[NaNoWriMo #1] On Uncertainty, Twitter, and Layoff Comedy
I am trying a new ritual started by the Clear Writing community of Amit Varma. We write at least 200 words every day of November and see where it goes. The pictures are my street photography shots.
Elon Musk has bought Twitter. I sat there, on my bed, in the most inventive unergonomic position. For once, I was happy. Not because something great can be expected out of this Muskian performance, but because it ended.
It was a spectacle. At one moment the deal is On, then it is Off. Then it is On again. The only thing that is certain about it, is its uncertainty. It is a telling of our times. The world has always lacked certainty. The future once defined by god is defined by man in a post-renaissance world. In his book, Scent of Time, Han argues that this groundlessness, whizzing in time is problematic. We do not need new gods, we need some loci. Some sense of permanence to balance our lives. Something that does not disappear once we wake up from our sleeps, like Instagram stories.
Some of my friends say these ideas are backward-looking. As a designer and engineer, I should be focussed on growth. I ask them about what is forward-looking? What is the future? A word vomit of cryptocurrency, blockchain, growth, feminism, freedom, and innovation comes out. I ask in return, does that future make you happier?
Another phenomenon, I noticed regarding Twitter was 'Layoff comedy'. Actors would dress as laid-off Twitter employees online and offline. It was hilarious, to be honest. Making us giggle about the future plight of Twitter employees. A similar, noise and theatre mechanic, was used by Vladislav Surkov in Russia. It kept Putin in power by confusing political discourse in the media. Pardon the tangent, I know it is all for fun. But is it? Maybe It is.
Like Ricky Gervais says :
“If you can’t joke about the most horrendous things in the world, what’s the point of jokes? What’s the point of having humor? Humor is to get us over terrible things.”
My point is, the distinction between real and made-up can be tricky with our limited attention spans and anchoring bias of previous comic tweets. I hope, I am wrong.
Many may giggle with apathy when a real Twitter employee asks to be hired. This could be comedy too. I hope it is not. I hope they are taken seriously. Will you believe it?