Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rage Against The Machine

Something I submitted to my uni publication.

Ever wonder how much time you really spend in front of the computer? Have you lost all your friends playing WOW? Or have you simply forgotten what daylight looks like? Is our desire to keep in touch ultimately leading to the loss in the human touch? Are we wasting our life away in front of the computer screen? Is Google overtaking over the world? And, seriously, is everything we put online forever in the cyberspace ether, even once we press DELETE?

As I write this on my laptop that I have been staring at for about 6 hours now, I realise the irony of this piece. I’m bitching and ranting about how “real life” communication is disappearing into the fog that is the interwebs. Why is it that Generation Y is so obsessed with everything to do with technology? All plans are made via Facebook; if you don’t have one... a) what is wrong with you, seriously?! and b) you pretty much won’t get invited anywhere. As I type this I am simultaneously updating my Twitter and stalking people on Facebook. Let’s face it, that’s the main use of social networking sites. Poking and sending drinks are so 2007. Not to mention borderline harassment. The simple truth is that the internet is just a reflection of what is going on IRL (in real life).

You might be thinking “The internet is the end of all human contact”. They said that the telephone would end all face to face contact too. The reality is the introduction of a new media form doesn’t replace another, they both co-exist. (Thanks MAS105). Nowadays most everything is done on the internet. It is our everyday life and society on a computer. We talk via email. We see each other via Skype. We buy our groceries and shop online. The racists have their own forums in which to be abusive in the seedy underbelly of the internet. Some of us even speak in abbreviations used on Facebook and MSN. I know I do. I’m not afraid to admit it ROFL. We even show our personality through Living Social on Facebook where we express our Top 5 Movies Of All Time and our status updates. If you update your status every 10 minutes, people will know you’re a tool. Especially when they’re mediocre updates such as “I’m eating a sandwich”. People will tell me “I’m eating a sandwich is much better than Flava Flav and Public Enemy lyrics” as my friend just did over MSN. WTF? I beg to differ. Not only is Flava Flav totally radical but I could totally block and report you on MSN if you abuse me any further. TTYL!

Since G
eneration Y is probably the most avid users of the internet, I think it’s safe to say our generation is getting lazier and stupider. Even on Channel 10’s “Talking ‘Bout Your Generation”, Generation Y gets most of the questions wrong. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU JOSH THOMAS?! We have everything at our fingertips, all types of information at our disposal and most things are done for us. You don’t want to know how we’d survive in a blackout. The computer is the tool to get everything done and without we’re nothing. I feel like a Generation X in a Y body sometimes. I still use typewriters, I handwrite essays and I read books. Since all the information we’ll ever need for our essays is found on the internet, we don’t even use encyclopaedias for primary research like in the good old days. Some of us don’t even use books at all, masking our academic incompetence with Google Books and Google Scholar.

The internet reflects society and culture. Sexism even exists on Google. If you’ve ever typed in “She invented” you’d know that you used to get “Did you mean: He invented?” No Google. I did not mean he invented you sexist hunk of junk! The internet may be great for stalking but it’s making it easier for criminals to steal your money and fake identities. You’ve seen them on MySpace. BTW anyone who still has a MySpace is so 2006. I realise that the saying “That is so [insert date or time span here]” is very 1990s. I miss the 90s.

Maybe this is a strength for Generation Y. We seem to be relatively incapable of reality but we don’t really mind. We take it in our stride and we do things for the moment, not the future. Hey, you could say that would be the downfall for Generation Y but I don’t think so. In a way it is resilience and we bounce back pretty quickly. We bounced back from that horrible Emo/MySpace phase thank Jebus for that. Generation Y has great things to show for ourselves but in a crummy world full of typos and spelling errors is that really teh best we can do?

Word of the day:

Urgghll moments.

adj. the loosening of one’s collar when nervous, emitting an urgghll [err-ugh-ll] noise. Seen in The Simpsons and the hilarity that is the TVS comedy trio The Shambles.

If y
ou didn’t understand that excellent definition, examples are the best way to illustrate the meaning of a word.

Example #1:
When the Aboriginal community called for tourists to stop climbing Uluru as it is disrespectful of people to walk all over it due to its spiritual significance, the Australian government was happy to ignore them because it is a tourist attraction. Perhaps that is a valid point since the last 3 Tourism Australia advertisements have been utter crap (this includes Australia the movie, minus Hugh Jackman’s shirtless scene). If someone was to climb the Sistine Chapel for instance this would be disallowed and probably result in incarceration. Bit of an urgghll moment for the Australian government there.

Example #2:
When the Bali Bombers were to be executed for the murder of 88 Australians the Australian government couldn’t be happier to support the exercise of the death sentence. Our hypocritical government doesn’t believe the death sentence should be allowed in our country but when it comes to a third world state then it’s perfectly fine. They had a bit of an urgghll moment when the Bali government stated that “our” Schappelle Corby and the Bali 9 should receive the same treatment, expressing their hatred for the death penalty in other countries. However, the government did nothing to stop the execution of Van Nguyen in Singapore. Hmm, could it be that the Singaporean government owns several investment companies, which have invested in Australia? Urgghll!

Example #3: Enough of the political examples!” I hear you cry. I say “suck it up”. The recent plans to rebuild “The Block” in Redfern for the Aboriginal community have Nathan Rees and the NSW Labor government reaching for the collar and going urgghll; it will cost $60 Million dollars. Now if my calculations are correct, $60 Million is less than $4 Billion. $4 Billion is what the government is spending on digital TV, because we all really want to watch Parliament in HDTV. If you’re going “Oh well fair enough, they’re going to switch off the analog signals so we have to have HDTV”, then maybe $34 Billion the government collects in tax which ultimately goes towards making our MP’s and Prime Minister more comfortable. Fair shake of the sauce bottle, mate. No one wants to foot the bill for the Aboriginal community and I reckon they’re copping a bit of flack. Where’s Today Tonight when you need them to go on and on about Aussies getting a fair go? Urgghll.

Example #4:
Julie wins Masterchef. Urgghll!

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