Lily Allen’s heretofore final tweet
is beginning to look like a great recap of 2009. Neo-luddism is finding a renaissance from Lily’s anti-piracy crusade, to Jay-Z’s all black everything’s anti-autotune coup. As they say, “as above so below…”
Watch this space: as the year draws to a close, it is looking more and more like the end of one era — you know, now that Woodstock, Sesame Street, and the Gap, like Jay-Z, are on their 40th run around the calendar and on their way over the hill — on the brink of the next cultural and generational frontier. Just as quickly as technology dictated the past decade — how we communicate, how we connect, with whom we connect at such immediate frequency, the vast archives of information at our fingertips, the juxtapositional ease in providing and prohibiting the flow of said information, our increased familiarity and understanding of people/places/societies until now foreign to us, our ability to create new and innovative forms of art/music/expression/science/medicine — its inundation and our dependence/preoccupation on this new media turned this miracle medium into a detriment to authenticity and basic human interaction. Now we are seeing a backlash: from the banning of Twitter in various settings, to the FCC’s blogger-centric regulatory proposals, to the general view of social media as a somewhat narcissistic, basically superficial, means of recreation; not considering that social media is a medium merely a channel that transfers content. While the medium is amazing, and is a message in its own right, Twitter for instance is a throughway for human ideas and their exchange. Just like magazines, television, offer entertainment-based programs, just as there are public broadcast, news, scientific, etc. stations, so Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr offer entertainment, news-oriented, etc. content and conversation — Twitter the medium, the tweet remains the human message. That said, we are seeing a digital coup de etat from the top down. It’s about balance and perspective, take the Mac/PC/Web 2.0 enigma off the pedestal, integrate it into culture, instead of fragment and treat it as a separate entity (a la “The Social Media” as opposed to the media — like print, like broadcast, etc.) and it won’t be a problem. This should be interesting to see how the neo-neo-luddites impact the coming year.
Watch that space: Truth is truth. At the end of the day, technology is only as powerful, useful, significant, and effective as we make it — we are the authentic soul behind the artificially intelligent cold. Drummers are born with that spirit; because, well, it’s hard to have a drum machine keep the heart of the beat.