Pass the Flashlight

The internet is a wasteland. What’s the good of knowing everything instantaneously when all we share is the lousy stuff? Some guy cuts off his wife’s thumbs in Perth and I know of it within the hour. We’ve lost our understanding of how to share the other stuff––the good stuff––the ideas, the songs, and the stories. We’re a bunch of squirrels screaming about the snake in the meadow below. But we’re not squirrels and that poor lady’s thumbs are no snake.

What good is knee-jerk commerce when we’ve lost the opportunity to look the maker in the eye? If we did look the makers of our stuff in the eye, we’d drop to our knees, crippled by shame. That’s no metaphor, you Holy Roller. That’s no hyperbole. Put on your knee pads if you thing I’m mistaken.

There’s a new layer of the atmosphere––it’s brand spanking new––but we lack the organs yet to breath it in. 

We’re crude practitioners that will one day be derided the way that snake oil salesmen are derided today.  All of that potential and the best we can do is micro-finance, viral video and mandolin-scored advertisement. We’re not in a race to the bottom, we’re stuck there, feet in the muck and confined by a ceiling of lowest common denominators. People buy and sell “clicks”, for crying out loud. What an ingenious bunch. 

Lay out ten thousand people in a field, frozen in that moment of passive hypnotics that overcomes them as they click through the wasteland, their screen eyes bulging. You’d believe they were all dead. Corpses with their eyes still creepily locked in that confused death stare.

We’re all just monkeys, given a flashlight for the first time and what do we do? We ram it in our ass just to see if it’ll fit, and the people who made that flashlight are aghast, and they think, “that’s not what we had in mind. No, not at all.” And they would take that flashlight away and figure out a way to teach these monkey what it’s really for.

We could do away with it and we’d be just fine. The teenage revolt would die down, and we’d be just fine. The news vendors would all die off and new ones would take their place, sprouted from people with a real concern for story and flux. The postal service would flourish once more and people would relish the utility of the telephone, and the power of conversation. Eyes would raise on the street corner and smiles would beget smiles. The vanity patrol would revert to casual sex for validation, and good for them. And those dull, twitchy fucks who hold their cell phone below the window line as they drive, thinking themselves sly, maybe they’d instead be titillated by music, or the view of the ocean, or an idea, forgetting all about their servitude to the tritone.  

We would recall that there is no art in facsimile. There is no art in the middleman. You see it, feel it, hear it, or nothing.