So what happened?
I go away for a couple of months to finish my book (yes, finished!!) and all hell breaks loose. Suddenly, this uber-democratizing Web 2.0 nonsense is ubiquitous. All anyone seems to be talking about user-generated content, blogs, podcasts, social networks, open source, sharing-- Worst of all, in the worst decision in all of 2006, Time magazine awarded its Person-of-the-year to YOU -- mr and mrs blogger-podcastqueen-myspaceyoutube:
Yes, you. You control the Information Age. Welcome to your world.
The lumpenproletariat has seized power and it's YOU. Welcome to capitalism 2.0.
It's the logical conclusion of our consumer centric culture -- what Huxley, Adorno, Lasch, Postman, Habermas, Zizek and, most recently, Thomas Frank, have been warning us against.
So amidst this narcissistic irrational exuberance about ourselves, let me suggest some alternative People of the Year for 2006:
1) Warren Buffett -- for giving away $31 billion of his own money to YOU.
2) Hassan Nasrallah and Muqtada Al-Sadr (joint award) for making themselves the most popular and geopolitically influential Arab leaders since Nasser.
3) George W. Bush -- for singlehandedly wrecking both the Republican party and America's dominant position in the world.
Anyway, I'm keeping my physical issue of Time for Dec 25th 2006/January 1, 2007 -- the one that awarded its person of the year to YOU. With its mirrored, iMac style computer screen, it has anachronism, stupidity and farce written all over it.
One day, in the not too distant future, people will look back at this self-congratulatory issue (in the midst of the single most disastrous foreign war in the country's history -- welcome, indeed,to your world) and think...
what the hell were those idiots thinking?