Monday, February 18, 2008

The Bold and the Beautiful

Whilst the Internet’s advantages are all too familiar to us, there is another valuable aspect of it that I have recently allowed myself to ponder over.
Since the road to vice is paved by virtue, it is one of the most remarkable qualities of the Internet to reveal some rather disturbing ‘statistical’ facts about the larger proportion of young people today and some of their outlooks, opinions and views alike.
A curious browse through some of the more popular chatrooms or dating websites (Myspace, Facebook etc) for me is truly symbolical of the degenerative elements which Western society has come face to face with. I cannot help but be stricken by the sheer materialism that has come to dominate my generation’s values in life.

One needs only to glance at some example profiles that young people have set up on the Internet through the endorsement of sites such as MySpace. Virtually every photo that you come across is replete with cheap pieces of jewellery, either rings or earrings or the ‘trendy’ 50 Cent- type golden chain that hangs around people’s necks like Coleridge’s albatross. This ornamental idealisation of one’s personal image is what I find absolutely abhorrent because it implies falsity and cheapness of values which are already mostly devoid of meaning anyway. They have been transformed into these abstract concepts which denote coldness and alienation – a sea of involuntary existentialist consciousness which we find ourselves treading on.
Indeed, the ‘incredulity towards meta-narratives’ which Lyotard uses to refer to the post-modernist era is something I would agree with but the ‘meta-narratives’ which he mentions have now been most observably replaced.
Personalised websites and profiles provide us with the opportunity to cheat reality and present ourselves in an entirely different light and young people today have wholly embraced this spirit of falseness which now appears to be fully harnessed, ready to be used to their advantage.
Simply count the number of photos that men have uploaded which show them resting against a glitzy new supercar or half-naked, posing as though for some ‘strongest man’ competition, or indeed adorned virtually from head to toe in dubiously-acquired ornamentation which now seems to be the trademark style of my generation. Or of we are to turn to the girls, well they bode finely with the representational style of men with increasingly sleazy poses and equally-cherished jewellery and perhaps worst of all – copious amounts of make-up. What I find even more vexing is when girls post pictures of themselves evidently produced at some professional studio and brand themselves ‘models’, as though they expect some kind of veneration on the website visitor’s part.

Of course, I have nothing against people trying to make themselves look better but there are certain limits and the Internet and indeed, society as a whole is now saturated by the extremities of people’s exhaustive efforts to reinvent themselves.
They would naturally prefer the easy step of changing their appearance rather than choosing the arduous recourse of changing themselves and this is where I think the greatest worry lies. In my view, all those suicide-advisory websites or violent video games merely lead to individual, isolated incidents whereas this general materialism which is so clearly evinced in the nature of dating websites is a far more worrying aspect of society because it indicates gradual decadence on a much wider scale which has the long-term potential to be a greater threat than the occasional school-shooting or web-influenced murder.

God is not to be found at the peak of Mount Olympus anymore, He has now plunged down the gorge clinging desperately to his ticket to the next G-Unit gig.


At 18 February 2008 at 22:37 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm always worried that my blog will degenerate into some pseudo-intellectual myspace. What a shameful nightmare that would be.

By the way, your post reminds me of one of the first scenes in Surplus. If you haven't seen it, I won't spoil it, but I would definitely recommend that particular film. It's very worthwhile.

At 19 February 2008 at 14:43 , Blogger IPCHUK said...

I haven't had a chance to see this film but thanks for the reference, I would certainly seek it out sometime.
As to your blog degenerating into a 'pseudo-intellectual myspace', well judging by the quality of your posts, I doubt this will be happening anytime soon.

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