Thursday, July 29, 2010

Reason 367 for loving youtube

I've written before about how youtube makes the whole world kin (and not in the snarky way Shakespeare meant it) and how that is a good thing (in a Martha Stewart, comforty way- back before she revealed her cyborg undercasing).

But now I love the 'tube because it gives people a chance to take control and own the performative aspect of living in a post-industrial society.

Gender, race, religion, and profession are all social constructs, and we're meant to perform accordingly. Not to mention, being aware of the I behind your eyes- the thinking-on-all levels self- is a man-behind-the-curtains experience. I understand that I'm acting with all my actions, including thoughts, and sometimes the separation between the  I behind my eyes and my performative self is a chasm.

There are standards of teaching that everyone who becomes a teacher must adhere to. These standards blur the line between professional and personal making persona that much different from true self.

And persona, to my mind, is always glossy and palatable while true self is the rock removed and the creepy-crawlies revealed. It's a gross simplification and doesn't do me or anyone who runs into my judgment any good, but I believe everyone has a boneyard in the closet and familiarity breeds a knowledge that's hard to reconcile.

Anyway, years ago when I waitressed and taught, I got into a vicious shouting match with another waitress. It ended when she started crying and I had a brief WTF moment of what I was doing. Later on that night, a cook told me I should know and do better because I was a teacher.

That burr's been in my mind ever since.

I imagine I'm not the only person who feels as if what they do is an act. I think this is endemic to society, and sometimes it's fine, sometimes it's neutral, and other times the expected performance is a soul-killer (what's  the appropriate response when you look in the mirror? To say, "I'm one smoking chick?" Or to identify flaws and give a few moments to a loathing you wouldn't visit on anyone else?).

That's the reason for my hearting the 'tube. Although people might regret what they put up there and some of the sights are odious (but that goes back to making the whole world kin if only in a shared horrified fascination), a lot of the stuff is people alchemizing the performance of self. Performative becomes transformative by taking this fake responsibility we have and making it golden.

Transcendance is another human characteristic that gives me hope for the world.

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