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Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Rise of the Creator-Consumer, Part I

This is a true story. That’s not to say I saw it happen, but I have seen its light shining from sites like Blogger, MySpace, and YouTube; its shadows cast across the living rooms of American households. It’s my story, and yours too... if you let it be.

I. The Passives

Another near-silent family supper is over. “Family” supper, although the four of them sat together for maybe two minutes with all the late arrivals and early leavings. Being (as he thinks) an enlightened kind of guy, he carries his dishes to the sink before entering the sanctuary of his living room. He bows to the altar of his lounge chair, picking up the remote before dropping himself onto the altar, presenting himself a living sacrifice of another evening to his one-eyed god. His god asks little of him but attention, and usually fills his empty evenings with empty entertainment in return.

But there’s no ball game on tonight, and nothing else strikes him as particularly interesting as his slack-jawed, belly-scratching worship carries him from channel to channel. He looks up as his wife comes in from the kitchen, having loaded the dishwasher and left the pots to soak in the sink. She looks past him as she settles into her own chair, picking up the romance novel from the lampstand.

He watches her for a while, pretending to watch the TV. She turns a page, then another; her expressionless face could be mistaken for a mask of anger.

That’s not the best she’s ever looked, he thinks; an echo suggests he has little to talk about. Sighing, he points to his god once again and communes. Persistence may be rewarded.

Continued in Part II

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