Thursday, December 5th, 2013
12

Problems Identified

If you can read a couple of sentences such as "The success of viral geniuses like Zimmerman shouldn't be dispiriting to more traditional outlets, though. Rather, it's evidence that social media is something that actually can be figured out — and, given the traffic at play, there's a tremendous reward for those who figure it out" without needing to take several deep breaths and a walk around the block in an effort to restrain your rage then you are almost certainly living a more well-balanced life than I am. That said, THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS WRONG WITH THE WORLD RIGHT NOW and Tom Scocca identifies at least seven of them in this piece. We can meet back here tomorrow when we're all done reading it and discuss.

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12 Comments / Post A Comment

KarenUhOh (#19)

Ah, Dearest Gawker, what hath you spun, in Your tangled Web?

Nothing you hadn't spun seven or eight years ago. It just didn't weave the silken purse.

Ralph Haygood (#13,154)

I'm sorry, but Scocca's piece will have to wait until this afternoon, as I have already experienced this morning's Maximum Acceptable Dose (MAD) of outrage.

Just glancing at it raises my blood pressure.

Ralph Haygood (#13,154)

By the way, against my better judgment and risking outrage overdose, I read the comments on that stupid WaPo piece. And they're actually good! For example: "Everyone is writing about the success of these sites. Meanwhile, an article you NEVER see is: People Just LOVE Social News Sites. People don't. People, by and large, HATE them." And: "This stuff is ADD chicken nuggets. Social spam. And it's not going to drive sales to any of their advertisers."

@Ralph Haygood The WaPo piece seemed to being sighing at the inevitability of needing catchy flashy junk pieces to draw in readers and not necessarily endorsing it, just simply acknowledging that that is what people, unfortunately, respond too. And that the WaPo is not entirely happy about this at all.

gregorg (#30)

Be Less Stupid.

ARS (#241,981)

That is one hell of a hovertext

"Cash your check and shut the fuck up." I hear this in Eric Bogosian's voice.

Ralph Haygood (#13,154)

Okay, I've read it. It's magnificent. I don't think any other single essay I've ever read has managed to capture so much of what I find horrifying and repulsive about American society. I expect it will be met with a greasy tsunami of smarm, and I hope, as Scocca presumably hopes, that "smarm" will become at least as widely used as "snark." We've had terms for various aspects of smarm – concern trolling, Pollyannaism, etc. – but Scocca not only helps us see the whole that is grosser than the sum of its parts but also gives us a nice, evocative term for it. I expect this essay will eventually be anthologized alongside such dreadfully "negative" – and therefore, according to Gladwell, Denby, et al., of no enduring interest – works as Orwell's "Politics and the English language." (It will be a pity if the anthologizers omit the recurring image of Thumper, although I suppose Gawker may hear from Team Rodent's army of lawyers about that.)

Scocca's piece was great, as is his official Awl designation of "weather snarker."

(Al Roker: weather smarmer?)

1485148376@twitter (#254,265)

i thought the essay was terrific, though i would have come to a different conclusion. i don't think anyone in power is losing a minute of sleep over any of this. making capitalism our common religion has led to this silencing of meaningful dissent. when political discourse is accepted as product you might be free to say whatever you want on whatever platforms you have access to, but your voice can't make a difference. in the alt-text above re: capitalist system you said 'I don't love that but I accept it.' when was that a choice for you? what does it mean if i say i don't accept it? #bamboozledlol

KarenUhOh (#19)

"'The bad news…' Denton wrote in a memo to his staff. 'We got overtaken by Buzzfeed in November,' he continued. 'They surged to 133m global uniques. Damn. That’s impressive. And Upworthy — even smarmier than Buzzfeed — is nipping at our heels.'

"He went on: 'Buzzfeed and Upworthy may be the most shameless, but we’re ourselves not completely averse to crowd-pleasing.'”

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