November 13th, 2001
I was just remembering back to my childhood when no one had answering machines. The phone would just ring and ring and ring! Everyone has an answering machine now.
Phones all had cords then too. I hardly know anyone with a corded phone, now. I can only think of one person, no two. Three, counting me, but I never use that phone. I just keep it in the room with the ringer off for those early morning calls when I'm asleep. (My early morning lasts until 11:00am, please take note). If I hear the phone in the other room and feel like answering it then I'll use the corded phone on my window sill. That rarely ever happens, though, as I either don't care to answer or I forget that I have a corded phone in my room.
I suppose these are the stories I'll tell some young kids one day. They'll be amazed. They'll be even more amazed that the Internet didn't exist like it does now until about the year 1994 (with images on web pages). And even then, the Internet at 1994 was NOTHING like the Internet is now. You could actually find some worthy non-commercial sites on search engines, and people had link pages FILLED with cool sites.
The Internet as we know it now simply depresses me. It certainly has its benefits, admittingly. Artists can put up interactive portfolios laden with cutting edge Shockwave. Musicians can sample their music to the masses. People can post on populated web forums. You can buy cheap jazz cds and have them sent to your home.
But that's precisely where it gets overwhelming, miasmatic. And surely, if I was involved with the Internet on a more grand scale I'd be prone to having emetic fits on a regular basis. So what's so sickening, you may wonder? Well, as I hinted above and in a previous post (filled with rage), the Internet has transmogrified into a hideous manifestaion of capitalism. Capitalism, capitalism, capitalism. Beautiful capitalism. Capitalsim, on its own, doesn't sound like a bad idea at all. And surely, it isn't! What it's turned into, however, is most definitely asphyxiating. They feed us their visions of sex. They elevate it to a level of unhealthy, unnatural intensity and then they poorly satiate that need for sex (for a price, of course). Same with EVERYTHING else. Hey, nothing's wrong with being a lazy, mouldering sloven. Nothing's wrong with it at all just as long as you're playing our latest video game.
The Internet is one giant commercial. The commercial of all commercials. The Net is slowly, nay rapidly, fading away from its original purpose: to enlighten and spread information. Now all it spreads is the infectious disease of greed. A contagion that knows no cultural boundaries. I had hoped that it wouldn't come to this; that the despicable affection of greed would somehow stay out of cyberspace, or at least not grow to the extent that it has.
And so I'll continually lament for the loss of the ideal Internet. A Net that isn't chalk full of sites that want your money, or sites that elevate those who make product. There are so many personal sites now that aren't even personal. They just grammatical orgies praising the latest palm pilot, the most innovative computer product, or the coolest show on NBC. Can't there be a space in this world, real or virtual, that serves as a retreat, a reprieve from the awful world of 'buy my product/have you heard about the latest product?'
We are no longer the consumers. We are the consumed.