Sunday, November 27, 2005

I decided to pester Rushkoff some more.

My letter:

I just read your June article in Arthur. Sorry, maybe you've already heard everything I'm about to say.

Basically, I think if people in your position, who have the means and the eloquence to spread awareness about the sketchy nonsense perpetrated on us by the media overlords, unplug and throw in the towel, you're going to leave an entire generation out in the cold.

I'm still reading Playing the Future, and it pointed me to an interesting realization. People my age communicate with a very refined lexicon of media references; pop culture defines a huge part of our identities and even the semantics with which we communicate. I would even say that the scattered deconstruction and reorganization of media tidbits into cohesive images and ideologies, much as a hermit crab gathers detritus from the ocean floor with which to decorate its shell, has led to a valid and nuanced culture. After thinking about this for a while, I looked down to realize that I was wearing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shirt, and as shallow as it may seem, I feel like these pop culture entities that we've all grown up with constitute a vibrant and important new pantheon in American mythology. True, our gods would rather sell us cheap shit than help us improve the world, but the media space is nearly as tangible to us, as inherent a facet of our collective consciousness, as the physical. And yeah, sometimes it all seems like wolves herding sheep, but it's our medium, our vehicle for collaboration, innovation and evolution. Daddy just hasn't handed over the keys yet.

I do, however, agree that the physical space is ripe for the freeing. Just standing around in a group is now grounds for suspicion. My friends and I have gotten kicked out of public parks at six in the afternoon just because we were there. Whaddya gonna do?


His response:

If you, the kind of person who has equal access to the tools of media as anyone, don't quickly realize that you are in a position of greater power and leverage than I am, then we are lost.

So, young people, I say it's time for an extended montage as we all find the power within us to rise to the occasion. I plan to run up mountains holding boulders and try on funny hats. But I jest, the man has a point.


Steve said...

Hermit crabs don't do that.

Matthew said...

Yuh huh.