or my head is fucked
I take my ass back
to where I grew up
and get real, boy
it’s never too late
before I be like you
and make a weak ass tape…”
– Too Short, “In The Trunk”
Much of what I dislike in this new age writing(why do we hate the word blogging so?) is the overkill of common sense driven topics. I just got through reading an article that detailed in no less than one thousand words how an individual can tell if a person is frustrated. Not how to go about alleviating the frustration, but simply how to tell when people or a company’s leading decision maker is frustrated. I was slightly angered that I wasted valuable computing power by clicking the link(you know how resource heavy Firefox can be) and then actually taking the article seriously enough to read completely through the first paragraphs before my common sense alarm blared. In the era where the personal blogger is losing traction amongst the sites that blog about blogging(what would happen to great literature if writers only wrote about composing great writing?), we will start to be inundated by such articles. I understand, hell, I sympathize and empathize. It isn’t easy to detail a highly specialized topic of merit on a level that causes most of its readers to be informed every week. Now, try that every day at three times pace.
Sure, I have my jerk moments when I’m reading one of these pieces where I’m like, what is this high school drivel?! But, I know what that “high school drivel” is. It is most likely a very educated, highly informed, once fearfully passionate writer now tasked with writing about something they love in a way that gets the bottom line covered. They aren’t allowed that three months to research and edit that spectacular piece like they wrote that got them the job, or like the one that caught so much attention they began taking blogging seriously. No. They have maybe three hours to google research a topic, hope to the Sun the junior high student that wrote the Wiki article was about their work, and actually type out the piece without so much concern about typographical errors. Or an editor, but that is another topic.
We who are born and preened in these United States of America are force fed capitalistic principles. I was force fed this capitalism, but I was also one of those born losing at the game of capitalism, so I started cheating when I was a child. Eventually I got caught cheating. From the lessons procured through the punishment given to cheaters in this system, I learned that there are other systems, other ways to go about resource distribution. I learned a fair deal about how this present system uses people like my self to keep it going. I also developed a keen sense of power attribution. At the moment, that looks like a lot of practical and useful information that would help people develop skills is being pushed to the side for attention gleaning writings.
It means that guy that was so passionate about music and hip hop he started rhyming. That same guy that had every Rakim album back when you had to pay for them. The same guy that grew up with a developed rhyme scheme, a mature catalog of recorded music, and now a family. How do we expect this passion for what is not gossip and the WWF of unimaginative word herders not to become “high school drivel”? We don’t pay our writers to write about how they go about developing a rhyme scheme;we pay them to write about how often Drake thinks about strap-ons and Nikki Minaj(I’m so going to pay for that one…). I’ve watched several St. Louis website content providers(we really are going to have to reevaluate that term,”blogger”) stop writing for their more personal sites, and devote all of their attention to work-related, or industry specific sites. Which is their business and choice, sure, but it shows what the capitalist in all of us will force us to do, distance our Selves from that which makes us, for that which makes us money. It is the passionate content that I wish to be blessed with;the other work is less than valued.
Reading a blog is like meeting a person and being allowed to enter their mind in a way we usually will not be afford in more corporeal settings without a certain familiarity. This means a number of things, right? It means that I’m not worried about the look on your face when I explain that I’ve been using restaurant bathrooms to shave in, because the women that offer me their spaces typically only want to offer their spaces(*smiles*). It means that I don’t mind explaining my thoughts on the semantic web, although in person, I tend to ask a few questions seeking ideological stance either in favor of the open source community(or at least sharing on the web) or the oppositional stance. I don’t mind giving detailed technical instruction, although I don’t in person, but the capitalist in me feels uncomfortable giving advice for free when I know you are getting paid from it.
The point is, if we the content readers don’t demand, which here means pay, our contributors and writing public to give us quality work, then our minds will suffer. We are already witnessing the “dumbing down” of the internet through this concept of semantic web. As I’ve stated, I don’t want a “semantic web.” I don’t want my machinery to be as “cool” as me. I’m cool enough for me and my machine. I don’t buy dictionaries and thesauruses for the sake of using words I already know in a way I’m already using. I don’t need my readings to be limited by a guy that would love to write to me about how he goes about creating music on a homeless man’s budget but can’t. Our children may not even know what they should expect from passionate writers, so I am truly concerned about the future. The “Black-owned”(in media, that phrase is so meaningless…) websites already think their parents are brainless Facebook and Twitter status zombies whose capabilities of achievement are limited to bringing culture to the field, but not creating and owning their own fields.