Saturday, July 27, 2013

I Got, Got, Got, Got No Time

Tauriq Moosa:

Recognising things aren't black and white means recognising nuance. Nuance leads to accuracy. Accuracy isn't merely about being right, it's about reality. It's only when we know how the world is that we change it; otherwise, we're only working to change a fiction we've created in tweeted outrage: whether it's that Rolling Stone is insensitive or two bystanders were the bombers.

Of course, nuance requires time, which goes against the social media outrage machine.

Good ol' Tauriq, fighting the good fight. Of course, I don't think that most of the people he's talking about necessarily care about being accurate or changing the world for the better. I mean, sure, no doubt they say they do, but like a lot of aspirational statements, that's only designed to get the maximum status boost from a minimum of actual effort. In the same way that parasitism, by gaining sustenance at no cost, is a brilliant evolutionary strategy, social media "activists" accrue a lot of cultural capital without having to put in the hard, thankless work that a lot of real activism entails. Again, you might even suspect that some of these people have masterfully exploited a narrow niche: they get attention, increased self-esteem, and, in some cases, even money, by doing little more than acting like loudmouthed assholes on the Internet. Much of what Tauriq describes is simply the popular online spectator sport of pointing and denouncing, a game anyone can play, whatever their skill level.