Sword Mightier

While people were frontin' on the Leatherman I keep in my "purse" you wanna know what I was doing? Working. Reading, writing, taking pictures, making music, discussing topics, encouraging and mentoring others, and publishing work all for the work to have. That's what I was doing.

I just read, in fact, in Harper's that the percentage of Web logs on the Internet not updated in the past 4 months is equal to the number 94. Rephrased for you: 94% of the blogs on the net haven't been updated in a full third of a year. Weak. I guess people are too busy tearing others down in the comments' than being bold enough to make their own stuff (see: United States of Snark).

I don't know why, though, but I am fascinated with that descriptive statistic. 94%. I am by no means surprised, however. Web logs are, after all, as much whim as they are peer pressure. Were a whim, that is. Very few rely on the 20th century antique Web log as a showcase for their being anymore.

Remember we first built entire Web sites and shit. We posted ALL our stuff on Home Pages with fancy flashing, bold, scrolling text. It was ugly but it was novel. We were finally free. Evolution dictated that our attention and effort-spans got us into the social networking sites. EVERYbody had a MySpace, Facebook, Friendster account [speaking of Friendster, check out this whaaaaaaa!], and some people even pretended to be looking for jobs with LinkedIn ("I'm networking!"). Ha! Now, Twitter is the easiest, snarkiest, and most quip-filled donut on he shelf. One hundred forty characters at a time. That's forty, right there.

I mean, we're all still screaming "LOOK AT MEEEE!!!" at the very top of our lungs until we're all coughing and hacking and panting like dogs, but who's still doing any work? Who's still putting in any effort? I hate so badly to throw anyone under the bus to proverb town, but the "It smells like rain" tweet is not only boring, it's suicide-inducing. Blah-blah-blah, so I quit the internet blah-blah! There's a point though. Who's doing real work anymore? Not for commerce. But. Just. Because.

["Professor, what's another word for pirate treasure?"]

Let's just take me out of the analysis for a minute. I concede that, for better or worse, I am an outlier in terms of production (it's a Chinese factory up in here), I know. That's my normal though. I don't know what you people are doing with time. But, again, 94% untouched after 4 months (insert "married guy" punchline here) should serve as a decent general indicator of where we stand, as an advanced, literate, and artistic society. A single data point.

The straw man benchmark says that we are artistically ill-productive.

It's so easy now. Not only in terms of making stuff, but to share it with the whole world. I know all you producers want to SELL everything--good luck, yo. And I'm not talking the sharing of aggregate materials that others made (there's a place for that too, Matt Drudge), but for your ass to sit still for five minutes and create something with your own two bare hands seems to be losing its allure.

Of course I have a context; a history. I recall how difficult and expensive it was just to get one track onto one Compact Disc in the mid-1990s. Now? You sneeze and all your stuff is on the interweb already--before some polite old lady says, "G-d bless you." Shit we even figured out that we could make our own stickers and such back in the day. Now? Everything is so goddamn easy (but I'm today don't know how easy they have it). Embarrassingly easy. So why isn't anyone doing anything anymore? You tell me. Learn me something.

I guess what I'm saying, is thank you to the producers and creators out there. Keep doing what you do. But perhaps a bigger nudge is to those who either stopped doing their thing for whatever reason or those who never started making things but have a feeling:

Do something.