Everybody’s talking, nobody’s listening.
At least, that’s the feeling pressing down on my bloodshot brain these days. Doesn’t anyone else get that impression? A quick, random stroll through the blog-spew and web droppings out there seems to leave little doubt that everybody’s just shouting past everybody else. Our reactionary buttons are all being pushed by the same NSDAP-inspired madness machine, and the nearly uniform response sounds like an especially off-key choir of the damned, bleating and squawking in all directions, blazing new trails through the conceptual undergrowth of pitch and harmony. Everything sounds oddly similar, though -- a cantankerous caterwaul of modulated outrage and carefully channeled (and largely co-opted) anger; everyone barks out the same pissed-off tune, more or less, paying little attention to anybody else, and the world of humans continues to fly out of control regardless.
I don’t know about any of you all out there -- if there are any -- but it’s starting to bore the hell out of me.
Now, I’ve had a rather obvious attitude of blatant skepticism towards this blogging business from the very beginning. No shit some might say, in an inelegant ode to the readily apparent. Really, it’s true. Honestly: what sort of cheesehead truly believes that the huge wash of atomized opinioneering that is the “blogosphere” -- insipid, inane, and badly written as most of it is -- really means anything or has a measurable impact on the course of things? Is Cyborg Cheney, Mr. Man-Sized Safe himself, likely to experience something approximating an epiphany-driven conversion to the side of goodness and light, simply because a gaggle of infuriated bloggers bloviate over his egregious bullshit? Maybe Bush will impeach himself, if only we, the upright ones, complain about it enough.
Oh yes -- been down this road before. Many times, in fact. Still searching for a reason, still looking for the critical point of it all ... vainly, it would seem.
I attended a sneak preview of Sicko this past weekend, and the experience was a concrete illustration of the debilitated nature of society in general; the feeble, echoingly empty virtual world of the blogs is a reflection of this as well (which is, obviously, the only reason I’m bothering to bring this up). Anyway, Michael Moore definitely has a knack for filling up a movie theater, and this largely unadvertised early showing of his new film was no exception. Packed to the rafters, it was, with well-intentioned individuals thoroughly convinced of their righteousness and sense of purpose. And therein lies the bur-infested, hairball-wrapped rub: a big movie auditorium full of individuals, momentarily galvanized by an extremely well-made movie that covers an issue of overwhelming importance, to be sure, but still really only a dispersed and scattered mob; the unmistakably warm, liberally-minded atmosphere generated by the serendipitous gathering of hundreds of correct-thinking people popped like a flaccid balloon once the film was over and the lights came up. A brief flicker of time when our shared humanity seemed actually palpable, as much more than merely a nice amorphous theory, was over all too soon, leaving us all in our little self-contained individualities and going our own separate ways.
The strange phenomenon of the blogs strikes me in much the same way. Divided and compartmentalized, incidentally “united” over some issue or other, but nonetheless pushing and pulling in our own disparate fashions -- and largely irrelevant and ineffective as a consequence. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been much of a “joiner,” in any sense of the word (excepting the military, but that’s not quite the same thing), so I’m hardly advocating the submergence of individuality under an ill-defined rubric of “common cause” or any such similar bat-squeeze. Hell, if that was the sort of thing I had in mind -- a vision of lock-step automatons mouthing slogans of undying loyalty to the subhuman scum who’re toiling so diligently to turn everybody into dog food and rat bait -- then I’d be little better than the insecure mouth-breathers who pump out mountains of pious bullshit in praise of the power apparatus and its enslavement tendencies. However, that being said, there must be a way to harness the gobs of latent and dissipated energy inherent to this end of the blogosphere, aiming it like a monstrous virtual sledgehammer against the chains and shackles of our corporatist massas and their disinforming whores and shills, while simultaneously preserving the individuality of each weird and quirky snark-monger. There has to be way.
Well, if there is some way to do that, it’s certain that I won’t be the one to figure it out. As a matter of fact, somebody surely has figured it out already, which is precisely (or not so precisely) my whole point: we’re all running our mouths off so much, we’re not actually paying much attention to what anybody is really saying. *Sigh*
(“Snark-monger”? Clearly, I was thinking of myself when coining that term. My apologies.)