Sunday, March 13, 2005
Reflect Defect
Last thing I will ever say with regard to the incident(s) described in Friday's post: it was brought to my attention that Bucketeer and shameless self-promoter K was also mentioned in the course of the mish-mash muddle of flying words.

So here now, as per her request, I give you K's contribution (this is absolutely verbatim and entirely inclusive) to that conversation from last week in Rita's comments alluded to on Friday:

"Huh? I am confused but I was totally mentioned. Like way way up there. What's going on?"

Sadly, that was the most unambiguously helpful thing anyone said during the entire event. Thanks, K.

The end.

And now to today's post.

The general fnorked-ness of Blogger over the last few days has caused us all a great deal of consternation and (probably) irreparable psychic harm. Me, I had to spike my 42 oz. super-size Dr. Pepper with bourbon just to stop the shakes that afflicted me. It didn't work, but I minded less.

The most disturbing part was this quote from SJ right at the height of Blogger's conniption fit:

All day I've been trying to post a new post. I've lost it again and again (and I've even saved it and just copy into the "New Post" field over and over.)

We bloggers tend to think of ourselves as a "community", but we're not really. The technology available has allowed us--for the first time in history--to do something in complete and total isolation from other human beings that can be instantly broadcast and shared with others doing the exact same thing in the exact same isolation with absolutely no reference to you and what you're doing. The sense of shared experience, I would argue, is illusory, a phantom, an easy overlay of mental arrangement taken from other social situations (say, for instance, seeing and talking to other actual people) on top of something new for which we have no easy parallel. We are used to our habits of thought, our jargon and our mental structuring of actual social interaction, so we plug it in to our experiences with other bloggers even when it's completely inappropriate.

The really interesting thing is that if you believe in an illusion strongly enough, completely enough, the shadowy half-images of misapplied memory begin to harden and coalesce, to take form, so much so that the engrammatic images and analogies that make up human memory reconstruct themselves, smoothing out the cognitive dissonance between the familiar and the new. The human brain is capable of making virtual communites real by smoothing out the associative lines connecting the actual from the imagined so that we think, we feel, we react to experiences twice removed from bona fide human contact the same as we would to direct interaction.

I think everyone here has experienced those little moments of social mortification, usually during the grammar school years when our guards are perhaps a little lower, when we realize that the things we take for granted in our home life might be a just a little different from what most other people do. Celebrities, for instance, always mention in interviews how their kids just accept the fact that they see mommy or daddy on TV as "normal". Of course when you're seeing mommy or daddy on TV in a room built just for your TV, one of several dozen rooms in your Pacific Palisades estate where the staff of 10 Child Rearing personnel attend to your every need before you even realize you need it... spoiled fucking bastards.

For me, I had to go and eat dinner at someone else's house to realize that not every family licks their plates clean before smashing them on the floor when we finish eating. I also realized it was perhaps prudent to eat a little slower so as not to be done first in the future. You know, just in case.

So it was SJ's "even" that made me feel a little skittish and brought this pile of words down upon your heads. Go on, drop her a line and let her know you appreciate it.

She said she "even" saved it so she could re-post it. Uh... so I guess not everyone copies their posts paragraph by paragraph, posts them into a Word file and then saves it before they dare go on just in case somehow, some way the text gets lost and generations of computer users from now until eternity (or Blogger goes tits-up, whichever comes first) are deprived of your first-draft genius? Is it really just me?

Instead of making a note of my anality (new word!) and moving on, I caught myself being a little self-conscious and embarrassed. While sitting all by myself. And now here I am admitting it to you, validating the reaction by making it socially available in the only way I can via this medium (as a conscious choice) since you can't see me sweat or blush or recoil in horror at the cavalcade of humiliation that is my everyday life.

What kind of fucked-up mass psychosis is this blog thing? If only we had a first-year sorority girl psych major to clear it up for us.

And while we're getting to the bottom of shit, why are all sorority girls psych majors? I know they're not going to be psychologist or social workers or anything to anyone's benefit. Worse, they know they're not either. Unless you count teaching next year's pledges how to make Jell-O shots as beneficial.

Which I do.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.9 [I did mention K in the beginning, otherwise...]


PS- HaloScan, for those who are thinking about changing over: 1) It does NOT send you an e-mail when you get new comments. 2) It DOES offer you the option of banning people. 3) It features TrackBack, which Blogger doesn't. 4) I have no idea what "TrackBack" does. Sounds very cool and techno-logy though, doesn't it?


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