Day 69: Carnival Life

David Brooks wrote an interesting piece regarding the ancient ritual of the Carnival.
The internet is the modern carnival, for we live in a world that no longer can afford to have non-permanent spaces in the physical world. The carnival was where the taboos of normal life can be broken for the moment. Virtual space provides the ultimate venue for the world’s largest carnival, where all users can meet on an equal ground. For the virtual world can allow one to break all material chains besides the tools needed to access the internet. Thus the CEO can be the fool and blog ironic comments about his coworkers. The 14 year old boy can use their computer knowledge to humble the biggest superstar through dismantling the virtual illusion.
The internet especially in Web 2.0 thrives on the exploitation of the taboos. Sex being the largest and most profitable example. For porn is not a realistic interpretation of sex. It is exaggerated and often experiments with fetishes that one would not mention in public, in fact porn openly celebrates all the fetishes, no matter how strange. Now with the added ability of users to upload their own content. People through virtual masks commit private acts in public to an unknown and uncontrolled audience. Thus we are the producer consumer.
There is also the dark side of the carnival, the love of both the grotesque and the mockery. The grotesque can be seen is some of the bizarre porn and the communities that praise it for its statement on the human body such as 4chan and Something Awful. Rather than deny and reject, they embrace the disturbing as a beautiful source of humor. Yet, this “respect” and desire doesn’t extend beyond the computer terminal. In the real world, those communities follow the standard rules. The same goes for the vulgarity and racism that exists within the comment section of any website. Users do not interact or accept others as people, but rather as other actors within the performance.
The internet is truly the reverse side of the world, where people can flee to to escape the pressures of everyday life. In a world that has a 24 hour business day, a new carnival was needed. One that could be anywhere in the world and be access at anytime as per needs of one’s business schedule. You can do abnormal activity as long as it is for the internet and to quote the motto of 4chan for “the lulz”.
This is the best description of both the internet and the carnival. All acts are okay as long as it is for light entertainment. Serious thought is not welcome unless as part of a larger subversion. The goal is not to end society, but to bend the rules in order to feel the release. The carnival is the valve of the pressures of conforming to the norms, not a leak in the dam. Yet as we spend more time in revelry, reality will continue to crumble.
-E.C. Fiori

Author: paveamerica

Two Americans take the only radical position left in the country: centrists.

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