Be prepared for the upcoming season of Rectify. Start catching up now.
Are there trends? There are patterns, and there are consequences, and there are those who can make connections some others may not be able to see. But trends?
Trends predict behaviours, which are always subject to disruptions. To say there are trends in events is to overlook hooks in the patterns which conflate events with emergent properties. “Trends” is your word for the limits of your decision to interrogate the ecological frame, the domain within which the thing in itself spread mind to mind.
There are carriers – platforms, or narrowcasters, which can stage a showcase of the now, patterns which often feel flat even before the end of the season – but to cause a a tectonic shift in the culture, penetrate a generational psychic landscape and perform surgical remapping of a symbolic arrangements of culture? To trigger a trend in spiritual revival, or political determinism, or some new singular direction? That takes jazz.
Trends are a moth on a pin behind glass in a museum.
People exhibit collective decisions, and perform those decisions publicly, mediated, and siloed, and stacked – this performance, recording, and exhibition is a moment, a glimpse of eternity. We are self-similar, and apophenic. We are patterns, hooked into each other, hooked into the environment. Our movement is always already interconnected.
That said, I recognize my thoughts are in conflict, at times dovetailing, at times at odds, with the thoughts traditionally expressed within academia.
Very few cases seem as obvious as the murder of Sandra Bland at the hands of Texas police.
Thoughts about the current headline from Rolling Stone:
Tom Petty on Past Confederate Flag Use:’It Was Downright Stupid’
The individual is an ideological actor of the community from which the individual’s identity is projected. The community becomes a consequence of individual motivations, and retains the institutional memory of transgressive acts. Online communities are the results of interests and beliefs coming into alignment with enough other individuals that collective action results.
On the internet, nobody knows if your dog is an ant.
When a performance, or spectacle, is enacted within a public space, it is foreshadowed through decisions, beliefs, and espoused aggrievements of the individual within a sanctioned counter-public. It is to the community’s name that such actions are justly laid, and their symbolic and iconic touchstones become burdened with the ramifications and reifications of the individual’s performative action.
Expect revised assessment of such iconography as a collective response.
“[The flag] shouldn’t represent us in any way,” Petty says. “We should be more concerned with why the police are killing black men for no reason”
Media production doesn’t happen in a cultural vacuum, but it is beholden to a timeline of development before it’s produced, and varying amounts of post-production – all of which take time to complete, and all of which (or most, depending on the situation) is complete before distribution (i.e., before the audience receives the content).
As a general rule, a fan’s (highly personal) relationship with a character on screen does not impact the story-arc of that character, the direction the character’s flow through a narrative storyworld, the relationships that character forms (or fails to form) and the meaning behind the character’s inception and socio-political correlation.
The fan is the produced artifact, likely to keep the character and narrative world alive long after there is a commercial stake in maintaining the integrity of the original produced mediated form of the narrative.
What is worth? And to whom?
Central to the notion of what is expressed is the desire to accumulate enough consequence to lend weight to further utterance; expressions depend upon worth for furtherance by readership to additional audience – the base economy of attention at play in our overly mediated ecology.
Bringing lucidity to the table means form, clarity and wit shat out in equal measure on the page.
Breaking down the consequence of inaction for an audience always already ambiguous by virtue of being externalized, inter-connected, inchoate, incipient and adulterated means the precision of these statements is crafted for the moments of distress. Just overlook the print if you’d like. Just break apart the thoughts. Just trim away the fat. Just look at the print as a building block.
Clarity means repetition. Clarity comes from coherence, writ concisely and simply stated.
There are few days that move me to write – be it time, place, or reason.
Up until today. Today, I think, is the day I reach back into the madcap funhouse of the qwerty keyboard; my fingers extended as direct extensions of thought, poised by ponderous purpose across constellations of thought. Suffrage, perspicacity, und the errant portmanteau.
A sense that there is yet a nobler edge – a fashion separating the recoiled dread from the projected prejudiced complexion of the regions – the whole is greater than the part, and the network is human after all. Progress is the densification of interconnections; increasing the bandwidth of narrative flow bridges the past’s excesses by more immediate contextualization.
Or, perhaps more succinctly – I don’t fear so much for the future.
We, the people, are the conversation – and the politicians, the power brokers, the corporate owners, backers and sponsors, are realizing the audience has the power to change the channels of power. Reddit supplants Myspace and Friendster in a collective lexicon of contemporary myth, and we, the people, move on.
There is a new network out there somewhere just waiting to be reawakened.
The change is in the air – disruption of old forms, making way for new possibilities. Flags are coming down, signaling a shift in generational power, in psychic purpose, in mythic resonance. Change comes in small ways, but also in symbolic ways. Change reflects on our sense of justice, our collective outrage, and the pull it has in building momentum of an historic and transcendent ideal.
Reddit was never transcendent – it supplanted and improved on an earlier functionality.
What it was was a space simple enough any idiot could navigate it reasonably well enough to use it to spread bullshit, innuendo, and porn. At its best, it was a cultural early warning system, a showcase for immediate interaction with various celebrities, some of whom had relevant or insightful text to share.
Available in one giant data set, a collection discussed by TNR: http://thenextweb.com/insider/2015/07/10/you-can-now-download-a-dataset-of-1-65-billion-reddit-comments-beware-the-redditor-ai/