Monday, June 27, 2011

The Best of Times

Guest blogger Virginia Heffernan pens hilarious satire of herself on the "open web":

A few months ago, tired of coming across creepy, commodified content where I expected ordinary language, I resolved to turn to mobile apps for e-books, social media, ecommerce and news, and use the open Web only sparingly....

Imagine a sci-fi universe in which every letter, word and sentence is a commodity....

The insultingly vacuous and frankly bizarre prose of the content....

As a verbal artifact...exhibits neither style nor substance....

These prose-widgets are not hammered out by robots, surprisingly. But they are written by writers who work like robots....

[under] exhausting and sometimes exploitative writing conditions....

Oliver Miller, a journalist with an MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence [LOL] who once believed he’d write the Great American Novel [ROFL], told me AOL paid him about $28,000 for writing 300,000 words about television, all based on fragments of shows he’d never seen, filed in half-hour intervals, on a graveyard shift that ran from 11 p.m. to 7 or 8 in the morning.....

“Do you guys even CARE what I write? Does it make any difference if it’s good or bad?” Mr. Miller asked his boss, one night, by instant message. [emphasis added]

Mr. Miller says the reply was brief: “Not really.”

cf. Pierre Bourdieu

1 comment:

  1. "Oliver Miller, a journalist with an MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence [LOL] who once believed he’d write the Great American Novel [ROFL]"

    There is nothing funny about SLC. I have visited the homepage which provides photographic evidence of undergraduates engaged in serious scholarship. They are most certainly our future F. Scott Fitzgeralds, William Faulkners and, perhaps, even Stephenie Meyers.

    In other matters, I have to ask you, were you there, yourself, to see Beck's final day on Fox? Here in Phlius we have not had contact with a Beckian visitor in quite some time and, if you have the time to spare, I would very much like to hear the account.

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