Not too long ago, I overheard a conversation between two people (I’d say in their late 60’s / early 70’s) in which they discussed the reasons why technology and the Nasty Old Internet are ruining the morals and values of a heavenly human society.
A few things came to my mind in that moment. But what stands out in my memory is the internal monologue I ran through in my head (alas it was not in the cards to be included in the actual real life conversation):
Are you fucking kidding me? White girls have always gotten White Girl Wasted and spewed misappropriations of Black Culture. Men have always degraded women and diminished their importance in the grand scheme of, well, EVERYTHING. Humans have always been doing stupid shit whether or not they had a Go-Pro to record it. Humans have always used means other than face-to-face conversation to cut others down, to elude, to yell “Look Ma! No Hands!” before crashing in to muddy pit of embarrassment. See also: telephones. See also: an angry letter to that hotel where you had a horrible vacation experience.
The internet, like all human-induced innovation, was conceived as a way to bring us closer together.
Anyway, what it’s creation did was bring the world closer together. But each person, company, crazed dictator or country can mold and form the intake or output of information to be exactly as they see fit. Each individual can tailor their “feed” to show only what the individual wants to see. Good, right? Well not exactly. Inside the jumbled-up concoction of existence on earth lies the human tendency to fuck shit up.
Technology didn’t create that. It always existed. And no one cares. So the World Wide Web displays us at our weakest. Our best too, but let’s face it, that’s not quite as entertaining. We live on a planet of blame-shifting instead of problem solving. So when the Paris Hiltons and the Miley Cyruses and the Justin Beibers of the world unite in glorious fuck-shit-upness, we see it. When the Eric Harrises and Dylan Klebolds of the world murder and defile, we see it. Instead of traveling the road all the way back to the cause(s) of the issue(s), we look to the first exit off the freeway. The most recent happening in these peoples’ lives: “Yeah, they’re movie stars. That’s why they do what they do. Yeah they’re musicians and troubled, angst-filled teens, that’s why they do what they do. The world is just crazy sometimes. There’s not much we can do about that. And all of those other bad things like war and genocide and hunger and chaos? Fuhgeddaboudit. Nothin’ we can do about that either.”
Um. Well. Here’s a crazy thought: We could start being honest as a species.
Honest with ourselves.
Sweden has started down the right path. Sweden has closed multiple prisons because they’ve focused their efforts not on the criminalization but on the rehabilitation of their citizens who find themselves incarcerated. That blows my mind. If the rest of the world followed suit and applied that formula to other areas of the human condition (and I mean every area), well…one can dream.
My point is this: if you’re going to be a positive person, be a positive person. When you say something, mean it. When you do something, do it as best as you can. If you’re a lazy, unmotivated, lack-of-self-worth-having walking drooling thing, you’ll become entertainment for the rest of the world. You’ll become forgettable fifteen-minute internet chatter. So go ahead. Shed the idea of what other people think of you. Do your own thing and help people as you’re able along your journey. There are people with families just like you that have less than you can even fathom. There are people LITERALLY dying all around the world. So your shit, regardless of age or social status, is not quite a big deal. And if you’re so concerned about the way technology has somehow created all of that, then maybe you should teach the young, malleable minds of the world how to use human innovation to fucking fix it. Use it for good. Be fucking Robin Hood. If not? Quit bitching about it. Shut up and live your selfish life. Don’t be part of the problem. Don’t even be the solution. Just put a little effort into improving yourself and maybe it’ll rub off on others.
We only ride this roller coaster once. Use all this damn technology to show the world not what you’ve received, but what you can give and create.
Exploration Into Light.
Works by Scott Braun (Sarasota, FL)
Long exposures // removing the lens // putting it on backwards // color adjustment for post production.
im laughing so hard because no matter what song you listen to
spiderman dances to the beat
no matter what song
ive been testing it and lauing my ass off for an hour
It’s been years since I’ve seen this gif… welcome back to my life, sweet prince.
Five deliciously tantalizing works of audio art for your earholes all in one easy-to-swallow set on SoundCloud created by Kyle McAllister and myself. Soon we will be finishing up the remaining songs and making a physical (yes, I know crazy right?) album which you can purchase and hold in your hands like a tangible orgasm of the mind. We are Chateau Noir. Hope ya dig.
Last night I was driving in this beautiful weather. Windows down. Led Zeppelin blasting through the speakers. Song’s over. Now Kid Cudi. Minimal traffic. Sun setting. Light perfect. I felt free.The more I thought about the feeling I was experiencing, the more I wondered why the feeling was so good. And I removed myself from the situation. I looked at the scenario from the outside. Suddenly, I saw snippets of music videos with long winding roads. I saw magazine pages with advertisements of twenty-somethings packed into vintage cars; travelling west into the fading sun.
And then it hit me. That’s it!
Photographs. Movies. Television. Colors. Lights. Sounds. All of these things have been molded and tailored and thrown into our realm of senses our entire lives. Good feelings and flashy colors sell products. A person sees another human being they can relate to in a photograph. The other human is engaging in activities or using a specific product all while carrying a huge smile on their face. So we see that. “That lady is having so much fun! I want that feeling too!” So since the 1950’s, the maddest of men constructed worlds of make-believe people for the real world to lust after. The newest products. The latest fashions. Women shave your legs. Men get that new car. This is the world we live in. Perception. Never mind what’s actually happening. Let’s just make sure we look good on the outside.
So all that thinking led me back to photographs (since that’s what I do) and I started to think about the inherent sadness of the portraits I make. Or just pictures in general. It will never happen again. It is a reminder of a certain point in time that immediately becomes the past. We see images of all kinds. We are inundated with the technological advantage to document every single fucking intimate detail of our existence. Always concerned with what we look like and how we’re living but only as it appears to others. So I guess all this lead me to want to use more of my Eye/Brain camera I was born with. Sure, I’ll still be a photographer. But I will pay more attention to the detail of the world around me as my senses take it all in. Appreciate it for what it is. And what it is to be alive.
Shit. I could have just said “Stop and smell the roses.”
“Jack Shafer has an interesting column today discussing the conundrum that despite there being more political information available than ever before, Americans seem to know less about the world than they ever have. This corresponds exactly to the principle frequently set out here of