ROBOW is an æsthetic experiment, a soapbox atop which I shall alternately proselytize an ethics for our ironic existence and humblebrag my way into your jealous disdain. Let everything serious I say be mistaken as farce, and all farce be taken seriously. For every big word let’s use one small.
Oh yes, I like him, he is very much on the nose.
–You, just now
I’ve been mulling it over for half a year. This site has been laying around—design finished, backend mostly written, domain name registered—since October at least. I readied potential content to post and let it fester neglected in notebooks and test databases. What restrained me? Not doubt, exactly…
I’d explain every hesitation, but tut. Austerity limits us to four.
§ Nor Any Drop of Energy Drink
Do know how we youth anticipate our post-grad upheaval.
Shot out of the
ivory tower degrees-in-hand, we are determined not to drift into but trapeze, ever gracefully, across the toxic morass of the unemployed and lodge with earnest among worthier company. Popular options include: trendy/depraved Gastown startups, inebriated tours of the Old World, and your pick of graduate programs.
Sometimes these targets appear like mirages, fixed to the horizon, that recede from us at the same speed we approach. In which case, beware! Block your ears against our whine, wretched for its rhyme: we have less momentum than we were sold & the plebeian gulf is wider than we were told.
Otherwise, the illusion ensnares us by projecting these beacons of established prosperity farther away than they actually are. From that distance, one might suppose the blandest fluff were polished gilt. Sadly not: everything now exudes the very sludge over which we hoped to glide. One flails cartoonishly mid-air in an attempt at escape… and… splat.
It is true that perspective gained at this zenith forces us to acknowledge suspicions long deferred. Like any opposed magnet, our attention swivelled away when evidence of them approached. But up here there is no away at which to look. The repulsing polarity spins us constantly, even around those cherished zones whence we came. Poverty abounds.
That far shore I once imagined a bulwark against the noxious ooze has eroded. Toxic snow is mutating fish and
exotic weather is ruining urban agriculture and walmart is colonizing supermarkets with supercentres and everyone’s on a beta-blocker because what is that awful, unceasing drone?
(It’s a drone, duh.)
§ A Bean Been Seen a Scene-Being
As trends go, vampirism is a tad banal.
Walk down a street; one is necessarily objectified by being seen in the pedestrian mode. Which is much less than Jean-Paul caught peeping through keyholes at Simone, no more than him aghast at his own haircut. Grotesque carbon-copy you proliferates in the minds of unknown others, and their papery visage propagates unwilled and unwanted through neuron-burnt holes in yours.
Therefore I live in perpetual fear and expectation of fame. The odious work of self-publicity is never done but everyone has done it: blogging, for instance. Let’s not mistake this dilapidated jalopy stuck in the rut for the bandwagon years ago that carved it.
Upon casual reflection I pinpoint my withdrawal from participating online at the moment social media spewed across the stage. If true, what a brilliant or ruinous calculation on my part.
In fact, my reluctance to be here didn’t prevent my presence. Then I thought it unnecessary to be known; now job postings inform me I might have made better use of my time. What a dire genre those are. Is there nothing obvious of which they aren’t captain?
Nonsense. Subvert all the memes. What is the middle way between fraudulent anonymity and vapid celebrity? I am quite vain tho, and will be hurt if defaced.
§ Has his entitled drivel no end?
I don’t understand the question, and I won’t respond to it.
– Loose seal
? only knows what a gratuitous quantity of gutter-spat prattle we ingest everyday. What right have I to contribute my own thin gruel? Do I have so very much to say? Should I be saying it? Blah blah blah.
Evidence so far presented might suggest to you no, this is rather drab blather, halt now and be gone. Just what do I make of my privilege, anyway? Ranting is tacky. Blog if one must, but this ego
tism eclipses tween selfies.
Aren’t I lucky, after all, to have the mere opportunity to appeal to the technocracy while it makes its move on the whitewashed middle class? Poor them, out-modded in the one distracted moment they turned away to witness the foreclosure of their neighbourhood.
Best cover your mouth while we sweep the burdensome remnants of our botched colonial hack-job toward the dustbin of suburbia so overstimulated hipsters can gamify their apps in gentrified solace. Get on the spectrum before it gets on you. Plug into the glitch stream and monetize that sugar drip.
Couldn’t I—educated, parent-supported, millennial me—pump nepotism for enough coin to fund my gadget and energy drink addiction? Wound me, will you. Meanwhile, I sympathize effusively with wage-slaves returning home from plural hells to TV and twinkie. (I’m sorry for your loss.) Keep the dream alive, heroes! Nothing shall convince me otherwise that you are the product of America’s finest ingenuity. I’ll wrap your coffin in the brand of your choosing.
§ The Sickness Unto Death has Developed Resistance
Who pulses between clip-board activists and the panhandling junkie begging the same block? Weld mind to body on discrepancies like these and find at every locus a precarious hinge threatening to snap in two or fuse forever shut.
Alas, irony radiates from the nexus of every metaphysical fallacy. Poor secular humanists: of course your beloved science relies upon them. Positivism overwrites context and denies meaning even as you bow before the Algorithm. Don’t succumb to its cynicism or blame postmodernism for the mechanistic nullity you worship.
By all means, direct your iciest glower toward wealthy offspring werking their salvation-army threads and thrift-store finds too ardently. Let them be the first to tip into the void while we teeter at its edge. Despise all fashion if that keeps the abyss at bay a moment longer and I may nod my approval… should doing so maintain my own balance.
A toast then to whatever upon which whole lives are built. To those mere accidents of birth that saved you and I from the lifetimes of malnutrition, disease, and torture we now program the machine to inflict on an unlucky majority six billion weak. No morality squares this circle of violence, and we draw it daily.
It has all but crushed us alike. Debilitating hypocrises have cemented my impotence. But absurdity is a condition of existence; appeals to authenticity must be made and then mocked and made again. We’re not allowed to have nice things and may never have been.
What little wisdom prevails, opine: tell us still to make them.
§ You in?
There. ‘That is why I’ve taken up my pen.’ Safe havens exist everywhere but are subject to removal. You have to keep moving and create new ones. I’ll continue writing with one eye open, one closed if you’ll do the same when you read.
I intend to ramble less self-indulgently in the future, though this blog will host more quill than code for the moment. Nerdy things shall pop up soon enough. WebGL particle system, anyone?
But first let me with a deft hand skewer that industry we call tech.