#75, no time for fools

April 1, 2017

I write and post this #100hardtruths on April Fool’s Day, 2017. Given this effort’s focus on deception, fakery, falsity, the untrue, the almost true, trickery, slander, and shams of all sorts, it would seem a near imperative for me to today engage in some mild mockery or corny contrivance. However, one of the things that I’ve noted about my own daily practice—particularly at today’s other milestone as I round the final bend into my fourth quartile—is that across this effort I haven’t had much time or heart for fools (except for, perhaps, myself).

The images in this post were shared with me by the critical internet scholar, Geert Lovink. “I started to collect images. I could not resist. There are so many!”

It’s not that the internet hasn’t had the time. Nor that I don’t find some pleasure or knowledge in such ironic efforts. As I have written in earlier work on fake documentary, it is true that satire and irony, tricks and ploys, can sometimes serve as distancing devices that produce telling affect, knowledge, and/or self-awareness about the sacred cows they try to topple, or at least attempt to allow us to see with more clarity or truth.

Lovink continues: “Maybe we can turn it into a collective collaborative project, just for the fun.”

But my own daily practice—#75 objects and 41 days in—is another thing. Occurring in real time, and therefore necessarily intuitive, responsive, reactive, and under-pressure, I find that I have been decidedly serious, pronouncedly productive, sometimes even embarrassingly sincere. First of all, I have been trying (self-awaredly stuck as I am in the very digital form and space that I critique) to focus my efforts on the links between #fakenews and #realviolence, between #socialmedia and #therealworld. The stakes seem very high.

More Lovink: “Do you want to contribute and just pass it onto others? It is ideal for parties, to project on large walls, etc.”

But as critically, I find that my daily practice has produced, for me, in the experiencing of it, yet another set of linked #100hardtruths that make foolery less attractive for me as a personal mode for this online engagement (and to be clear, I am well aware of the verbal and visual puns that litter this effort), and instead lock me into a self-prescribed digital practice of ever darker self-criticism:

  • Trump’s lies do not need to be exposed. He does most of this for us; the internet does the rest and more.
  • #fakenews does not need me to expose it. A person could devote the rest of her life reading, watching, using, learning from its oceans of astute analysis and ready-to-use tools (only a sliver of which I’ve linked to here).
  • through our linked, commodified, surveilled, digital activities of watching, reading, sharing, writing, and learning about #fakenews; through our communal digital practice of hiding-while-exposing, built daily by people, corporations, the media, our government, and others; through our every digital engagement; we read, write, like, share and become the #fakenews.

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