Wait until next year

Putting off what could be done tomorrow, today

Tag: Facebook

Split personalities

Double exposure of men standing on street

I remember as a kid being on holiday and going to some sort of country fête-type thing. On one of the stalls was this guy with a CB radio. I was fascinated by the idea that from this one box this guy could communicate with people from around the world. He asked me to name a country and said he’d try to find someone to talk to from there. I said Tristan da Cunha, and he unsurprisingly couldn’t find anyone. I wasn’t a smart arse, I promise. I just liked Tristan da Cunha for some reason. And I liked the idea of speaking to other people over the radio. I liked the handles they used, the anonymity and the freedom.
Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

I remember when this was all fields

Computer-generated images of man on phone, talking, at desk

Jonathan Franzen is telling us what he thinks is wrong with the modern world. Rebecca Solnit sees the changes to our world post-internet as profound and troubling. These are two recent examples of the personal essay as a wail against life today, particularly life with technology, the internet, etc. Both these articles, at least to some extent, look back to supposedly halcyon days and see technology etc as the destroyers of an idyllic past.
Read the rest of this entry »

Repeat/Remodel/Remix

Strange space-y collage

It is a point that has made before, and has no doubt been made in a more eloquent way, but the internet is full of people presenting something that someone else has actually produced. Much of what the internet churns out is essentially repeats of something that has already been churned out on the internet. I’m not getting on my high horse here, it is second nature for most of us. We share things on Facebook. We retweet. We reblog on Tumblr and WordPress. We embed videos and songs and photos from other people.

Read the rest of this entry »

A New Irony

“Take, for example, an ad that calls itself an ad, makes fun of its own format, and attempts to lure its target market to laugh at and with it. It pre-emptively acknowledges its own failure to accomplish anything meaningful. No attack can be set against it, as it has already conquered itself. The ironic frame functions as a shield against criticism. The same goes for ironic living. Irony is the most self-defensive mode, as it allows a person to dodge responsibility for his or her choices, aesthetic and otherwise. To live ironically is to hide in public. It is flagrantly indirect, a form of subterfuge, which means etymologically to “secretly flee” (subter + fuge). Somehow, directness has become unbearable to us.”

How to Live Without Irony, Christy Walpole, New York Times

“Isn’t there supposed to be an irony, some grim humor, some sense of the peculiar human insistence on seeing past the larger madness into small and skewed practicalities, into off-shaded moments that help us consider a narrow hope?”

Mao II, Don DeLillo Read the rest of this entry »

Slow Thinking

Miss Coal Queen 1973, with a Morris Marina

I’ve always had a hunch that proof is better than assumption. Which is a pretty silly hunch to have, if you think about it. Or a rather sensible one, I don’t know. Maybe I should test it or something. Read the rest of this entry »