Pain As Expertise In The Attention Economy

Often I find it difficult to dissect when a person is actually narrating a tale of woe based on their own story, or based on one they’ve heard spoken from a member of their in-group. Identity politics provides this really interesting space where stereotyped horror stories are capable of not only avoiding attack for branding individuals as cookie cut, but also allows for that cookie cut group to have as logo the same shared pain trope. I am pretty sure when Herbert Simon spoke about the attention economy, he did not realize the major factor to consider in harnessing attention in an information rich society would be to scream loudly, “my ouchie hurts, too!!!”


It is not that doubt that many of the members of the more privileged class of whichever oppressed group is getting the most burn behind the atrocities faced by their more alienated and marginalized brethren and sistren do not experience the same level of pain. Wait, I am totally lying. I pretty much fully doubt it. That does not make me a bad guy, it makes me critical of those using warmed over narratives that once represented genuine epochs of human suffering. Now, these narratives only work to generate a few rebroadcasted social media updates of a clever hashtag in a sea of copy and pasted overly dramatic hyperbolic tales of woe. It would seem as though the badge of belonging among certain in-groups in media space is to not only belittle the less unfortunate among a particular group, but to also steal the lived experiences of them while over-exaggerating particular aspects of one’s own life to stretch to fit the one-hundred and forty character tear jerking Twitter blast necessary to complete initiation.
I suppose it is simply too humane for the lumpen and proletariat to actually have to experience as a lifestyle the most damaging share of society’s incessant hostilities, they must also have their voices maimed from their very mouths as well.