'The Social Network'
Hot type, cold blood and greed
on the singed, if golden globe
In reviewing the new DVD of the brilliant, fast-paced film, "The Social Network," one can dispense with the actual activities in the movie, other than to say, yeah, it's fine, it's a great film, but more importantly, it's a fine effort in the art of inter- (and outer-) contextuality. Also, you could simply write a review of Facebook life, since it's about that, too. Also, you could simply just say that Facebook is America, the weird and sick and sad and saintly and generally freewheeling and just plain helpful face of it, and also be right on about all, as if there were any difference. But at first, I'd have to critique Facebook itself as the only internet worth being on, has been for a long time, because it's about life and death and all of our masks, and the world's, too, in all of the social media out there: and also this, it's a virtual see-and-say toy.
Anyway, before my idea of the neighborhood called Facebook is forever changed by the reviewing of this movie, I thought I'd make a point or two about important, really really serious things I need to say Facebook and, therefore, modern problems, as well as the challenge to exist in networked life, in general. Such as, boy, you really get an idea of what Marshall McLuhan, the famed media critic, was intending when he wrote, in many, many different ways, that we can't understand our world until we understand our media better ... on how, as an extension of ourselves, we all need to get better educated on the whole electronic trip, or we will be swallowed whole by the same.
Facebook, like all social media functions, are our masks, unveiled, unleashed, driving crazy mad or way too slow, on the information superhighway of both innocence and experience. So then, when we use it, we are completely naked to everyone, or, with a little more effort, insanely hidden from view. We need to get wise, maybe even get licenses, training even, before we go out and use it. Because it's like fire, a Promethean thing, and we better understand it better, or else. We may be victimized by sticking our necks out to give a glimpse of our lives, and most certainly give everyone our personal information, when we should have known better, or, doing just that better. Not sure yet.
When I get that figured out, I'll let you know.
Also, sorry if anybody was hurt in the making of my social media empire, my little fleet of the damned, all of you former high school buddies, lost loves, poets, artists, bleeding hearts, all of those who say they "like" or "dislike" me, who posted on my wall ... as I posted on theirs ... and so on. After that, the mind tends to wander. The mind is your father's Buick on Fox News. The mind is your child getting into trouble, or, simply learning how to type and co-exist in the global village. On Facebook, the mind becomes and extension, into cyberspace, of the promised land where no guns explode, and there's nothing to get hung about. No, that still happens in real spacey spacey, folks. Love is shared, as it exists, in the land of touching things, in the land of flesh, as opposed to dreams (see Facebook), after you have shed all of your post-traumatic stress disorder anxieties on whatever you believe socially, politically or spiritually, artfully or clumsily, in feminine or masculine in hiding of, or screaming out, about all or the above, in that sharp difference between what you do online, and what you do in the real world.
Are you weeping yet? I'm not. See: That's Facebook. And the film did not make me cry. It made me cringe. Because the story about the people who came up with the idea, a bunch of horny males in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is pretty much America, too. If viewed in its upper strata, that is. Nope. It's not. And that's America, too. It's the gun-toting militia and it's the lady in Dubuque who thinks women should be able to preach more often in churches than they have previously been allowed. It's a rant, I want my bottle, toy. But it will never actually pour out milk. It's a way to say, please play with my kitty so I can get bonus points, it's a way to push your rock band through a total stranger's ears. It's a way to give you a glimpse of some cool cat's photos of Nepal, or, your best shot at showing everyone how living way too well is the best revenge of all. So they can fully resent you. Hate you. Then, flame you, in four words or less. Maybe one or two, even.
Are we weeping yet? I'm not. That's because, well, after thinking about all of the millions of dollars I might have been crawling to if I had learned of this history of Facebook, subjective and somewhat tainted as it is, in the eye of the filmmaker, I didn't get to see it in the theater, instead. Therefore, I am behind a very fast wave, indeed. I missed the boat. The real-time cycle has washed over me. The guys who came up with the idea. Incredibly brilliant, originally fun-loving blokes, spoiled as they already were, have either eaten each other alive, or, cashed out, to the tune of about $25 billion. All because, hey, you didn't study hard enough in school because, hey, while they were slinging all of this code, you were on Facebook, or, whatever it was called back then, or, you were out in the weather, or, out watching football in your shorts, while these geeks were slinging such said code.
And now, dear reader, the wave is passing over and under you. And while you, dear reader, may or not believe in the importance of social media in your lives, believe me, the moon's rotation around the earth doesn't need to be believed-in, either, to have a mega serious impact on our little lives.
Are you weeping, yet? I'm not. So let me digress. Maybe even rest. Let me tell you the story of the brain damaged girl from high school who contacted me and said, hey, I remember you. We "talked" on chat. We chatted, for a while. And we came to an understanding. She understood me. I understood her. And then we went on with our lives with a better understanding: She of me; I of her, and the whole earth turned a little bit more, hmmm, what is the operative term this week, "Kumbya," with a better grasp of how it actually spins.
I'm weeping, perhaps, just a little. Punch that in as "like," in the parlance of social media. What we often don't like is found in the ranting of little Marcie Marble of Miami Beach, Florida (if that's where she really lives), who tells us to join in her crisis call to keep Facebook from dissuading she, her (quote) "friends" from posting pornographic photos of herself and her dog; asking her fans (readers, if they can read more than a line or two), to join in her cause against the machine run by the guys, for better or worse, featured in the film, "The Social Network."
The film, "The Social Network," is as hip and cool, as hot and visionary, as the subject matter. It turns on a dime. It's difficult to follow. It's horrifying. It's amazing. It's everyone else wondering this: It could have been me making that thing go viral. Or, wow, I sure am glad I decided to stay outside and train horses, instead, for a living.
But if horses could type, their communications would no doubt be a kind of psychic Facebook. Also due to such tools, the world spins faster, or seems to, people talk faster, or seem to. And if we all stare at each other in shock and shame, in this place called the global village, this little spinning web where we can dial up a friend or two in Paris or Nigeria or London or Dubuque, then so be it. A better understanding of each other arcs us all toward liberty and better understanding. No bombs go off there, and in the land of the suffering and the forgotten and the typically daily lonely, it's one fine place to be.
And if the puppeters on this electronic highway of greed can be thanked, by a slick and snarkey film such as "The Social Network" seems to indicate, the mind, once a midget turned inside a cave wondering about all of those horrible sounds out in the world indicating large and vicious creatures trying to eat them alive, well, folks, with such tools, in the hands of the right people, with the right kind of healthy ideas in mind: Well, those folks, yeah, right on, thanks for your suffering, your madness; and thank you for your greed; you have given us some brilliant space, a city of light and dark, where we can all safely comprehend our mutual loneliness, our goodness, or desperate need to be heard, our own vision of ourselves, so that we can be more apparently captured, better hearded and heard. The next big thing? Who knows? Ask yourself. When you travel, where does your mind go?