the virtue of ego

on my way in to work this morning I was thinking about the ghetto boys. I felt like my mind was playin tricks on me and I was wrestling my way out. what kinda tricks? dirty ones. ones that make you feel like you know where you stand when in fact you’re about to sink in quicksand.

a while ago Foulweather wrote an insightful piece on community and the Internet.

“I fear people are seeking community here at the expense of real community, taking social risks 'online' but barely able to have meaningful interactions with their neighbors. It is going to catch up to us. There's nothing better than going a way from computers, cell phones and all that shit and having to actually interact with real live physical people.”

the internet gives us a false sense of community. I say false because although we do create some sort of community through our blogs or forums or the scourge that is social networking sites such as fecalbook, it is all based on words and images which may or may not reflect anything about our individual day to day lives. knowingly or not we build these virtual persona and social groups which exist primarily in our heads and fingertips.

you may ask what is wrong with that. isn’t it the way of the future?

remember that sci-fi film a while back when the guy goes into the future and meets a girl. he thinks that they are about to have sex when suddenly she sits him down and hands him some sorta helmet with which they will make a virtual romantic experience. the irony of course being that they are in a room, alone, sitting mere inches from each other –the perfect conditions for a true intimate experience.

the point I’m trying to make is that we are already separated enough from the natural world tucked away in our offices and cars and malls. and now with our “internet communities” we are separating ourselves even farther from a natural experience. humanity separated itself from nature a long time ago with its “taming” of nature and creation of the scientific method. this intellectual separation from nature has had many ill side effects which have been written about and documented by the same said scientists. however, this current separation that is taking place from natural human relationships is still new and can have massive potential downfalls.

in the immediate I write these words as a didactic self exercise –exorcism. I want to remind myself that what gives me meaning is making dinner with B each night, or meeting a certain dark one at the crack of dawn for a dip in the turbulent north Atlantic, or making lots of double shot espressos with my co-worker all day long to see if we can hallucinate from too much caffeine.

this space is no more than a sounding board for my ego, a way for me to learn to express myself with the ultimately ineffectual written word (more on this topic some other time).

I leave with the classic from Bushwick Bill and crew.


tres_arboles said...

Another really thoughtful post, Ras. I agree with the negative idea of internet community as pastiche. I believe that's made worse by the fact that much of what makes community in the imitation internet sense is loaded with abjectly hostile treatment of others. This trait is most apparent in the comments sections of the newsy or political blogosphere. It's in these places that debate and discourse functions of public conversation has been utterly replaced by sneering ridicule and overwhelming evidence of the inability of humans to process opinions that differ from their own.

All that said, I am happy to be a blogging person and am thrileed at the 'friendships' that I have developed with you, the guys in the Oregon crew, Ed in Mex, and others over the years, merely by participating as one in the "surfy" ranks. Wouldn't have it any other way; other than if you all lived here in Seattle!


lawless said...

As with most things in life, it is what you make of it. If you want to make something positive of it, it's there to be had, but like tres mentioned, many use it as a sounding board for their ineffectual rants and ramblings hiding behind the false sense of anonymity.

I've wasted a lot of time online, but at the same time have created and fostered many lasting friendships through it.

It is an interesting experiment in Social structure especially since we are only in it's infancy. It's hard to imagine what it will be in another 20 years given the rate it's changed/evolved over the past 10.

Mick said...

Ras, friendships form in the strangest ways, and over the net you get an edited version of the real deal, but then you meet the real deal and they're better than the positve image you originally had. You and Dave proved that in NY.
Good people don't pretend to be other than good over the net and dickheads just end up being bigger dickheads.