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<nettime> defending our precious online fluidity [guderian, wang, mccaff
nettime's_new_man on Thu, 21 Aug 2003 04:33:09 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> defending our precious online fluidity [guderian, wang, mccaffrey]


Re: sfweekly/anderson: attack of the smartasses: America the Bereft
     Carl Guderian <carlg {AT} vermilion-sands.com>
     Dan Wang <danwang {AT} mindspring.com>
     Mike McCaffrey <nettime {AT} mccaffry.net>

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Sender: cguderia {AT} mx-out.daemonmail.net
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2003 19:39:05 +0000
From: Carl Guderian <carlg {AT} vermilion-sands.com>
Subject: Re: sfweekly/anderson: attack of the smartasses: America the Bereft

Hey, I'm American and I was like that *before* 9/11! I'd say this
particular story is a healthy sign. My money's on the fakesters. 

Carl

Frederick Wilson wrote:

> Post-9/11, America delves deeper into unreality, infantilism, and
> non-information.  A nation of two hundred eighty million in denial, bereft
> of those killed, and despairing of catharsis yet desperate for blind but
> unsatisfying revenge, thus ever more hideous escapism.
 <...>

-- 
Games are very educational. Scrabble teaches us vocabulary, Monopoly 
teaches us cash-flow management, and D&D teaches us to loot the bodies. 
-- Steve Jackson

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Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2003 15:29:16 -0500
Subject: Re: sfweekly/anderson: attack of the smartasses: America the Bereft
From: Dan Wang <danwang {AT} mindspring.com>

This was going on before 9/11. But it's more about social alienation than it
is escapism.

You know in _Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas_ (the book, not the movie) where
Duke and his attorney, used to traveling within the freak world, are
marveling at the reality of white Middle America around the craps tables
while infiltrating the National District Attorneys Conference?

I think it goes something like this:

"...here was the cop-cream from Middle America...and, Jesus, they looked and
talked like a gang of drunken pig farmers! And...there are a helluva lotta
of 'em!!!"

That was in 1971. 

Well, guess what...a good many of the *children* of those people who looked
like "drunken pig farmers" have grown up, moved to the cities, and now feel
superior to their small town and suburban roots.

Except they are even more displaced than were their parents. They have no
friends around them, because all the people they went to school with or grew
up with now live in different cities. They live a longs ways from their
relatives, most of whom they don't know that well anyway. Their lives are
idealized by the TV show "Friends" and they long for the future days of
hanging out with people just like themselves. They are lonely, and want to
meet people. It's hard to have a tight circle of bosom-best, lifelong pals
when you've lived in a city for only 3 years. Staying somewhere for decades,
or going back to the place you grew up are not options for these
people--somehow, that qualifies as failure. Better to engineer an easier way
to form those perfect friendships that they all want (but not so many have
experienced), 'cause there's just gotta be a way, right?

But the fakesters are the present day freaks ready to perform an
entertaining disruption...and in process build a community of trust and
mutual identification in association with each other, and which leaves the
realsters hungrier than ever. Funny, funny.

dsw 

> Post-9/11, America delves deeper into unreality, infantilism, and
> non-information.  A nation of two hundred eighty million in denial, bereft
> of those killed, and despairing of catharsis yet desperate for blind but
> unsatisfying revenge, thus ever more hideous escapism.
 <...>

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Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2003 18:17:22 -0400
From: Mike McCaffrey <nettime {AT} mccaffry.net>
Subject: Re: sfweekly/anderson: attack of the smartasses: America the Bereft

Post-9/11? Is the terrorist attack supposed to have caused people to start 
joining online communities? Or did you mean that it has lead to people 
faking their identities in online communities? Or perhaps it has lead to 
people writing articles about online communities or about people faking 
their identities in online communities? I could have sworn that these 
practices were on the rise even before 2001...

Perhaps this is an example (amongst many) of people evoking the name of 
tragedy in order to make their opinions appear more grand and credible. If 
you say something like "Kids these days are out of control!'", people are 
likely to dismiss you as just another aging whiner. If you say "Post 9/11, 
the behavior of American youth has become out of control!", your mundane 
observations suddenly appear to be as important as terrorist attacks or 
unfounded war.

Or maybe this is just a symptom of the fact that 9/11 is the only defining 
reference for the time we live in. After the anticlimactic transition, 
prefixing a statement with "Post Y2K..." just makes your point sound weak. 
"In the 21st century..." makes your statements seem abstractly futuristic. 
And no one appears to have any idea what to call this decade. The Zeros? 
The Naughts? The Identifier Formally Known as the 90's?

We should be careful though with the use of the phrase "9/11". If it 
continues to be so commonly vocalized, its connection with those who were 
lost might really be forgotten...

Mike

P.S. I thought the original article was hilarious. Thanks for passing it on!

At 08:44 PM 8/19/2003, you wrote:
>Post-9/11, America delves deeper into unreality, infantilism, and
>non-information.  A nation of two hundred eighty million in denial, bereft
>of those killed, and despairing of catharsis yet desperate for blind but
>unsatisfying revenge, thus ever more hideous escapism.
 <...>

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