Friday, November 21, 2014

Blemished Frame

Zoe Quinn.

Having written that name, everything I now say is suspect.

Legitimately so.

I have no opinion of any kind on Quinn except those opinions offered by the woman herself on the site linked.  I take her entirely at her word.  That is because her opinion is the only relevant one being put forward by anyone who's name, history and investment in the matter is actually known to me.

I had never heard of Quinn until reading the Cracked article.

Yesterday I wrote a post on the difference between fame that is given by others and fame we give to ourselves.  Those 'others' need not be managers or talent scouts, they need not be publishers or patrons.  'Others' can be a horde of prideful, inventive internet whores desperate for any target that can be identified, aimed at and exploited.  Just as I am doing right now, merely by starting this post with her name, the link and my disgust.

This, for those of you who may not be aware, is the fundamental principle of journalism.  The ideal is to take something that has happened, conveniently so far as your use of it is concerned, determine a few so-called 'facts' that can be twisted to entice the reader or viewer, then exploit the ever-living shit out of it.  The less personal involvement you have with the actual event, the better, for this entitles you to claim an 'unbiased' viewpoint.  See?  I have nothing invested in this particular lurid murder, car-crash, impending war or evidence of bodies strewn over the desert.  I'm disinterested.  Now allow me to tell you what I think.

This ludicrous perception that, once you've chosen to write about something, that you are in some way not tainted by it simply because you don't know the victims personally has sustained journalism for four centuries.  It allows newspaper reporters a semblance of self-respect, even piety, as they shove mics into the faces of hapless persons recently bereft of their family members or as they glory in the downfall of the mighty.

There are still many 'traditional' journalists today who express distress and fear that 'responsible' journalism is dead.  I put these words in quotes because these are totally bullshit words, invented for the purpose of egotistical puffery.  There is a difference between old timey journalism and what we have now.  Newspapers and television exploited pain for money.  The average, ordinary person exploits pain from petulance, priggishness . . . and boredom.

There's no real way for an ordinary, puritanical snob to make money from repeating the phrases or making up shit about viral content.  At best, all one has is their internet connection and the number of facebook friends they've accumulated through hours invested in the creation of interesting spam. Unlike Fox, there's very little advertising money to be made in a few hundred viewers willing to let their eyes glaze over while staring at someone's facebook or google+ page.  It takes the FCC or some other approving government agency before you can get your dick in a knot and be paid for it.  Small-time journalists have to make due with the warm, glowy feeling of seeing the number of likes or +s climb.

Small-minded people in the world have rebuilt the system so that we're all salesmen now - as sickening as that reality is once it's fully realized.  The real plunge, however, comes when you comprehend fully what it is we're all selling:

The certainty that the buyer is just stupid enough to believe we know what we're talking about. Especially when we don't.


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