I went all post-modern in some MSN conversations tonight. My oldest genuine real life face-to-face friend (BVT - hangin' out since first grade) added me to his myspace account. I hate myspace. It is run by Satan, I have concluded. I am also a hypocrit. You will note the link to my myspace account on the side-bar. My justification lies in having an easy place to host some of the music I have made, but its sort of a lame excuse.
Anyway, myspace is the perfect model for post-modern internet based interactions. The basic premise is, on the interent, since you never see those you are communicating with, you can create a persona, or a 'face' that is entirely different than your own self (please note: lots of people don't see this as an issue - it bothers me that this is so, because all of a sudden, if you are a sexual preditor, it is an issue. Isn't pretending to be somebody you're not sort of frowned upon no matter what? anyway, that's an aside). So, you can have 'friends' on the internet that are only attracted to you because of your mask (a false face) when, in fact, they are also presenting a mask. Its character interaction, like in a soap opera (side note: Allistor Crane is going to destroy the world if he reads the words on the Challice. Why oh why does Veronica have to watch Passions every day? 'Siren! You promised me underwater gaming!')
Right, off topic again, sorry. At any rate, after World War II, as any student of the post-moren era would recognise, North American soceity suffered from 'the loss of transcendental certitude' (as professor Gary Leonard would put it. Incidently, he's on sabatical next year. sucsk to that). Basically (very basically, there's a lot more to it, but I'm rushing to my humorous conclusion) Society wondered how a benevolent God that they had put so much faith into could have allowed such terrible attrocities as occured in the war(s) to happen. the conclusion was that no benevolent god could, so, a benevolent god does not exist. World War II is the reason whyt "God is Dead" became a catch phrase. Moving on...
People have no sence of God anymore (note waning attendence at Chruches; also note: I'm generalising unfairly), this leave a bit of a power vaccuum in the soul (for lack of a better word) and a lot of people, in the end of it all, are left with a poor sense of self.
How might they bolster this sense of self? Well, by creating a mask and making themselves appealing to other - but through pretending. And the pretending is done by all. See all of T.S. Elliot's poetry for more on this subject. The simple truth that Elliot recognised, however, was that this sort of interaction is incredibly unhealthy, and people just slowly die inside if they continue to create faces instead of allow their true self to exist (perhaps 'finidng jesus,' or at least being able to recognise spirituality properly allows for some of this post-modern damage to be undone - interesting to note that the Catholic church still suffers from attrition while new-age protestant churches are doing better than ever. Old vs. new? Topics to consider some other time, perhaps).
So anyways, all of that sidetracking and thinking out loud toa rrive at my weak punch line. upon being added to my real-life friend's myspace account, I told him the following:
alright. I think I have seventeen friends now. Counting people I am arbitrarily connected to on the interet certifies my existence in this post modern world... It... adds a quantitaive level of certaintiy when I'm considering my self-worth based on internet relations as opposed to the real world.
I know, I know, weak joke. Not even a joke really, just sarcastic satire. I should have just written a post about (underwater) gaming.