Jungle Drums

It might be time to turn off, tune out, drop into life outside the network. The ominous drums of the social networking machine are not playing a tune I like at all.

Marketing is conversational, says Zuckerberg, and advertising is social. There is no intimacy that is not a branding opportunity, no friendship that can’t be monetized, no kiss that doesn’t carry an exchange of value. The cluetrain has reached its last stop, its terminus, the end of the line. From the Facebook press release: “Facebook’s ad system serves Social Ads that combine social actions from your friends – such as a purchase of a product or review of a restaurant – with an advertiser’s message.” The social graph, it turns out, is a platform for social graft.

Nick Carr

I thought that context sensitive google-ads were simply an annoying sickness; this latest twist seems more like the plague. The great (mostly white) hope of the Internet simply begs the question “the social construction of what?” (with apologies to Ian Hacking). Advertising revenue, apparently.

You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,
Skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John
Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be brought to you by the
Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie
Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
The revolution will not make you look five pounds
thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

Gil Scott Heron

1 thought on “Jungle Drums”

  1. And to think I finally gave in an joined one of those social networks simply to be able to play a game of Scrabulous with a few real opponents.
    I guess it was rather naive to assume that the government and businesses would be spending all this money just to promote a more informed and involved citizenry.
    Sometimes I fear Pound was right, and I shall finally be left muttering in the corner about greedy capitalists who hold nothing sacred.

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