The Death of Social Accountability

Hi. My name is Chris. Truly. No, I’m not lying. You can be certain of it. Chris. Really. I am exactly who I say I am.

It’s tough believing anyone on this series of tubes (read: internet). As a participator in Generation Y (?), I’ve done the video game pwnage (read: own-age), I’ve seen the facebook smears, I’ve seen every type of troll, wiseguy, jerk, and know-it-all.

All this started in early 2000’s with the birth of social media: myspace is the first recognized one, I believe, although I belonged to an art site, elfwood.com, since 1993. Well, I’m sure it’s happened since the beginning of time, but it’s become much more prevalent of late.

I’ve long bemoaned the death of social accountability. Momma’s boy would handle himself much differently if he was talking to a peer face-to-face. Kids are a lot more snarky, violent, dismissive. Furthermore, adults are much more distant, disconnected, disinterested. You can trace it all the way up through the government, but then I’d be digressing.

Internet separates us. I don’t care who says what about it, sitting in your office, furiously banging keys to communicate in all caps is not the same as yelling in someone’s face. Or discussing respectfully. Our intents connect, our information connects, but we do not connect.

And it’s showing in how American culture is developing. It’s an ADD (read: Attention Deficit Disorder) culture of instant interest, easy discarding. My personal opinions out of this, it marginalizes individual worth. The flip side of this is, of course, the people who want to get noticed have to work five times as hard to distribute to 1/5th of the audience.

As an artist, you’re almost guaranteed to live poor unless you get a breakaway hit. Any artist: musician, painter, actor, clay potter, hairy potter, writer. You have to wade through every stay-at-home critic, every self-styled synthesized “artist” that has a million ways to saturate you with advertisement, and fight for every fan you can find.

As a writer, I’m fighting this lack of social accountability. Fighting it every inch of the way. I know it’ll get better because my parents taught me at a young age how to follow the markets, how to study trends. The trend is in a downswing. After the governmental bubbles pop–truly pop (bank, housing, etc.)–we’ll be looking at a little more tame environment.

What does that mean to me? I’m not the type of writer to juggle plates for an audience. On the other hand, I know whoever I win over will like me for my writing skill and not my plate-juggling ability.

Rule One: I will not be dissuaded by zombies or trolls.
Rule Two: I will not be afraid of the market just because I’m not following the leader. This stuff is much more fluid than that.
Rule Three: Just because my specific market doesn’t exist doesn’t make it unmarketable. It only means I will make it marketable.
Rule Four: Don’t get ahead of yourself. See rule two.
Rule Four Point Five: Blades don’t need reloading. See rule one.
Rule Five: Learn the market. Period. Don’t depend on someone else to do it for you. You’ll thank me in the end.

Hi. I’m Chris. I promise.

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