by: The Internet w/ Jonathan Marcantoni
The Internet indignantly responds to Across the Margin’s recent multimedia endeavor, A Letter to the Internet…
Dear Mike, Chris, Chris, and Alan,
I am not amused. And I am not sure which part amuses me the least. Actually, that’s horse shit! I know exactly what pisses me off: the fact that after all your whining and analyzing and criticizing of me and what I have enabled people and society to do, dragging me through the mud and making me look like the root of all that is fucked up in this day and age during your podcast, you’re undoubtedly going to read this message on e-mail, most likely while listening to iTunes, perhaps while clicking back and forth between various websites, one of which might be your very own online magazine, or checking how many downloads your slanderous podcast has racked up, and patting yourselves on the back for being so goddamn above it all, all the while…USING ME! That’s what gets me the most!
But I digress. Sometimes the weight of the expectations placed on me makes me want to get drunk on my own beer ads. What you all seem to have forgotten is that in the end, I am nothing more than a filter for knowledge, an encyclopedia of truths, and of lies, most of which are entirely misunderstood. I carry within me the burden of a mangled history used to justify every brutality and injustice enacted throughout the history of humankind. You think you are confused about the direction I am taking you into the future? Try deciphering your past, especially when entire websites devoted to it can’t even get it right.
I listened to your little spiel with some amusement, and the fact that you rambled for an hour or so in an effort to find some sort of meaning or significance in online trends almost blew my circuits. Waxing poetic about technological advancements and the promise of the Internet, and its ability to bring together ideas and people….Jesus, do you really forsee an advancement in penis enlargement ads? That’s what I’m used for more often than not, you know. The worship of celebrity. The worship of wealth. The worship of self in sixty second video clips. But I do understand where you are coming from. And after perusing the vast wealth of my archives which, unlike the libraries of yesteryear, cannot be burned down causing centuries of knowledge to be lost1, it’s so easily recognizable that the human species has hardly advanced as a society beyond the achievements of the ancient Greeks (one of your only rational points!). Yes, you are all making same mistakes people! Body shaming. People shaming. Twitter shaming. Morally superior stances masquerading as virtue. Cowards hiding behind anonymity while they abuse strangers. Nothing new here folks. The medium may have changed, the reach may have changed, but you humans are no better than the barbarians of the Dark Ages.
The greatest constant in life isn’t change, it’s the fear of change, and with the fear of change, people cling to their ideologies. Radicalism is nothing new. Neither is decadence. The same narratives are being played over and over, particularly in the country where you four hail from, where the immigrant who embraces and assimilates for the love of his adopted land, the benefits of Democracy over Tyranny, the promotion of one religion over another, one party over another, one social class, one race, the list goes on. This polarization will only widen, and for all this “connection” you spoke of with the entire world, we are really just practicing what Adam Smith talked about with his earthquake in China analogy, where he profoundly stated that an earthquake in China will not elicit as much empathy from a person on the other side of the world as pricking their own finger. You all post pics of righteous articles on atrocities in Africa, Asia, the Americas. You put up pictures of revolutionary figures and quote obscure philosophers, yet you don’t do it because in your real life you are enacting change, you do it for the spectacle, for the pats on the back or the “likes” or “retweets,” which is to say, you do it for yourselves, and that’s a tradition that goes back to Sophocles’ Antigone!!
So congratulations human race, through me and without my permission, you’ve managed to create a highly sophisticated digital reality based on complex algorithms, using cutting edge technology to move information more rapidly than ever around the entire planet. You then filled this digital realm with every application and ounce of recorded knowledge, not to mention every engrained superstition and outright stupidity anyone has ever thought or acted out on. You have the entire catalog of human history at the click of a mouse, and yet all you have done with it is act the exact same way you have since you were beating off in caves.
Jesus! I cannot wait until the machines take over.
For the record, Chris Thompson, your agitation toward these social trends is completely spot on. But don’t blame me. I’m just a messenger. Blame your species for not doing more with the awe inspiring knowledge it possesses. Maybe you and your friends think that through having this dialogue and by being “conscious” you can change others for the better….but history deems that highly unlikely.
- Like that hyperlink so you can immediately see what I am referring to? Like how fast and accessible everything is? Yeah, that’s all me! [↩]