"I boldly predict that, in about a decade from now, rather than disappearing completely, our strongest customs and traditions will become stronger."
I'm so used to hearing of (as well as predicting myself) a future in which we are all atemporal, cosmopolitan, jet-packing cultural omnivores, (or, naturally, some syncretism of these) it sounds almost radically prophetic to hear a prediction to the contrary. But hey, if Twitter does anything, it convinces you that your sub-culture actually does rule a dimension of the universe. You are the new scholar, the head of the pack, the crest of the wave, instantly at 140 characters a breath. The internet is a bank of parallel petri dishes, arranged in towering capital capacitors of human-hyrid cannibalism, along the burnt out crust of Zizek's Matrix-esque Desert of the Real, allowing us to live our own epistemological fantasies of truth and correctness, which the real electricity alligns our particles for some sort of nefarious, exo-human machine...
But why shouldn't the Internet, which is often considered to be a folk-force in itself, simply become the repository and conduit for all of the folk-forces that have already existed throughout the history of time? Sure, some people will dodge back and forth, amazing us all with their well-readness, but others will just marinate, assuming most of the "democratic-internet" is backing them with their Tea Party Twitter-ness, or their Bride-Burning reality shows, or alt-sex mercenary conventions, or whatever it happens to be?
This is not to say, "well, if this great E-Democracy doesn't unite us, it will certainly divide us" in a founding-father Patriot/Anti-Patriot QuoteThink Ourosboros. I think it is more indicative of the fact that whatever we think things will be, of course they will be, but at the same time being other things, until we can get it together to sum it up in a snappy quote, and then we realize, "oh but it is actually that" as well. Will traditions come together, or dissolve? Uh, whatever! Yes/no, of course!
I think the operating quote here is not "Things fall apart, the center cannot hold" but "What if the empire never ended?" Not because of the meaning inherent in these sappy quotes, or because the former was uttered by a poet, and the latter composed by a drug-addled mystic/half-employed creative, but because we have reached an age where these quotes mean the same thing, or at least can be referenced together, and this is not merely some half-assed syncretism, but could pass for not only actual rational thought but deft criticism, and is instantly published along with anything else a minute after I just thought about it.
And so, the tough part is going to be remembering which tribe you come from, and figuring out how to quickly through the gang sign, when a group that doesn't exactly seem coherent, but certainly is an Other gang, meets you in the streets. Because despite the cold comfort of a blog, all drain pipes eventually lead to the street. Because a bullet from a gun is the final point of punctuation, because paving stones are the network of last resort, because eventually the electricity will go out, and we'll all wander into the streets, and have to find something to do then.
Trouble, with a capital T. Right here in Internet City.
Predictions for 2012
5 years ago