1 Comment

On this: "From the perspective of media ecology, the shift to print as the dominant cultural medium is interpreted as having the effect of tempering the emotional intensity of oral culture and tending instead toward an ironizing effect as it generates a distance between an emotion and its experssion."

I'm reminded of two things I read, one in a book about the philosophy of art, but I can't remember by whom or how it was phrased, but simply the idea that what an artist "is" is a person who sees life from a distance, who comments on life as much as they live it; the other was from Marshall McLuhan, about the role of the serious artist in society, which is to hold these enveloping and immersive things at a distance and comment on them and ironize them, and that only the serious artist can fulfill this role because others are swept up....

Social media asks that everyone with a login be a "creator" now, and "commenting" on society has become a relatively unimaginative meme-led team sport, in which people regurgitate artifacts resembling counter-culture, like little mass production lines with feet; social media has also brought us to this ouroboros-like state in which the dominant cultural bullshit is the performance of actions that had, in prior times, been the *defense* against dominant cultural bullshits.

I'd complained to someone recently that the one of the worst things that happened to me, personally, was that the internet "went mainstream." But it's worse than that: being not-mainstream went mainstream. The serious artist eats its tail.

Expand full comment