Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Internet Dating + Foucault

My Internet Communities class is doing a segment on Internet Dating, I suppose its a valid enough subject - the use of the internet to find mates, to form kinship relations... these are the things communities do, yes?

But I'm having a hard time getting over my distaste. I'm a country boy, and, truth be told, a bit of a prude. Reading about clever, pretty urbanites engaging in a seemingly endless internet-enabled hook-up party leaves just kinda pisses me off. The amount to which that pissed-offedness is actually jealousy is anybody's guess. But, nevertheless, I feel compelled to dream up theoretical support for my predjudice. Doesn't everyone.

Here's the thing: wasn't the hope vested by so many in desire as a revolutionary force based on its potential to encourage links between people and thus to shatter hierarchy? To encourage you to look across the cell at your neighbor in the panopticon, rather than gaze back at the tower, ever wary of its presence, and its promise of violent retribution for those who did not exercise proper discipline.

But this thing we've built out of desire, spinning us all into brands, into advertisements, into clusters of definitive "facts" flying in close formation... its as if the panopticon has been turned into omniopticon the gaze of all applied against all, meeting in the middle, so that in effect it is desire itself that now occupies the tower.

And desire is ravenous, and her sister is despair.


Anonymous said...

Look, how else is [redacted] going to justify picking up a paycheck for meeting dudes online?

Marky B. said...

LOVE this post.

And you work in a Sandman reference. Boo yah.

To quote the angry German kid: "Eat your melted shit!"