distant self, love media, civic media

If the culture of the online world has no rules, we certainly observe patterns, most of them affecting relationships. Online connections are the new ways of the heart, less sensory, much more verbal, and praising the virtual connection itself. The downside is that it has made us human commodities in search of the self; and romance is just like a multi-layer game happening in the virtual world. How to break the pattern and ease the search is a challenge. Men and women, older generation and youth, all seem to be in different paces.

Reading about unions of 20+ years that get shattered by social networking to the difficult task of online dating, I conclude that there are more misses than hits in the telematic world. I’m not old-fashioned, absolutely; it’s just that it seems juicier and real when it doesn’t involve a screen. If a guy leaves his wife of many years because he got in touch with a childhood sweetheart through facebook, this is a direct result of the new social computing. He is nostalgic for former intimacies. The couple who had been together since their early twenties broke up thanks to the new technology; and the politician who leaves his wife to be with his mistress in distant Argentina does it thanks to an online hook up that made them feel like teens. The pattern is distance, one of distant intimacy, the other of time. The husband looked backward in time not to dwell on banal dealings he would have with his wife in the present. Email was a point of entry to what was an indication of being alone. Just as the politician wife, that thought the husband wanted to be alone away from his kids to write; ‘taking a hike on the Appalachian’. Both wanted to disappear ‘back in time’….the safe distant. Both were looking for the distant other again.

In these departures and arrivals, the connection is the star, the freedom of the virtual world is the new epistolary romance; and the media testifies as it brings about the truth in it’s civic new role, defined by the patterns of our new lifestyle, that of social computing. While youth knows the exact time to power down and drop the lvu spelling innovation of the txt romance; the older generation, who grew up reading Bronte and Byron, makes it bigger and louder, ignoring the limits and the power of the virtual world.

Michael Jackson is perfect pop

picture-12Michael Jackson dies at 50…He’s been gone a long time ago, dying slowly, but when it becomes to a sudden event, we’re shocked…It happened on thursday 25, in LA, as MJ died of a cardiac arrest. The media has been tough on Michael as of the past 5? 10 years?, and he’d been erratic and weird and bizarre to say the least; but on this relies the making of pop culture history and he is just perfect at it. Michael was the King of Pop. From teaching kids to sing at headstart ABC to changing the color of his skin, Ben to bizarre, and selling record millions and millions of albums, what an amazing career. This is a man that has changed pop culture forever. Probably there will never be another entertainment artist as big and as influential as him.

I was working at MTV in the 90’s and every Michael release was a commotion. Going through the making of pop culture, then and now, is a fantastic experience and for that I am grateful to be int he eye of the hurricane. And in true entertainment fashion, the power of music remains: not a single television or radio station across the globe is ignoring the fact. They are playing his music. The music remains. Michael Jackson’s pop is back….what a legacy! I shall grieve listening to two of my favorites: Leave me Alone and I’ll be there. No pun intended.

True Slant

It’s anyone’s guess what will happen with newspapers in this massive narcissism age. Purists still search and consume well written texts in print. Everyone else does most of its reading online, running away of what can be perceived as time consuming or verbose. Direct result of miniaturization of our lifestyle? Maybe. If there’s a particular author that stands out, the reader is loyal, regardless. Maureen Dowd, Olivia Judson, Tina Brown, etc. It’s journalism -by-author right?

And this week to my surprise I came across True/Slant, a new site where a series of contributors or “knowledge experts” volunteer writing about what’s hot in the news. Each contributor has a page of his own, almost like a social network, branded, personalized, and up for grabs by advertisers. Not different from Facebook, but branded journalism by authors. The future of journalism? It is a good read, and while apps work in between spaces, I like to think  I’m being informed by reading a column. True Slant.