Monday, June 26, 2006

Elitism?

I’m gonna try not to sound like an elitist bastard, but it’s going to be hard.

I was sitting in the parking lot of a gas station in Algiers in My Fair City(tm) and a Friedmanly(?) idea came to mind. I saw this geto (i spelled it right) white boy in an SUV drove past in the “i’ve never driven a manual automobile in my life” pose. It immediately hit me, the idea of the decentralization of fashion centers and trends, and the lowering of “the bar.” I will explain.

I had just noticed a big fuggin truck driving in the Quarter, and Marcella said something to the effect of it being a stupid choice to drive in the Quarter, since it’d be a bitch finding parking. So I began to wonder where the trend of big ass trucks and SUV’s came from. It couldn’t have been from one of the traditionally viewed centers from where culture, fashion, and trends came from, since it would be massively inconvenient to have such a beast. Marcella pointed out the desire to have excessive things could very well be the cause of this, similar to having pets, but I think it goes further than that.

The utilitarian need for these types of vehicles says to me that the vast masses of people in the great unwashed middle of this country popularized the notion of a utility vehicle (sport or otherwise) and thus have a say in what becomes “popular.”

Here’s where I sound like an asshole.

This is bad.

The proliferation of technology, having the Friedman flattening effect, has allowed people in the rest of the country to have a say in what happens in terms of trends and popular culture. 100 years ago, people emulated the popular culture of the time, i.e things they thought people in cultural hubs did in their spare time; going to the theater, consuming intelligent books, and the like. I believe vast highway systems linking the country, plus radio. plus television, plus the GODFORSAKEN internet, has flattened the consumption of culture.

What’s so bad about that? Isn’t blogging the coolest thing since sliced internet? The whole democratization of information has allowed people to be their own muckraking journalists, and that, my 3 friends, is the key to getting us out of this slump. But observe popular culture. What do people find “cool?” What is on our televisions? What novels populate the shelves of Wal-Mart and grocery stores, traditionally well renowned centers of learning?

People in the media must now pander to the great unwashed, because they know what they want, because people don’t tell them anymore. And now that people are able to consume things that indulge their most base feelings (complete violence/badass-osity, humiliation i.e reality t.v or Springer, Rush Limbaugh) without fear of reprisal, they do it happily. Look at our president. The intelligentsia stopped having a big say in who gets to be president, and who gets to be a congressperson(Dems ran it for 40 straight years) and we get Newt-motherfucking-Gingrich, and good ‘Ol Bush.

No Bush bashing here, I’m not hip enough to do that. Just commenting on the so called “cultural divide” or “red state v. blue state business.

It has to get worse before it gets better.

There are tons of good reasons why I’m not living on a fucking mountain, bereft of all the tech I find good and holy in the world; simply put, I like it. It has the most massive potential for good. For reals. My utmost hope is that people realize the power they have, realize the fact that they’re active participants in this society, realize what they consume has an effect on the world as a whole.

Blogging is a good thing. Getting one’s thoughts on paper is good. Fuck, e-paper, whatever, it’s better than texting someone something that a 4th grade teacher would give a big fat F for in grammer. Airing one’s personal shit online, people getting pissed about not being on someone’s “Top 8” on fucking Myspace, not a good thing. These things take time. I really have no faith in humanity, so I don’t know why I think it could possibly get better, why I think people will vote with their dollar, and not on American Idol, but I’m a fool.

Hell, I think the $100 dollar laptop ***olpc*** will work as intended, and not be a huge item for black market ripoffs and further resellings, so how dumb am I right?

Just another self loathing, elitist geek, who simultaneously reviles and wants to coddle humanity.

Wow, Red Bull makes my hyperbole show like a dog’s engorged lipstick.

Done. For reals this time. I gotta watch me some Arrested Development.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

heyo.
so, yeah. maybe access to these technologies has flattened the spectrum of the culture by which they are consumed. or maybe the flat-assed, monochromatic attitude that drives culture (around in mudcircles) has pigeonfucked these technologies. either way, ouroboros is getting fatter and more stupider.