Ok. So I've had a relapse. I once worked a really boring office job, and spent most of my time scrolling thru various internet sites and blogs, on topics ranging from music to advertising to sex to culture to politics to sexy music and sexual politics. I usually ended up with a massive headache.
These days I work a very similar job and find myself slipping into old habits. I just read a comments thread on a very popular music/celebrity-oriented blog (I won't say which one cuz honestly I don't want to encourage anything) that was an unholy mish mash of name-calling, middle class guilt, the Katrina disaster and an argument about Hilary Duff's "credibility." It made me nauseous. Forget the points/counterpoints of any of the arguments, the level of discourse really didn't reach much greater heights than a hysterical catfight.
Now I realize that it is hypocritical to criticize the internet forum from a position within the internet forum, and I'm just indulging in the same medium that I'm deriding and that means I'm perpetuating precisely what I'm ostensibly critiquing and blah blah blah. But this gets directly to the real issue: we are living in an echo chamber world. The dominant forms of discourse are labryinths which lead nowhere. Everything is self-aware and self-referential and any statement oh so self-consciously contains within it its own self-critique, protected by a shroud of irony, so it's pointless to even try and rebuke it, and really you can't say anything about anything, right?
So all I'm asking is: is that it? Many of us are genuinely interested in offering something of value to the world, whether physically or intellectually or whatever, but are we permanently hamstrung by the conditions around us? We all know the drill: someone does something, or says something, or sings something that grabs people's attention because it seems fresh, it seems to have integrity, and then said person becomes famous and vapid or else is crushed by the weight of expectation, in either case certainly drowned by the wave of backlash which inevitably follows a wave of praise. Can this be avoided, and through some means other than deliberate obscurantism?
Albert Camus wrote beautifully and inspiringly about creating meaning in a fundamentally meaningless world and he drove his car into a fucking tree on a perfectly clear day. So I say it again, to quote the Strokes (yeah, remember the Strokes?): Is this it?