Stories All the Way Down

There is an idea called binary opposition that comes out of structuralism.  I don’t know that anybody studies structuralism anymore, but in 2016 after 10 years of social media it seems relevant.  Social media is narrative building on a global scale that has never been seen before.  Humans build narratives constantly and on Facebook or Twitter we can build them together 24×7.  Binary Opposition says that two theoretical opposites are strictly defined and set off against one another.  It is what we see on social media every day in the arguments that go on and on and on.  Every post and argument extends the narrative which sadly is extremely boring and disheartening to most of us.  If one side doesn’t have enough people to tell their side of the narrative it can be easily accounted for and efforts can be ramped up by bots.  An equal measured binary response.  In the digital age there are no lulls in the narrative or no intermissions. At this point I don’t think we are defining what each side of the narrative stands for.  The structure of the narrative is more important than the content.  The structure defines the elements of the narrative itself based on the corridors of human cognition that we can’t even see.  We can’t seem to stop the narrative. The momentum is too great. Maybe someone can tell me how this ends or gets reset?  I am not sure we know.  This is new territory.  Maybe I’m telling myself a narrative and none of this true at all? Maybe, but I don’t think so.  I don’t think it’s turtles all the way down, for humans I think it’s stories all the way down.  Personally I am going to do what I always do when I am clueless about the world or depressed.  Pull out some old world narratives and read them for a few years.  Books.  At least most of those narratives have beginnings middles and ends.

Walt Whitman Likely Thought It First

If I think I thought of something

Walt Whitman likely thought it first

Or at least it seems to me

When my self esteem is at its worst

Eventually I realize

My measure as a man

Should not be how Walt lived

Or where he took his stand

It should be my own past

Do I rise and face the day

When my friends and love’s face losses

Do I run or steady and stay?

The constancy of comparison

Wears one’s own art away

Modern media’s consumption

Might be too high a price to pay

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

The Glorious Web Of Things

As you look at the flickering profiles

Pictures of food, vacations and babies

Status updates of bright proclamations of joyous lives

Full of that which you may lack

Recall there is no physical timeline

Only where you stand in relation to your feet

Only where you are in relation to the real of it

The solid physical aspect of it

The digital world is a not a fabrication

It is a trick of angles presenting only what side

Looks best on the LCD screen

If your phone is not in your hand

Or you have no followers or likes

You still exist in whole

Your timeline intact and uninterrupted

No screen between you

And that which it so inadequately represents

The glorious web of things that preceded it

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013