October 19, 2005

In a fashionably polarised world headed by a few recognised and eternal gurus (o Ozymandias!), a new Internet "generation" discipling one side of the equation is once again meeting and immediately squaring off against the new Internet "generation" discipling the other. It seems to happen about once every 3-4 months (maybe correlating in part with college semesters?), and during those times very nearly the only thing one can do is to get out of the way and wait for the flak to clear.

But ... all cycles come full circle.

The Internet demands a different definition of "generation", as waves of newcomers sweep through a medium and become acclimatised in their turn: yet we all share the same conversational space. The effect can be likened to a tight group of friends talking about whatever friends talk about, only to be suddenly swarmed by all the new kids in town: some of whom are out for reaction, some for recognition, some for disruption ... all seeking a spotlight, all seeking reinforcement of their own views, all seeking company like to themselves. Perhaps a few will gradually merge into the tight group of friends. Gradually each finds their space (one hopes): and then the next bus pulls up, and the cycle begins all over again.
The seat behind the driver's chair is mine
The only section from his mirrors hid
So when I slide my ticket in the lid
Myself as well, exact behind the line.
Once safely in my chrysalis entwined
Enclosed from world without, one soul amid
The wasteland, mindless thread of selfdom rid
By silk self-wrought, to block out every sign
Of intimates, of these and thous and thine
Bereft in dreamless slumber, cold sea-brine:
On every face a narrative is writ
Though lacking script, dull eyes retain the wit
In protest, shriek against the endless tide --
But I remain, unseeing and unspied.

Alone, in a crowd. The image takes on entirely new connotations in the Internet world.


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