I’m seem to have fallen out of love with the net. It’s been a gradual process these past couple of months.
Over the Christmas period I contracted a dreadful cough, which got so bad I managed to crack a rib or two, and slip a disc in my back as a result. Then this ghastly flu descended. Quite frankly I’ve never been that ill in my life, and thought I would die, and welcomed the idea as an escape from the awful pain!
As a result of a pony ISP,(you know who you are, Primus!) my landline and net went down on Christmas eve, tho’ it had been on/off since the 16th of December. Despite dragging my sorry and sick ass out of bed to make over 10 calls to my provider, I wasn’t reconnected until the end of the first week in January. But amazingly I didn’t go into Cold Turkey or trauma. Initially it troubled me, but after a couple of days I simply didn’t care, and I suppose being very ill I didn’t want to get out of my pit anyway.
I’ve been using the net since 2006, and over the last 6 years it’s become a huge part of my existence. And of late, accelerated by the Winter darkness not to mention my continued unemployment, it started to take over my life.
Being connected to the net is like looking through some magic portal, a connection with a huge source of energy. I use this analogy: the net is like our collective unconsciousness as Jung would say, real life is our every day motorik stuff, the web is like the Spiritual side, the hidden-from-everyday-life stuff. But it’s a self perpetrating myth because along with the good stuff there’s flood of rubbish, which threatens to swamp the net like a “black tide of mud”.
My website is pretty much my only creative outlet these days, and I do spend a good deal of time tweaking and beautifying it, let alone the countless hours I spend writing, which of course I find most enjoyable. Originally I put the site together, or should I say under my direction, my dear old mate Will put it together, as a means of trying to garner work. What started out as an ego jerk has for me turned into a work of art, and one that’s appreciated by tens of thousands of people, and to you good readers, I say many thanks and may God bless you.
People say to me “why don’t you have Google ads on your site, you’ll make a pretty penny with your traffic”? Well, I did consult with an expert in the field, who said that perhaps I would make £100-£150 the first year via ad click throughs. But for such a small amount, why would I want to compromise the credibilty of my site? Which leads me to a big reason why my cyber love affair seems to be over, bloody Google ads! Our post modern media is concerned with only one thing, the hard sell. The capitalist/materialist society must keep functioning apparently, by whatever means possible, and thus must must find ever more sophisticated forms of hypnosis, to tell the masses what they must consume/buy. And what did the clever fools come up with? Google ads! Let’s say you’re feeling mellow, there’s a beautiful old tune running round your head which you don’t have in your personal archive, so you sashay on over to Youtube. It’s there, with the official video, so you click it and don your headphones……and what pops up on the screen? “DATE LOCAL WOMEN FOR FREE!” or somesuch. Jesus, I hate that! Your serenity is destroyed, the mood is lost, it’s akin to having your Ma tap you on the bum when you’re making love, it’s horrible. It’s like Artexing the Cistine chapel, it’s a defacement of art, just to turn a penny. But then, certainly over the last couple of years, the net has become more and more commercially oriented.
People say “oh it’s great for keeping in touch with old friends” which of course it is. But the majority of the time, some one will connect maybe once or twice, and that will be that, end of. Whatever happened to Myspace or indeed Friends reunited? I tell you what happened, perhaps they maybe physically reunited once, and after that they simply couldn’t be arsed! Now if only Facebook would bite the dust, perhaps our society would develop the ability to be social and gregarious again. And just in case anybody still thinks FB is about social networking and making friends, well, all I can say is, what a good little robot you are, and of course the government will always know where to find you……
Facile, puerile, inconsequential, social networking: all these words go together quite nicely! I simply had to lunch Facebook, it’s so self serving and moronic it’s embarrassing, and perhaps the premier reason why I no longer love the web.
And speaking of the government, it seems like they’re reaching desperation point, in trying to control and censor the net. With both the SOPA and PIPA in the US, and DEA in Europe, it’s scary the lengths these greedy gits will go to. I hear some of you say “they are uninforcable laws”, and to that I have a one word answer, Megaupload.
Does the average net user really deserve the government breathing down their neck? And what are these “file sharers” doing that’s any different to the major record and movie companies? Except they do it better! I’m certainly not prepared to criminalise these people, because their actions simply aren’t that serious, except to the fat cats. I’m not saying I think all music and movies should be free on the net, because surely when someone produces a work of art they should get a fair royalty for doing so. And speaking as one who’s music is freely available on the net, and having received less than £30 in royalties from that source, I think that fault may lie with the people who collect the royalties, rather than the actual payments themselves. Yes Mr Townsend, some git nicked my kid’s bike too, and I can’t afford a replacement……
It’s been my great pleasure to work with George Peckham on a number of occasions. For the unenlightened, this is the man who cut the masters for albums such as “Abbey Road” and “Darkside of the moon”, not to mention more humbly the Accidents single and album. And it was on the occasion of the Accidents album mastering that George turned round to me and asked who was going to collect my royalties? When I answered the MCPS(now the PRS)he threw up his hands in dismay, and when I asked him why it was a bad thing, he told me to go down to their offices, and check the carpark, and let him know if there were any old and cranky cars parked there, amongst the BMW’s and Mercedes. The industry has always robbed the artist, and as far as I can tell continues to do so. Perhaps we should all be paying some sort of minor licence fee for net usage? Well the BBC rob the nation for billions to turn out their shite, perhaps if we all paid let’s say a quid a month to use the net(on top of the line rental)and put together a fair and transparent body to administer these payments, certainly I believe the artist would be better served. But I don’t suppose that would appeal to the greedy music and film industry……..
And here’s another beef, whilst there are a number of sites that I will always use for reference and research(and for the Wombwell scholars amongst you, again I urge a visit my cousin Shaun’s site http://www.georgewombwell.com/gw_blog/ for the most accurate information about the great man)research on the net is fraut with innacuracies, infact as a writer I’d say it’s the most unreliable source one can access. For example, re my last piece about SMiLE, even Capitol’s official blah had some mis-truths. And I laughed hysterically when I read on one stupid website that my great great great Uncle once owned the Elephant man! And yes I can confirm, Michael Jackson is my half brother, and indeed Elvis does work at our local chippy.
I think the Internet is like cultural junk food. And personally I love to eat Mcdonalds once and a while, it’s delish. But as part of a staple diet it’s unwholesome and unhealthy, and fills you full of hot air……
“Reforms by advances, that is, by new methods or gadgets, are of course impressive at first, but in the long run they are dubious and in any case dearly paid for. They by no means increase the contentment or happiness of people on the whole. Mostly, they are deceptive sweetnings of existence, like speedier communications which unpleasantly accelerate the tempo of life and leave us with less time than ever before. Omnis festinatio ex parte diaboli est – all haste is of the Devil, as the old masters used to say”.
CG Jung 1957