I feel the artistic urge to offer a surprising opinion on a heated topic – and I beg you to read first, and discuss after you have read the entire story. My goal is not to persuade you. I respect you, your opinion, and your free will. I believe that only as a community of free, well-informed people, we can solve our problems in a meaningful way, in a way that doesn’t cause new trauma or break people. If coming together as a community takes longer than twisting each other’s arms, so be it: it’s very well worth it.
Secondly, I have lived through enough ridiculous shit to actually find happiness in heeding my heart first, and trending opinions second. There is no lack of pain in the world, and no lack of linguistic macaroni and straight out bullying that attempts to use other people’s pain for personal gain. Every social predator does it, and every social predator points their fingers at their financial rivals, hypocritically.
Abuse of language bothers me on a sensory level. I was born an artist, and I know in my heart that it is my social duty to squeak in the direction of love and truth, without being a missionary. A missionary, I am not. I am just one person with decent instincts who has a pretty good track record of identifying the rat in the room, long before it becomes a ‘majority opinion.’ And you know what, I don’t even have to be right. I don’t care! But I do care to defend the language of honesty as much as I can, because language is my medium, and it is sacred to me. I believe that true artists are to society what the immune cells are to the body. If our immune cells avoid the most popular cancer cells out of fear of not being invited to the all-organism party, everybody dies. I feel a little bit of pressure here.
Besides, courage in conversations is needed today more than ever. Without courage, we are forever stuck in a meaningless, toxic chest-beating match where people with money shamelessly shape our thoughts and emotions, and we assess our own intelligence and judge others based on whether we (or others) share the majority opinion of our chosen subculture.
All of this is to say that I am scared. It is not easy for me to squeak in the direction of my truth and my honest observations on this particular subject. My inner slave is very, very afraid. It is trying to reason with me. ‘Tessa,’ it says, ‘are you fucking insane? What do you have to gain from this? You are only going to get yourself in trouble. Don’t you want people to LIKE you?’
My inner slave has a very good point. However, while I am very realistically scared of squeaking, I am also scared of dying a useless coward. I think that very few things compare to the agony of being on your deathbed and realizing that you could have made a difference in the world, but didn’t. ‘She lived an ordinary life. She made safe choices. She was liked and made money. She didn’t move a fucking needle.’
Fuck. That. Shit. That’s not me.
We are so generally screwed right now!!! We are in this dramatic time period where our spiritual blindness is biting us in our collective ass and giving us ulcers, tumors, and canker sores. The economy build on soulless extraction is finally starting to hit the wall, and it is reacting. It is looking for new yummy humans to feed on.
The extremist mentality of the industrialist corporatism is clashing with the extremist mentality of the new AI-assisted corporatism. The old one doesn’t want to let go, and the new one is just warming up and sharpening its very ambitious teeth. Both are different faces of the same machine, and neither is particularly loving.
In that context, I want to talk about Net Neutrality.
I, Tessa, am disgusted by any censorship. Absolutely and passionately disgusted and outraged. I care about the fate of small businesses because the phrase ‘small business owner’ describes me and many of my friends. However, sadly, it is too fucking late to panic about it: the tech sector giants are already engaged in massive human and algorithmic internet censorship while, amazingly, simultaneously profiting from a bunch of illegal things and pretending to care about we the people!
[by ‘tech industry,’ I mean the top level executives, not the honest, inspired software engineers in their cubicles.]
Ask my dissident friends or Google competitors – they will tell you all about the internet censorship, skewed search results, awe-inspiring lobbying efforts, and smashing smearing campaigns!! A work of art, all of it!
In addition to that, the same ‘concerned’ tech giants have driven numerous small businesses out of business and into the wonderful world of beggary and desperation, by making entire value-producing industries lossy (from the word ‘loser”).
The ‘concerned’ masters of digital reality have monopolized access to information, advertising revenues, public opinion, and our shopping habits, and they are nowhere near stopping. Fuck, they monopolized the language itself! You won’t believe what happens next.
They have us by the balls. By the balls! It’s too late to panic about censorship, it’s time to wake up…
and learn how to code.
Besides, they don’t want us to panic unless we do it to take their competitors out of business. They want us to forget our true, unadulterated hearts’ desires, and seriously, learn how to fucking code, okay? They are the future of everything, because they wanna, and we, in our everyday fight for survival, let them preside over our future. The new boss is no different from the old boss, except it’s a robot.
So, Net Neutrality already.
Please read this article by Maria Schneider. I know Maria, she is an honest human being, and a brave one, at that. Her article is fact-based and technical. It is very good, and whether you agree with it in the end or not, it is a must-read.
Having observed several sophisticated public relations campaigns organized by the tech industry to protect their very ambitious corporate objectives (they ARE very skilled at this – and their favorite utterly fake tagline is ‘public good’), I believe that the effort to make all of us, the brave and conscientious citizens, very afraid for our future in the context of the Net Neutrality debate, has “Google public relations department” written all over it. It doesn’t mean that the telecoms are all warm and fuzzy – they are not – but our collective outrage could really be used elsewhere.
The tech folks went after our political pain points to increase their bottom line. Cynical, no?
Like any self-respecting aspiring world masters, they don’t spare any expenses and any misinformation to get what they want. It’s impeccable. Classic. Perfectly planned and executed. You would *really* have to follow the story of Google’s public relations campaigns for a while in order to suspect anything fishy.
Unfortunately, we are all very divided, and too often, we feel alone in our individual struggles
(that is by the design – machine operators ain’t stupid and they know our powers better than we do). Because we are so isolated, each demographic reacts to the predator only when it realizes that the predator is feeding on them, too.
In the cynical world of Big Finance, the Net Neutrality debate is an ordinary battle between the old boss and the new boss, and it has nothing to do with we the people – but it is us who are left with a sense of emptiness, betrayal, and outrage.
Oh fuck, it has been a painful wonder to watch. My brilliant friends, journalists, activists, all read from the Google public relations playbook because Google is so damn stunning at public relations. The New York Times called Fight for the Future, a Google astroturf with a history of anti-artist campaigns and anti-artist mass bot comment submissions, an artists’ rights organization. I swear, some of my perfectly democratic friends in the actual artists’ rights community bled and choked on their coffee after they read it.
Remember the SOPA [anti-internet piracy] bill from a few years ago? Does anybody remember SOPA? Remember how the biggest websites went black a few years ago to signify how dead the internet would be if SOPA passed? Back then, I did not have access to a wide range of research and frankly, I didn’t bother to look for it because all the people in my circles were going ballistic over SOPA just like now, all my friends are hurting over Net Neutrality. Because of social proof, I did not even consider any other opinion. So I, like most of my friends back then, got engaged into keyboard activism and vehemently reposted anti-SOPA laments while feeling very concerned about the impending death of the internet and the world as we know it, and the shameless attack on our freedom by the media industry. And just like most of my friends, I was unwittingly donating my emotional heat and my free public relations services to Google and their friends!!
But not now. I have learned a lot about the world in the past few years. While I am not going to argue with the obvious fact that adapting to the angle at which the overlords are fucking me in the arse is sometimes the only available real-time strategy, I am also not going to pretend that they are feeding me milk and cookies. They are fucking me in the arse. And I am not going to fight for them with their competitors who are only different because they want to fuck me at a different angle.
Fight your own battles, Google, don’t use me for that.
Look around: It’s all gig economy, beggary and prostitution from horizon to horizon, with the exception of the oases filled with coding, robotics, biotechnology, and consultants selling bubbles. And finance. Finance, of course, because everything is finance.
So seriously, Google, shut the fuck up about your good intentions and about how much you and your publicists care about my freedom.
Both you and your business rivals are after my arse, it’s just that you have been using a lot less vaseline, and I am kinda over it.