of grass roots and social media technology. And yet, after more than ten years of writing about every political, cultural or social phenomenon, I have found — and find — myself wordless.
Although I frequently allow myself to slip into a mode of observation only – to simply absorb what is going on around me, every now and again I still feel that overwhelming urge to spit something out.
Now former McCain advisor, Phil Gramm’s remarks about an imaginary recession; Thabo Mbeki’s incomprehensible continued policy of “quiet diplomacy” with a sick and demented dictator named Robert Mugabe, who deserves his place at the table with Hitler and Idi Amin. The absurd furor over a New Yorker magazine cover featuring a satire of Barack and Michelle Obama depicted as Muslim terrorists, essentially because it is not sufficiently dumbed down enough to make it obvious to Joe Shmo that it is, truly, a satire.
Yet just one paragraph into the idea, the words evaporate, leaving me with a hundred opening paragraphs but not one full-fledged anything.
And everything I want to say is already being said a million times over by a zillion different people in a gazillion different ways anyway. Global, multilingual interpretations of prepackaged press releases by desperate publicists about their desperate clients.
With an avalanche of verbiage spewing faster and more furiously than green house gas emissions on a Texan highway, I feel myself being drowned in a cacophony of self-absorbed trivia masquerading as the new information pipeline. User-generated crap. The empty promise of Web 2.0.
Communities of like-minded communities linked to like-minded communities of like-minded people for like-minded discussions about like-minded subjects concerning like-minded consumption of like-minded products in like-minded earnestness for like-minded drones to inform like-minded sheep with like-minded generosity about like-minded everything so that like-minded beneficiaries can wallow in like-minded individuality.
For every deed, a million analyses; for every sentence, a million deconstructions. Blogs begetting blogs, begetting social networks, begetting conversations and commentaries. Comments about comments for comments, responses for responses about responses. Words tripping over words to embellish words about words. Sentences about sentences, broken down into keywords and efficiently retagged into categories and subjects to be repurposed and rehashed and replayed and redeployed. An over-bloated, over-tagged, over-stuffed, over-sub-categorized, over-rated, over-extended, over-hyped, overload of over-analyzed, over-distributed, over-offered, over-done overstatement — over and over and over again.
I am part of the problem. I breathe it. I create it. I enable it. I read it, feed on it, absorb it, process it, analyze it, regurgitate it and piss it back. As if somehow, my own bullshit filter transforms the same old, tired shit into fresh, new, insightful, meaningful, and appropriate pearls of infinite wisdom, strategically cast before grateful, appreciative, deserving, under-served swine.
Is this what Web 2.0 is all about? Nothing more than a verbal diuretic facilitating uniquely tailored bullshit aimed at relevant audience segments in a social media constructed world?
Bring on Web 3.0. Immediately.
Causes Clinton Fein Supports
First Amendment Project
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network