Social Media: The Age of the Digital Temper Tantrum


“God is a freaking character, with enough foibles, tantrums, and paradoxical behaviors to supply a thousand screenplays. But who do you cast?” – Walter Kirn


By EJ Wickes

The era of metamodernism has become the age of the digital temper tantrum. How many times have we opened our day to social media to see a meme that just rocks our sensibilities? We fight the urge to call in sick because we caught a touch of the Facebook and now we’re comin’ down with a rant. It happens to me all the time. EJ Wickes: Artist, faux-philosopher/sophist (bullshit artist) and danger is my business.

My social media page is not pretty. It denotes the character of a social malcontent. I’ve thrown a digital temper tantrum or two. I have no images of pre-mature kittens wearing knit hats cuddling in incubators – wait a minute; I don’t think I deleted that one yet. Well, maybe one or two. It’s impossible to avoid. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Some of us choose to rant online. It’s group therapy for the digital age. Finally, we have a forum for the big kids to bitch about mankind’s stupidity and for the younger kids to show us what they’re looking at every fifteen minutes. We share our life’s joys and accomplishments; remember a loved one who’s passed, or affirm our inner feelings toward unicorns or zombies on social media all the time.

I think we’re all entitled to throw a digital temper tantrum once in a while. Not because our lives are so miserable. There are many more miserable existences than ours for sure, and occasionally I get my head out of my ass long enough to be grateful for that. It’s not so much about throwing a temper tantrum for how bad things are, it’s more about complaining about how good things could be with just a little bit of cooperation from everyone.

God -f-bomb- forbid that any empathetic or collective social consciousness raising would be considered anything more than New World Order totalitarianism. So any mutual cooperation without authoritarian intervention (anarchism) is out! We’re capitalists dammit! But here’s why I rant:

Nature is not easily controlled. And Man by his biological nature resists authority. We have an inherent objection toward anything that impedes our freedom of movement, thought or speech. Man like Nature has to be coerced to alter his natural process. Yet we create or allow institutions and hierarchies to rule over our lives that do nothing more than just that. “The Meek shall inherit the Earth.” The institutions teach us to shut up and conform. But not before the arrogant burn the Earth to a crisp. Once we reduce the planet to a smoldering bloody cinder, it’s all yours Mr. and Ms. Meek!

I’ve had foul called on me for doing the right or humanistic thing so many times by one authoritarian or another, I just got fed up. I got fed up with watching people beat on others; I got fed up with seeing mentally ill people begging in the streets and I got fed up with seeing my country destroyed by those we entrusted to its security and sustainability. Now it’s my turn. It’s our turn; I know I’m not alone in this. It’s our turn call them out and call foul on all their bullshit. And it feels good.

It feels good to be writing since I’ve stopped painting and making visual art. I choose to write my imagery and cherry pick at all the nuances of dysfunction and dystopia still cultivating on the tree of civilization. I learned that all the good and ethical behavior I was taught has absolutely no relevance to reality in society and how our role models and leaders are about as far from being Paragons of Virtue as liberalism is to the liberal media.

I’ve heard it said that Twitter is where all the intelligent people go for their social media fix. It only takes 140 characters or less for some people to express complete thoughts, insight and articulation. It’s kind of like walking past a group of people who are blurting out random phrases at one another and as you pass by you hurl 140 characters with a couple hashtags at them and hope someone catches a piece of your action through the Doppler Effect.

Some social media; Facebook for example is much more intimate and less guarded. You’re forced to back up to your bullshit because you’ve put it all out there on the chopping block; just like the artist does. In some countries the digital temper tantrum could cost you your life. In America we bitch, moan, morn or post nice or compelling things. In Egypt, Ukraine and other countries they use social networking for revolution.

I am no authority on metamodernism. As matter of fact, as long as I have been studying and making art or reading philosophy and political science they’re still difficult topics for me to write about. Art is timeless to me. I exist in that dimension, looking out, hardly looking in from the outside even as a spectator. I as all artists of the times are examples of metamodernism and those who live in the era of metamodernism are metamodernists by the sake of their existence, in the period so named. I’m satisfied with that. To me it’s all just art. It’s all just society. Add to that progress and the more things change the more things basically stay the same, and that’s the problem.

The analysis, clarification, the social and psychological comparisons of modern art theory and practice and the compartmentalization of movements and “isms” is better left to the watchers and historians. If art mimics, critiques, or narrates life, which sometimes wears a big red rubber nose, then I choose to use my amateurish writing fetish to squeeze the red bulbous noses of contradiction put forth by any illegitimate authority that I can.

“A vigorous temper is not altogether an evil. Men who are easy as an old shoe are generally of little worth.” – Charles Spurgeon

Metamodern Literature: Social Media and the Digital Temper Tantrum.ILLEGITIMATE AUTHORITY: THE TEMPER TANTRUM OF TYRANNY

Illegitimate authority is based on the premise of the false premise. The false premise is when a particular philosophy is reinterpreted for the public’s lexicon for their best interest. What the authority tells or teaches is held as indisputable fact. 1984 happened. The Ministry of Truth changed the lexicon. What it “was” it no longer “is”. Politicians are the worst at mismanaging the lexicon. Their understanding of Adam Smith, capitalism and free trade is so far off, it’s proven dangerous to our sustainability. By the 1990’s the American society should have been foaming at the mouth with the loudest temper tantrum in the history of Mankind.

The corporations were scorned by the conservatives of the past. Liberalism and conservatism were on opposite sides of the fence until that got turned on its head. At one time capitalism maintained a certain amount of ethics. But capitalism intervenes with the state, and the contradiction is in the corporate executives who complain about “big” government intervening in their business. They call themselves free-traders and allege a free-market system that exists nowhere on planet Earth, thanks to NAFTA, CAFTA and soon the TPP.

The term Socialism was pirated by the Soviet Union due to its popularity among civilized, socialized cultures as a way to mask to their own tyranny. The U.S. PR-opaganda machine did a good job preserving faux-capitalism and the American way by using the soviets brand of socialism as the example of tyranny worldwide. A state that’s antagonistic toward American principles might make a similar comparison between the United States and North Korea. The irony is rich, maybe too rich to digest but in effect should illustrate a point.

America is in effect a Democratic People’s Republic. Are we anything like the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea? The People’s Republic of China? (Some might say we’re on our way.) So apparently by their example, democracy or the representative form of government by the rule of law; the republic, is pure evil. Just look at North Korea and China. Republics and democracies: Pure evil! The same analogy has been used against socialism in reference to the Soviet Union.

If the authority; presidential candidates, etc. build their platforms on a contradiction of truth then their words have no authority. They become invalid because their counterfeit versions of the fundamental principles are only idiosyncratic to their claims. Capitalism promotes individualism, opportunity and free enterprise? Socialism means the government will control every aspect of your lives? Both claims are completely false.

For example, capitalism as practiced today could not survive without public subsidies and libertarian/socialism puts more control in the hands of the worker and defies the centralization of power. We put our faith in counterfeit versions of noble philosophies and are taught never to see any truth in the original theory. Not even consider it. No capitalist would ever admit to Marx’s interpretation of capitalism as being remotely valid. He’s not even taught in most schools of higher learning.

”Ron Paul says 40,000 new laws were put on the books on the first day of 2012.” – Source

The Constitution was not written to prevent what people could do, it was written to prevent what government could do. Authority has the obligation to justify its legitimacy. Yet we have more laws telling us what we can’t do or what we have to do, that we have no idea how many laws we’re most likely breaking each and every day. Ignorance of the Law is no excuse? So you can see why it’s hard not to express my perspective, no matter how twisted and reactionary it may be toward authority. Especially when authority contradicts itself on such an international scale.

Cue the calliope music… Kill ten people in a schoolyard and you’re a mass-murderer. Bomb the shit out of a few hundred thousand and it’s a war on terror. Ethnic cleanse a half a million and you’re an ally; if we can build a base on your property. Life is sacred; until your fetus reaches eighteen. Then we can send it to die for oil. The amount of people on Food Stamps has doubled since 2009; and it costs the American government 2 cents to mint a penny and ten cents to mint a nickle.

“Crony capitalism is what happens when government gets so big and so powerful that corporations have to get even bigger and more powerful to protect themselves.” – Carly Fiorina.

It just writes itself…

Metamodern Literature. Digital Temper Tantrum. EJ Wickes is a contributing sophist with absolutely no degree credentials whatsoever. His reactionary and shortsighted opinions have earned him the respect of armchair pundits world-wide. Sometimes wrong but never in doubt, he fights oppression by putting thumbtacks not on his neighbor’s chair, but on the teacher’s chair instead.

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