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Not having Twitter

Tuesday 6/11/24

I've found not having Twitter much better than having Twitter. It's just not good. None of that is good. There are people who talk a certain way on Twitter like they're massively influential, shapers of culture and society, but when you are out of the echo chamber, off of the playground, you see no sign of these people or what they do in the world or as anything that impacts the world. So little does. The scrum. The din of voices. The tsunamis of same-ness.

That's the world. You're drowning in those waters out in the world, being pulled down. No individual is impacting anything. Not on significant societal or cultural levels. But people on Twitter can have this tone where the presumptive grandeur is inflected in every last one of the 1/8th-baked thoughts they fire out all day long. Then you see the numbers of people who support them, elevate them, parrot them, want to be them, and the numbers can cause you to despair.

But those numbers don't mean anything in terms of influence and impact and word-spreading. What they usually mean is that the person being idolized, elevated, parroted, is simple, stupid, basic, "achievable," connected/set-up to be "platformed," and you have a peculiar kind of hero worship at play. It was like in high school when people would venerate someone who would never be going anywhere and this was their peak. They played a sport, they got girls. People wouldn't venerate someone because they were dynamic, smart, giving.

Then that first person later on is some middle aged guy with a big gut who drinks at the bar in that town, or one like it, talks about high school. The difference now, in life, is that that high school idea extends into the real world, because we've gone so low and so few of us are serious adults. But that person is the actual loser. They'll be followed, though, and they can be rewarded for these very reasons, for being these things and this loser. Then it gets confusing to other people, because this first person has money, they have all of the followers, people may know their name. None of it is for anything good, though. It's the same as high school.

That idea of looking at someone else right now and thinking, "I could be them"--in theory--is so important in our society. The person who is like the common idiot, who thinks the same thoughts--which is to say, doesn't really think at all--in the same words, the same phrases, has a far easier time getting a million people to be like, "Hey, that's my guy," than someone of greatness who can lead millions of people because of things they are and can do that others aren't and can't.

It's the comfort factor, which becomes more important the less we know, the less we're good at, the more insecure we become, the emptier we are, the more depressed we get, the more reliant we become on being propped up, which takes all forms (medication, self-medication, lies and lip service from others, digital distractions perpetually taking us away from dealing with who we are and where we're at or aren't). People want to know that in theory, they could be that person on TV saying their sports "hot takes" or that they could be that writer whose fiction wins all the awards or that singer who sings those songs or that comedian who tells those jokes or that podcaster who revisits those 1990s movies, etc. They don't care what they're being offered by those people. How much they enjoy reading the book, or the amount of insight into the sport they get, or how hard they laugh, or what they learn about something they had thought they knew pretty well and how much they were entertained in a companionable way. They just want to think, "I could be them." That is far more doable with the person of mediocrity or less, than the person of greatness.

This is one of the major themes of our age, if not the biggest theme. In following from the above, there is no onus on anyone to become great or try to become great. The way to be rewarded is by being mediocre or less. Everything goes down and down and down, with no resistance, and there aren't people to step forward and get things moving back in an upwards direction. Once there may have been, but those people aren't around now as that thing because it is mediocrity and being bad at things that rewards, pays out, is platformed, so they went down a different path, a path you slide down. They didn't walk that other one, clearing the brambles, breaking the new ground, honing their skills, building themselves up, with all of the dedication and focus that took.

We are a people in desperate need of saving. And there has never been so few people around to help with that. We've consumed ourselves. Autocannibalism. There's nothing left on the table. We can't go out into the fields and bring in the crop and put it upon the table, because the fields are barren. Nor do we have anything to plant in them. And now the machines are coming into the banquet room. We've helped them out by becoming more like them, such that they're getting better at being us than us. It takes so little. It takes less and less.


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