Archive for March, 2018

14
Mar
18

Frankenstein’s Cloud pt. 2

frankenstein-2

One last online group I forgot to mention (at the pause of this sermon; Frankenstein’s Cloud pt. 1) and that group is, you and I. Every day we get on the internet or check our phone for social chatter, watch media, listen to flotsam. We become victims, caretakers of a monster which seems unstoppable as we try to ignore the barrage of shit that offends us, by posting shit to offend them. Eventually, one of the dozens of videos we stumble across hits a nerve. Something startles you into reaction and before you know it, you’re busy searching online for validation of your opposition. Someone was shot by cops. Somebody kicked a dog or screwed their kids. Some politician just took your good earned taxes and put it in their pocket. The news feed hits you so fast that you barely take the time to slow down and check the sources of a story, you just sling it along to shock the next person you know.

So the suggestion I bring to you, to help thwart this madness we suffer (being hooked to our devices), is to unplug a bit. A simple sounding suggestion, but so many won’t do it on a regular basis. Leave your phone alone one day out of the week. Remember; our society, back in 2000, was not filled with everyone-everyday-being thrust within the social cloud, via their phone. That was less than twenty years ago, but now we act as though we can’t get through one day without phones running our lives. I suggest you back off from the daily horrorshow on your phone and reconnect with just being yourself. Observe things, look at birds, reflect and evaluate what you’re experiencing. visit a good friend-in person. Go to a bar in your hood and talk someone’s ear off. Trust me, your phone will be there when you get back to it.

Homes and offices are equipped with internet access, phones to check Tweets, television broadcasts on 24 hour news channels and we all seem to get in the habit of letting them run in the background, like white noise. Some of our actions have become Pavlovian in response, the involuntary checking of the screen for messages, the pensive moment waiting for a response to what you just posted.¬† Avoid news and entertainment programs for one day and use it to open your eyes and view what’s walking right in front of you. Steer clear of McDonald’s for one day, if you know they have a television blaring Fox News in the morning. Don’t pull up the MSNBC website on your computer home page and start perusing the latest political drool. Online program services like Netflix or Hulu allow you to gang watch entire seasons of programs any time we want, so all you have to do is avoid them on your particular unplug day. Your favorite show will be there when you get back. Those shocking news stories hitting the airwaves, right now? They’ll be there the next day. It’s all just like soap operas; you can go away for a month, come back and pick up right where you left off. The online entertainment extravaganza just keeps on going. The online news scare will never go away…not totally.

I’m not suggesting we all revert back to a more simple time, that would be a ridiculous thing to expect. What I suggest is a more equal time in your life between the social cloud we make and interact in, and the world of flesh and blood where humans connect with one another on an unseen level. People who don’t think we need contact with one another forgot, or never saw, the footage of the experimental Rhesus monkey they deprived being able to touch it’s Mother. The thing went batshit, acted like a strung out crack addict. Humans need contact as well, but if we become reclusive and shy away from contact with others (other than online), how can we expect a healthy outcome?

One day a week. Could you do it?

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07
Mar
18

Frankenstein’s Cloud pt. 1

frankenstein-1

So many of us have become like Odysseus; tied to the mast of a ship, eager to hear the sounds of the sirens, even knowing that to do so will leave us incapable of sane thought or reason. We plunge headlong, day after day, onto social media sites, we fill out ears with 24 hour news prattle, we watch YouTube clips and assorted media pumped to us by friends and enemies alike, showing heinous crimes and abhorrent behavior. We spend very little time to holding media stars accountable for their words or actions and let them off the hook in a few days after we become inundated with the newest monsters. More swill thrown at us to gasp at, more click bait tugging at our curiosity. Fuck that old video of some kid who died, there’s a new dead kid video someone just posted. Shock footage and teaser headlines have become more addicting than crack cocaine, attitudes flare up on a daily basis and get shoved in your face via phone, television and computer. We’re all getting caught in a trap and refuse to fight the monkey developing on our psyche. Welcome to the mother fucking Church, people. Scream all you like, we’re tied to the mast and can’t get away.

Everyone’s got a story-I’m no different in that regard-and we all want to be heard, or seen, or paid attention to. All of this is possible, on the cloud. The positive concept behind what the social cloud could offer us was the opportunity to express ourselves, be creative, share moments of our life with loved ones and educate ourselves on a rapid scale (by comparison to the age of paper bound publications). Technology grew and gave us fast, new, exciting ways to convey the sublime…and the mundane. It got way out of hand though, and here we are, wrestling with the madness, fighting the taunts thrown at us by media moguls that prey on your attention. We’re given minor distractions in the form of apps we take with us wherever we go. We develop this nervous tic of snapping pictures, regardless of how meaningful they are. People are given free games where they can look at bubbles and put them in rows and eliminate them, while taking a shit. We never seem to be alone, yet we all feel so lonely.

This technological lifestyle is a growth spurt that humans and machines are going through…growing pains, I should say. It’s as awkward as puberty and lots of folks are still trying to find solutions; I’m no different. I wonder if this is the foretold Age of the Singularity coming about ( for those of you unfamiliar with the term ‘Singularity’, use your tech. You’re reading this blog; you have the ability to Google ‘Singularity’). Maybe it’s not going to be some stark reality where robots are running down the street using their laser eyes to kill humans. Maybe the Singularity comes about in a subtle form of societal hypnotism, mesmerizing humans with flashing lights and sounds. Serotonin triggered moments from getting so many ‘likes’ on a post-and if you think you’re vulnerable from that particular rush, if you think you can fight that feeling, see what happens when something you post out there spikes three and four digit numbers of online viewings. It’s a rush, a high tech blow job and we all could use one of those, so I understand folks-but with the good comes the bad. Saddled to the back of those good feelings from social media is this monster which frightens us into an alert status, pulling at our primal fear instinct. It doesn’t matter whether we want it or not, it will be there. The evil side of our technology is the equivalent exchange, the penance we pay for now having the ability to reach a global audience in an instant. The beast that can frighten us is being fed and nurtured by people with fat wads of cash who can fuck with the world at their wallet’s leisure. They fuck with the world on a grand monetary scale. We also have the lone kid in some distant room in Bangkok, or Russia or anywhere else, that has a lonely bored lifestyle and can fuck with the world, because that lone kid has nothing but a computer and time. And, of course, we have our politicians. They are vapid pieces of monotony who strive to be more spectacular than ever, online. They pummel us with video footage and press releases each and every day, email campaigns that never stop, while the common problems they could fix or help out with, go untouched. Roads decay, environments rot, people’s health care depletes¬† and our political leaders continue to dance before our eyes while nothing gets done. The Crimson King, Donald Trump, masters his tweet launches as a stinging weapon to harm those who oppose, and mentally masturbate those who follow. His outlandish statements and jaw dropping on air performances sidetrack everyone from stopping his clandestine operations. The flippant behavior to his civil service, the job he was put in place to do, has everyone wondering what the hell could he possibly do or say next?….and then he does it.

(contd.)




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