Our generation is simultaneously engaged and distanced from the source of our frustration. By frustration I refer to the latent yet often overwhelming anxiety beneath action, the paranoia due to unannounced yet apparent surveillance, that empty feeling when undistracted by technology and the like, and so on. We do not acknowledge nor understand our limitations and this makes us weak. Easily distracted and in constant need of entertainment we search for a screen in which to fixate our attention instead of facing what lies ahead of us. We are so accustomed to the instantaneous and the spectacular that we cannot appreciate the simple, the empty moment; the paradox here is that we often search for simplicity although we do not recognize it.
Further, we are a generation raised within what cannot be considered anything less than a “communication revolution” with little communication skills whatsoever unless it be from behind some machine. We network; we exist within complex social structures made tangible through the various social-networking sites that rob us not only of time but of agency. What power do you hold when living electronically? The trick is that you feel liberated, to some extent, in that you can represent your unique, individual self for all that care to see, while you are nothing, nothing except another profile warranting more advertisements, further expanding virtual space to be claimed for commercial gain. We are ready to reveal ourselves to all in hopes that one might listen, nut no one ever does.
We have no truth, but this may be our only strength or possibly an even greater weakness.
We are everywhere, all the time, to the extent that we do not realize our position within the present moment. Our eyes have adjusted to the dim glow of the various monitors that constantly surround us and we cannot see without strain what lies in front of us.
We are one huge joke but no one is laughing.
And even if we were to laugh it would be silent, sent from one screen to another represented in such a way that completely removes laugher of its human element.
We are ready to accept the machine, to become hybrid, to finally reject nature yet we pretend we care about the environment. At least we care, right? We care enough to “go green” yet not enough to take it back, or at least to see through another legitimate movement commercialized and commodified. So shall we pretend that we are the saviors of the planet? One day written in history books for future disillusioned generations to pass over while in public institutions (state apparatuses).
We “revolutionize” culture but not the system, everything that does not require a fight. We are the ultimate realization of passive revolution, as we were destined to be this way. We never act but constantly move, skating across a smooth world, connected yet isolated.
After the novelty fades what are we to do then, when it is too late? When connection yields to surveillance, technology turned upon itself, what once was liberating now another means of oppression.
We cannot even begin to pretend that it will not come to this. And it will be impossible to find any center to attack as power will soon float, or is constantly floating.
And this could go on, this critique, but to what end? Symptoms of context, the unavoidable positioning of human existence within history; we are all products regardless of any particular ideology.
This critique is ancient, in that it attacks what is apparent but ignored by most. It is easier and now more than ever more productive to not care, as long as the eventual end is worthwhile.
We find relief in security rather than the satisfaction of making a difference, or becoming an actual vehicle of difference. Even belief is passive, personalized to the point of secrecy, understood to be secondary to the rituals of everyday life in which it is admirable to be agreeable and thus docile.
Underneath all of this is something much more dangerous though…
A nihilism unrealized yet marketed:
brand name nihilism.
The ghost in the machine brought to life.
The ultimate separation through instantaneous connection.
Your voice trivialized, over-saturated.
Your space insignificant.
Tearing yourself apart as your identity depreciates.