Sunday, December 12, 2010

Insightful? Nah, It's Just BS

(h/t TNI)

Over-determining anything is a favorite hobby of the intelligent and learned. Where would academia be without people who offer whole courses on horror comics, the social and political implications of dystopian science fiction, or other such mind-numbingly stupid things? Social networking sites are fast becoming the new Weird Tales (a Depression-era pulp magazine the study of which was faddish through much of the 1970's and 1980's), an endless source of comically serious reflections on how we are all doomed, selling our selves and our souls to Mark Zuckerberg's demon device, created solely to find out which good looking women at Harvard were available.

The latest entrant in the literature of "The Internet Is Stealing Our Souls!!!" is entitled "Ludic Despair: Uma Googled". Using the arrest of a stalker after Ms. Thurman as a springboard, the author considers the possibility that the distance between this psychotic individual (and to the author's credit, that the man in question is really quite mentally ill is repeated) and the rest of us is not quite as great as we might think.
Jordan's "relationship" with Thurman is wholly psychotic, of course, and the news is playing the "he was on the verge of googling her name!" angle as if this whole affair was a techno-thriller. Perhaps that layer of suspense--the "last-second" apprehension of Jordan just before he hit the return key--is necessary if only to distract us from the entirely banal and relatively sad implications of our own unnervingly similar use of the search engine--alone and with plenty of time to kill, the tiny stalker in all of us staring dully into the computer to see if anyone out there actually still shares even the most vestigial memories of our formerly meaningful personal/emotional connections--you know, those that existed before both the Internet and the fame economy reminded us (once again...but anew!) that our "identity" is always incomplete, elsewhere, and very much "stolen."
I cannot for the life of me understand how this leap is made. Because there are sickos out there who use the internet as a tool to pursue their mad fantasies concerning celebrities, or even people who are not known for being well-known, we all share in this concoted delusion even a bit by wishing to get back in touch with people on Facebook, or using Google to search them out.

Just . . . wow. Sad to say, I foresee a MacArthur Genius Grant in this author's future.

Virtual Tin Cup

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