Karma would be real. And scored. And displayed in glowing number on your forehead.
June 4 – Something You Have Seen
aka. Post 4 of Those 30 Posts in June Blog-Every-Day Posts
I admit, I tend to avoid being too controversial on this blog.
I don’t have the energy to fight off trolls and beat down haters who are climbing over the walls to rattle their ideological spears in my virtual face if I was. Instead, I read & watch. And I do often shake my fist at the screens in my life, and like everyone else I’ll seethe with frustrated anger at the irrationality of a stupid or a contrary opinion, but I’ve usually found enough reserve energy in my little battery of restraint to keep myself from jumping into the fray, and in particular, writing blathering crap on this blog that I might someday regret.
my apathy is just letting the other guys win
Yet, regret is a two way street: for example, I do regret my wallflower-like position on occasion. After all, there is that old adage (attributed online to Edmund Burke) that says: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Put another way I think it’s saying that yes, disagreeing and fighting against ideas that are [insert adjective here] is uncomfortable, but my apathy is just letting the other guys win.
The saddest thing I see about the modern world is that we’ve made this all so binary: winners and losers. Right versus left. Urban versus rural. Rich versus poor. Us versus them. Ideology has amplified it all into a sport-like system where you are assigned to a team, a shirted-up rookie, even if you like it or not, and then you are slotted into a type, a character, who is rigidly defined by some blocky, single-axis definition. There is no fuzziness. We are not individuals. We are just the city-folk, middle-class, leftie, yuppies. We are truck-driving, right-winger, gun-toting, evangelicals. We are dippers. We are red necks. Whatever. We are so eager to define each other that we don’t realize we are just categorizing ourselves.
rigidly defined by some blocky, single-axis definition
This seems like no big deal. This seems like some sort of Pollyanna rant, a-can’t-we-all-just-get-along bit of blathering. Life is tough, you say. Fight for your rights, you say. Take what you can get. Fuck you all, I’m looking after myself, you say. Well, you say that, maybe until you realize that when all you’ve succeeded in doing is to divide the world into two big contrarian camps. And if we’re playing a big us versus them game here, there is by definition no way we can all win. So, sadly, rather than all of us working together to elevate, well… all of us… more and more it seems like most of us are working to elevate our side while we stomp down the other.
And we entrench.
Both sides, we hold the line we’ve collectively decided to hold.
We dig into our opinions, no matter how stupid or irrational or unnecessarily binary. And I’d like to suggest we are all sticking our heads in the metaphorical sand, like they say ostriches do, to avoid the reality of the world around us. But I think it’s the opposite of that. Our heads are the only thing that are not buried. We see and hear everything, but we’ve stuck ourselves to our necks in the metaphorical sand, made each other unable to move or react or adapt to a new position without a monumental effort of will and energy. And sure, no one is going to move us from where we’re standing buried there five feet into that beach-head, but when something, somewhere, someday comes washing up –and eventually it will, life the universe, or some unstoppable evil– like the tide rolling in, we’re all going to be in big trouble.
Don’t let the door hit ya’ll on the way out. In my continuing and passive-aggressively brooding battle to not-so-quietly ignore all the trolls of the digital universe, a new chapter unfolded yesterday.
CBC announced that they will soon be stopping all anonymous commenting on their news websites. Huzzah!
If you haven’t witnessed this (now soon to be thankfully extinguished) flame of our broken culture, check it out (a) before it’s gone forever and (b) knowing in your soon-to-be-bruised heart & soul that this failed forum is scheduled to be doused with a big old bucket of cold, fresh, common sense. Finally.
Of course, the comments on the “we’re changing the comments” story were just amazing. Virtual temper tantrums, claims of censorship with tax dollars, and weak little banners being lifted claiming rights violations and the end of free speech. All of this from a troupe of folks who (1) are the first in line to electronically shout, yell, scream, pounce, and derail anyone or anything that conflicts with their own narrow viewpoints and (2) have really only been asked to put their names on their vitriolic trolling.
The free ride for trolls is coming to an end. No more climbing out from under the publicly-funded CBC bridge to yell at passer-bys.
And guys, it’s not that I’m against you having the right to say what you want to say. I’ll set my own efforts out as a model: Go build your own bridge. Go make your own website, blog, channel, or feed, then write, record, say whatever you want. When all of our collective “precious tax dollars” are no longer being used, luring & railroading us, we who are crossing the good-faith bridge of a public website, we the average, unsuspecting readers treading along with the hope of reading real news, written and edited by trained reporters, but rather tricked, corralled into reading your oft-hateful and agenda-driven drivel tacked unfiltered at the end of those otherwise-useful articles, when that no longer happens… then we’ll see something very interesting. We’ll see just how many people actually care to actively seek out and read what you have to say.
After all, there’s no charter right to fame or an audience.
Now here’s the rub. I write all this but I also get that there is fundamental need for some form of anonymity online… somewhere. There is always an argument to be made, and I will be the among first in line to defend that notion, that the ability for persecuted or risky opinions to see the light, that this is fundamental to our efforts to maintain a free and open society. We need a place for minority opinions to be published anonymously, to protect people who can’t publish those ideas without overt prosecution or censorship — the wrath of other people, governments, corporations, or whoever — and we should support that. Freedom for anyone to publish their ideas is what the internet has provided us with as humans, and virtually everyone who wants to find out the method how, has the means and power.
What we do with that power, bent for good or evil is a whole other problem, but I digress…
I would argue the point, however, that (a) the comments section of a public news website is not the ideal location for this anonymous and gaping hole, and in fact if anything has proven counter-productive to that purpose, and (b) more importantly, very few of the trolls arguing the particular point of open, uncensored discourse are actually arguing that point by their own example. My own experience of reading (and receiving) such discourse –on CBC.ca and on this very site of mine– has been one that almost always is more on the side of laser-focused censorship by bored & righteous individuals –trolling– than the defense of a so-called safe space for unpopular opinions …as so many seem to claim. Trolls, and there are always trolls, climb out from under any bridge built in good faith and demand a toll and our fealty to their disjointed ideas.
Thus, anonymity in the comments sections of online publications is a failed experiment, it kindles a dank, dark corner for trolls to hide, and it’s time to find a better way to have these conversations. Safely. Secretly if need be. But not that way.
In the end, I suppose, we’ll see how many people are willing to share such angry and destructive ideas when their name needs to be stamped on them. It’s control, yes, but I don’t think that it is censorship; It’s reclaiming a public a space for civil conversation. We need that, too. In 2016, we need that more.
And the trolls? There will always be trolls. We all know that. But they’ll just need to work a little harder, and go find other bridges to hide under.
I’m tired of this. Everywhere I turn, people shitting on themselves. On us.
I was waiting in line at a downtown Starbucks & buying a coffee this morning while the guy ahead of me –roughly my own age and dressed in a fairly nice business suit– ordered his $6 latte while he chatted to someone on the phone.
Now, to be clear, if you eavesdrop in a circumstance like this it is –socially and morally, I assume– considered fair-game, because the rudeness of talking on the phone while being served in a busy cafe trumps the rudeness of eavesdropping on (and later blogging about) someone else’s conversation.
But I digress…
the world was about end because of our elected politicians
The gist of this overheard conversation, at least as far I could gather from my eavesdropping, was this: our anti-hero, latte guy was having a business-type conversation and explaining to someone (who seemed to live somewhere outside of Alberta) about the current political & economic situation inside Alberta and why in his opinion (and I’m paraphrasing here) the world was about end because of our elected politicians.
If you’ve been tuned-in to anything relating to current events in Alberta in the last year –and here I’m referring to news, radio, television, internet & social media, newspapers, political groups, social gatherings, holiday dinners or (apparently) eavesdropping on conversations in cafes– you have very likely heard something like this: people shitting on our government, our province and our home. Shitting on themselves. Shitting on all of us. And that’s really —really— about the kindest way I can put that.
you have the right to complain all you want
I’m not going to waste any words here trying convincing anyone to break out of their political viewpoint. We all have reasons for supporting who we support, and there was a big change less than a year ago. The rules changed. Complaining is our right, of course. And you have the right to complain all you want. But I will spend a few words commenting on the impact that this is almost certainly having nearby and all around the world.
Let me put this as (probably overly-) simply as I can: everything you say, write, do, or share has an impact, somewhere and somehow, big or small, intentionally or not. Our brand. Our image. The impression that our home as a place to live, work, play, and invest as much hinges on how we are perceived by the world as anything else. Yes, taxes play a role. Yes, legislation plays a role. Yes, government is important. But your impact through your actions –yes, YOURS, and I know math is hard but it– either adds to the value of that image or subtracts from it. Yours may seem like small, individual impact, but we’re a lot of people when you put us together, and all that negativity is starting to compound.
In other words, you’re either a shitter or a shoveller, and collectively it starting to seem like we’re making a really big & stinky pile of shit.
Now, perhaps you are recently unemployed. That sucks, and I’ve been there. But when you spend your time writing vile messages on social media & fomenting angry insurrection in Facebook groups you compound the impression that this is a terrible place with terrible problems. You’re a shitter.
You may be someone who just took a wage freeze for a job that is already taxing your spirit to the breaking point. I feel your pain more than I would ever write about. But when you call the radio with angry, vague rants about the government you further vandalize our brand as a vibrant place to be living and working. You’re a shitter, too.
It could be that you are retired, watching as the value of your investments slide and wondering how you’re going to live the post-work lifestyle that you’ve been promised your whole life. I get it: I myself think about what the economy is going to be like in 25 years and wonder if the money I squirrel away every month will ever be enough. But this province needs your patient wisdom now more than ever, not the panic you spread through ranting about some fantasy-based memory of a past government that was –and let’s be clear– just more politicians, amiright? You, sir, are definitely a shitter, and one that should know better.
you are literally spreading bad vibes about us like a cancer through the economy
Or, you might just be that guy, a latte-buying businessman angry about politics that don’t align with your own, chatting with a client half way around the world. First, hang up the phone while you order your latte dude. Rude. But also: I get the resentment you feel at not feeling represented by your government, and it’s frustrating, but you are literally spreading bad vibes about all of us like a cancer through the economy. You. What you just did there. You’re a shitter. You’re shitting on all of us. Stop it. Not cool, latte guy, not cool.
People tend to (mistakenly, I think) have this sense that the economy is some kind of magic or random or uncontrollable force that we just need to ride and deal with: in reality, it’s a global perception of value and spirit. It’s about how much confidence real people shuffling around real money have about us and what we’re selling. And sure, we’re selling natural resources. But we’re also selling ourselves. Us. We’re selling the idea that we’re worth hiring, worth buying from, and worth working with. We’re selling our brand and our image as a place and as a group deserving of the investment of time and money and emotion and effort by others.
This isn’t automatic. It’s earned.
Yet, when we give the impression that collectively we don’t even believe any this of ourselves, when we shit on ourselves over and over and over, even if it seems like a satisfying reaction to a tough situation, well… what can I say? Even I wouldn’t buy that.
Sure, it may be your right to complain, but it’s your responsibility to understand something else: that all of your complaining doesn’t come without a cost to all of us. Now, go start shoveling instead.
Spoiler Alert: I’m about to get a little political and quite serious. If you no longer have the patience for that sort of thing, you may be interested in this article I wrote a few years ago about the value of running in the fallout of a zombie apocalypse, so read that instead. On the other hand, if you can put up with just one more rant, read on…
When I was in my early twenties, I spent a month travelling through Europe. My bus tour, between stopping at numerous pubs and other exciting sightseeing locations, spent a somber trio of hours at the remains of the Dachau Concentration Camp in Upper Bavaria, near Munich (after checking out the nearby Oktoberfest party that was happening there.)
Having spent the prior evening in a beer tent, most of my travelling companions were hung over and probably fighting to stave off wicked headaches as we wandered through preserved bunkers and various brick buildings with disconcertingly large furnaces. I, on the other hand, was sober… and further sobered by the tour.
Whatever group now operates that site, showcasing it as a stark reminder of a terrible span in European history, they should pride themselves on the fact that of the thousands of things I saw on my month-long adventure through that continent there are only a few crystal clear memories still stuck in my heart today. One of the things that still haunts me nearly twenty years later is standing in the courtyard of that camp in Dachau and feeling the weight of that place on my shoulders. It was a boulder set upon my back, and surely chained there for the duration of my life. I’ve come to understand since that I did not feel that weight because I feared that I’d have been one of the millions who’d been queued up for their fate in a furnace. No, I felt the weight because I feared that I’d have so easily become one of those on the other side of the fence, one of those whose house was being dusted with the ash of human extermination each day and never questioned it, never stuck their neck out to say WTF?
Many folks online like to fend off any discussion of this sort by quoting Godwin’s law: the proposition that all online discussion eventually devolves into calling someone with an alternative opinion a Nazi and comparing their leader to Hitler. And surely, after reading the last couple paragraphs, some people reading this are already dismissing these words on that basis.
I’m not calling anyone a Nazi. I’m not comparing anyone to Hitler. Even I don’t agree that our broken government has devolved that far quite yet. But I am attempting to make a point that hinges on my experiences between those introspective moments in Dachau, my intervening years on and offline, and the frustrating discourse that has been given life in this recent election.
See, about mid-way through this election I was challenged by someone with words that he probably doesn’t recall saying, nor if he did would he probably own up to their impact. I was told to stop behaving like my education made me better than other people… that I was being arrogant because I was well-read, lettered, and had a viewpoint that (while imperfect) is something I’d always considered was based (with focused effort) on a balance of fact, trusted opinions, and societal empathy.
At first I took the insult at face value, and like the metaphorical slap in the face that it was, retracted a bit in shock and readied myself to re-evaluate my thinking on this accusation of arrogance. Maybe I was asserting my opinion too forcefully. Perhaps I was coming off as an asshole because I feel a responsibility to learn, read or think about things and then try to share that information with people who have different opinions, willing to listen or not.
And so, yes, I retreated a bit. I stepped back from writing about ideas and posting my position. While in my own head I’ve been angry and frustrated and ready to rail against political stupidity and divisive campaigning that seems to set ready to further crumble the foundations of this once-peace-loving nation, I kept to myself.
However, I stayed informed. I watched the discussion. I read the articles from all three major camps. And I voted in the advance polls, but because I couldn’t stand the lingering pressure of that nagging self-doubt and minuscule possibility that having picked my ballot choice based on years of their actions rather than weeks of their promises, that my fortitude might somehow crumble in the remaining days and I’d sway in some unforeseen direction I’d later regret. All the while, I kept to myself, afraid of arrogance.
Then that stone still chained to my back felt too heavy again: I remembered Dachau Concentration Camp.
I remembered that millions of people were murdered because of fear. Yet, not only because of their own fear. They were murdered because over a decade of gradual erosion of trust, after years of divisive political nudges, through subtle defacing of checks and balances in the system, erosion of the rights of one vaguely defined group over another vaguely defined group, persistent xenophobia and the never-ending threat of aggression from some foreign state or terror-minded actor, Hitler made everyone else afraid. Afraid of questioning. Afraid of speaking out. Afraid of forcefully claiming that hell, yes they knew better: because they were smart, educated, or had access to information that others might not. Perhaps dozens or hundreds of houses in Dachau were daily covered in ash, the burnt remains of millions of systematically destroyed people raining down on other people, too afraid to step out of line and fight that fear.
I’ve kept to myself, and been afraid to be labeled as arrogant because of fear itself. While yes, this election has presented us with valid issues of true economic weight, topics of hefty environmental importance, and discussions around the security of all of our jobs, drugs (legal and otherwise), service delivery and cuts, and funding for everything imaginable, there has been one blazing red light issue outshining the rest in this election for those who are well-read enough to recognize its hue. I glimpse it. And me, I just want to shout out from the roof of my house: “Don’t you see it? How can you value of a few years of fat paycheques over a generation of social harmony? How can you ignore that our lack of scientific evidence about environmental change is only because of government muzzling? How do you sleep peacefully knowing our government is slowly, methodically allowing our aboriginal population to suffer while subtly turning the blame back on the victims of that slow genocide? How does your math not add up that one crazy young man taking a gun into parliament should never have equated to police-state-like powers granted to a government agency?”
Listen: we are not so special as to be immune to any possible fate, evil or otherwise. Yet, I have hope that we can avert it. I have trust that we are not so far gone down a dark path that our future together can be long and prosperous and peaceful and full of hope.
But in a world where information really can be made into power, the only thing we should truly fear is someone who tries to control, muzzle, restrict, or twist that information: be that you, I, or anyone else.
Our fear to governments is like honey to a hungry bear.
In the coming years when partisan politics, racially charged xenophobia, control of the media, and the vilification of science become the weapons of choice for the government to control the people, your knights and our champions will be the educated and the well-read. Your front line will be those arrogant enough to know that their education is so powerful that it is one of the few things oppressive governments actually fear. The best of these become Warrior-Poets, whose words are like arrows and whose ideas are like swords. They train by learning, and they fight by spreading thoughts and freeing facts, and yes, their pride in their finely crafted skills can sometimes be mistaken for arrogance just as their rage against misinformation and fallacy can be mistaken for intolerance.
Many aspire to their ranks, but few are so worthy. Yet, their studies in the words, facts, knowledge, and the power to move and motivate people with the same are what will truly make us free, safe, and prosperous for generations.
Most importantly though? We should never assert that knowledge is about arrogance. It’s never been so clear cut as black hearts and white ivory towers, because education is not a yes or no question. It’s not about who has intelligence or who lacks it. We are all smart, or able to seek being it. We’re all of us capable of hearing both sides, judging facts against opinions, and of using information, experience and truth to fight the irrationality that builds fear. We, all of us, can use our brains to make this the society and nation we want it to be: the difference is not arrogance versus intelligence, nor pride versus intollerance.
The difference will be judged much later: Someday it will be asked who was hiding in their house as the ashes fell from above, and who stepped out and asked why.
June moves into the home stretch! And onward we push through those thirty posts nearing the end of what I’ve been writing every year this month. For the fifth year in a row I’m back to a month of daily blogging: each day a new post on a new topic, but on the same blog-per-day topic as last year, creating another set of Those 30 Posts in June. Today, that post just happens to be about something that I want:
To Break… This Conversation
The internet is broken.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, part of me used to believe in the inherent goodness of people and the idealism of a world where everyone at least partly strove for some kind of quasi-state of reverse entropy. That together we were building something really cool. That together, working in unison, we would add to this collective sprawl of knowledge, art, beauty, and clarity.
Idealistic, I know, but there’s still part of me that would rather be hopeful about the universe than depressed about whatever current perception demonstrates. Head in the sand. Pollyanna syndrome, perhaps.
But call me Ishmael, Ahab whatever, because my white whale is the digital anonymized rage of our online humanity.
See, I’ve been watching, reading, participating, and doing my own little part to add (I think) positively to the aforementioned collective in ways that (I hope) entertain, inform, or simply amuse a small handful of people. It’s just me writing and posting and sharing, but I try to do so against a self-regulated code of philosophical beliefs that nudges the things I do share towards creating and enhancement of the lives of people who read this, and avoiding adding to the rot whenever possible.
idiots will ruin beautiful things
It’s a little thing.
That said, people will be people, faceless and anonymous idiots will ruin beautiful things, trolls will be trolls, and entropy is a far easier way to leave a mark than the opposite effort. To break an egg is simple, to put it back in it’s shell is nigh on impossible.
I’ve been watching and thinking about this for a long time, but its only really started to bother me in the last year or so. For a while I thought that diving into the fray with both feet and trying to understand it would improve my overall taste for it. Instead, it just pushed me to get more and more annoyed by it. I’d peruse some article on a respectable news website, then get caught up reading (never feeding back into, but absorbing a little bit of) the raw hate and anger of the comment thread. I’d throw my two cents into the Twitter stream, and like a venomous splash of spray be hit by the backwash of merely having an opinion in a space where true identity is selective and barely real. I’d post a few words or a photo to other so-called social spaces and discover that occasionally and unrecognized by themselves, even the most sensible and level-headed people I knew from real life could act in the virtual space like spoiled movie starlets. (No, really, I’m not talking about you.)
I am no better. I am just the same, I know. In fact, I am probably capable of being the worst of them.
Blah, Blah, Blah
These words may come across as a bit of a blog tantrum, I realize, and though I’m trying to write it in a rational and even-minded way there is no way to write that you are pulling back on something for a while without someone claiming that “you’re just taking your ball and going home.” I get it, but then it’s not that either.
hey… you’re just taking your ball and going home
Take this blog, for example. Participation here is virtually zero. I can’t tell you why comments are as rare as they are. People are visiting. People are reading. No one is saying anything. Oh well… I guess. The thing is that when I look at places that are able to drive commenting, it is sadly much worse than my near-zero participation: in fact, it is oh-so-rare for those comments to even resemble something additive to the conversation that in the noise of the trolls and the anger and the venting and the raw digital vandalism for vandalism sake makes me cringe in horror at the dread of someday actually become popular enough to be the target of someone else’s vacant-minded derision. In some ways, I’d rather just be talking to myself and shouting into the void than attracting the sorts of people who seem to have the time and energy to write comments on popular websites.
I’ve occasionally made it clear that this blog is a letter to the future more than it’s a conversation with the present. So, do I really need to pretend that it’s both?
Thus, I’m breaking illusion that a little more. For now. For a while. Nothing is permanent and knowing myself I also know that I’m as changeable as the seasons on these sorts of things. A few months ago I withdrew from active promotion of this blog in those social spaces and effective July first, exactly half way through this year I’ll be pinching off the intake pipe for whatever dribble of conversation was flowing back in towards me. I’ll be turning off my comments completely. Something tells me no one will even notice.
I’ll still be lurking in those other social spaces, but this space is no longer a conversation.
June continues! And onward we push through those thirty posts that I’ve been writing every year this month. For the fifth year in a row I’m back to a month of daily blogging: each day a new post on a new topic, but on the same blog-per-day topic as last year, creating another set of Those 30 Posts in June. Today, that post just happens to be about something that I am:
Craving… Social Media Trolls
Sometimes I get the urge to write an angry post ranting on the many frustrations of the modern state of internet comments. But in the end, mostly, I don’t bother because (a) if you’re online (which you are because you’re reading this) you already know and (b) it’s never wise to feed the trolls.
Mostly I bring it up now due to the problem that faces me whenever I read the news online: it’s election season. We just finished a provincial election that proved to be somewhat of an upset (uh… understatement) and now it seems we’re creeping into a summer-long federal campaign though the writ has yet to be dropped.
Don’t even get me started on the blur of stupid south of the border.
The sad thing is that I can almost handle the political rhetoric these days. I’ve honed my personal filters to the point where os much of it gibbers through my head and I’m able to ignore the bulk of the crazy.
But, oh the trolls… the trolls, trolls, trolls…. TROLLS!
We get it: you’ve got an axe to grind and you not only see nothing wrong with having literally tens of thousands of angry comments associated with your pseudo-anonymous identity on the local news website… in fact you deride others who lack your level of so-called participation. Really? As if having nothing better to do than writing an angry comment into a news website every five minutes for eight hours a day makes you well informed about anything. *sigh*
Haters be hating, I know… but I’m seriously thinking about hiding under a bridge until the trolls decide to reclaim them. It might be a while.
I think it would be nice if Karma could be more literal and a little less lucky coincidence. But only every other day.
So, last night I was driving to pick up Claire after school and as I almost always do, I hit the school zone speed reduction limit at about 4:25. As usual, and because it’s a law that I completely agree with, I touch my breaks and drop my speed to 30kph as I approach and do my creep-along towards the school. Frequently I meet frustrated drivers who tailgate me or try to pass (and if you are one of those folks you should know that I’m a hundred times as frustrated in return at your lack of respect for my kid and her peers) but last night I had an extra rude woman who not only tailgated me but started “gesturing” rudely and clearly so that I could see her frustration in my rearview mirror. At that moment we just happened to be approaching a “reminder” sign, so I raised my own finger and pointed at the “SCHOOL ZONE” sign. I look back and she’s holding up four fingers and aggressively waggling the bunch at me as if to say “4 o’clock dumbass!” At which point we conveniently pass yet another reminder sign to which I point again: this one says “SCHOOL ZONE 8:00 to 16:30” When I checked my mirror again she had sheepishly backed off about thirty feet and I could have sworn she had her foot in her mouth.
Religion? Though a lot of people seem to try.
Oh, look… June! And there was something I was forgetting… ah, right: those thirty posts I write every year in June. That again. For the fifth year in a row I’m back to a month of daily blogging: each day a new post on a new topic, but on the same blog-per-day topic as last year, creating another set of Those 30 Posts in June. Today, that post just happens to be about something that I’ve:
Call it getting older, or whatever, but there was something that resonated with me in that recent so-called scandal that erupted over some comments made by actor Simon Pegg recently about the dumbing down of culture.
In an interview that was published a couple weeks ago he was quoted as saying “Obviously I’m very much a self-confessed fan of science-fiction and genre cinema. But part of me looks at society as it is now and just thinks we’ve been infantilised by our own taste.”
Which of course made the internet explode for a few hours. Nerd rage. Love it. Hate it. Just don’t try to explain it.
But you know what? I kinda have to agree with Pegg. And in a well-written blog post Pegg fleshes out a neatly reasoned article about how our unquenchable group thirst for the rejuvination of the shiny objects of our pop-culture childhood has made art into a kind of late-80s-style glowing smear of dumb.
Yet after a while, as guilty as I am as the rest of us of clawing to recapture those long lost moments of my life, I’ve started to hear the hollow echo of it all a little bit more clearly. It’s the culture equivalent of a bag of Doritos: and I’ve pretty much given up eating that crap, too.
I’m a fan and I’ll long be one. And for the record, only a true fan would call out the drivel and decline of something he loved. So, I don’t find Pegg’s commentary pretentious: it is call for a maturing of taste at a buffet filled with little more than doughnuts and gummy bears. It’s a loss of that youthyness, and a seeking of something richer and more filling.
I’ll keep looking. I’ll tell you if I find it.