Friday, December 13, 2013

I Haven't Surfed In a While

In an online life, there are two things I try to avoid: Buzzfeed and Upworthy. And yet, and yet, I am constantly yanked into their netherworld of on the one hand inane, brain deadening trivialized evil bloat, and on the other hand crushing, self-righteous, syrupy, quasi-intellectually good vomit. The problem with Buzzfeed is obvious enough, the soporific effect of so much thought-beguiling input is a frighteningly common personal choice to take the mind off the ball. The problem with Upworthy being a bit more unexpected, as it's actually doing good things, saying good things, bringing important things to attention. It's simply that it does so in the same mind-numbing way that Buzzfeed does. It plunders the depths of the co-creation, user submission, we're-all-in-this-together attitude, pukes it out into a highly linkable format and draws us in to slowly nod our heads and cluck our tongues and tsk our tsks. All from the drowsy safety of our Aeron chair. Besides, there's always that question that pops up that asks you if you agree with something you obviously agree with. It's like having an ultra-liberal dinner guest who quotes NPR to you all evening, keeping you from talking about how awful Jose Mourinho is, how awful the surf has been, or how awful your knees feel with the idiot next to you. And the worst part is, that incessant guest is pulling your idiot friend into a conversation he or she doesn't even want to have. And they don't even know they don't want to have it because the whole thing is so appealingly righteous. Granted, I am keen on Bill Moyers, which is its own brand of self-righteousness, but I tend to eat that up. You gotta eat something up. Anyhow, here is my Today's Wonderful Upworthy moment, which while making me gag (in context), makes me bob my noggin vigorously in full blown "I told you so" agreement.

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