it was never about stability over chaos
it was always, always, about control
Part the First: a gentleman walks
That one may stare out into the abyss is not, in fact, a given. Taken a face value, one would assume that every man/woman/child may, if they so choose, stare out into the emptiness of creation and contemplate silently on their existence, on the nature of meaning, and on the essence (if one may be so bold as to use a term so fraught with unstable connotation) of self-creation. One would assume. But to do so would be to deny the nature of man (man as animal, man as social creature, man as human creation) and to deny the oppressive power of media. Television is self-creation. Or perhaps that is a mystical reliance upon an outdated means of communication; means of production. The internet is self-creation. This is actually a much more complex statement that it first appears. Yes, one can, with Facebook profiles and their ilk, "create" a web-presence, a digital reflection if you will. But the general belief is that it is merely a refection, that meat space is real space; that reality is still bound to the body. The more pressing and intriguing take on the issue is that digital reflections are often more real that actual life performance. Perhaps it is the general denial that life (real life lived among the filthy, toiling masses) is performance, that perception not only marks reality and shades its details but that perception is reality (with all the baggage such a claim carries with it). As performance strays into the digital realm, as altered reality begins more and more to augment real space (think of life without a cell phone, &c) it become clearer (to those willing to stare into the abyss) that life in the digital is not only equally valid, but equally tainted and fraught with inherent human complication. We are a species bent on self-destruction equal to our efforts towards preservation and creation. It might be noted that it is not bio-engineers who most often seek to play god but warlords. The nature of the human debate is changing along with the nature of that which we may willingly term a "human" subject. As we become more and less human, post-human, trans-human, and humanoid let us not forget that the first step in this, as in any other successful journey, begins with a look out into the abyss.
Second Act: a gentleman talks
I find that the philosophical apparatus given over to your average dilettante is insufficient to my cause. That stated, I shall have to craft my own. Though the bricoleur has long been recognized as the natural state of the modern man, especially the modern man in existential crisis. Let us then continue in this vein so long as we are able...
The Coming of the Third: a gentleman knows
Blissful ignorance is the obvious (if unstated) objective of every "Good American". It is easier. It is safer. It is easier.
Episode IV: a gentleman flees
It is a long way yet to Verona. The Promised Land does not lie just over yonder poppy fields; this is not it, we are not there yet. There are miles to go before we sleep, sleep perchance to dream. Yea though I walk in shadow over the bones of forgotten children, I will not ignore your evil.
A Fifth of the Cheap Stuff: a gentleman dies
Writing the digital present: the future of feeds, digital texts, and human expression. Writing. No mere vulgar "captured speech", writing has come along way from the "origins" of human civilization. But writing now is becoming, in fact, a much more obvious process of becoming. It has long been recognized as an act of creation, and, at times, self-creation. But now writing is no longer the sole purvey of authors and scribes, the cultural elite, &c. There is much to be argued in the loss of the canon, the downfall of style, grammar, and precision. But the fact remains that the Unwashed Masses of the Greater Middle now have within their power digital writing. This is writing in the sense of creating and asserting history even as it seems to be nothing more than idle talk between tweens about movies. This is what gives rise to today's naysayers fears of the downfall of culture/civilization: it is not that the world has become stupider but rather that the stupid have become louder and impossible to ignore. This is a negative consequence of a more democratized writing (though corporate interests and the powers that be are doing everything they can to limit this and all other free expression lest they lose control of the market and the impulse to buy unnecessary goods) but it is not the end of anything. Though nothing really ever is the "end of anything"; not in any true or legitimate sense (a sense unbound by fear mongering and shameless self-interest). That the creative impetus of writing is bringing more and more "bodies" into the fold of self-creation in this increasing post-everything postpost world is naturally a good thing. The sea change comes, though, not as more and more people adopt what can be considered a hip trend, but when those who fail to adopt realize that their reality has finally become untenable (as increasingly evidenced by the globalizing world and the various oppositions to it - not only is the third world being exploited and forced into accepting a world view not their own, but the first world is finally realizing the negative impact of corporations unbound to national ties and subject only to their shareholders). Indeed, then the future comes not by converting the heathens to one monstrosity of a world order but rather allowing for the radical segmentation (unbound often though not always by physical/geographic distance) of humanity based on shared but unfixed affiliations that need not impose their will on anyone. A man can dream. A man can dream.
if you are at peace with the chaos they cannot yell loud enough to disturb you
but El Capitán can still steal your watch and wallet