Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Bitter Jealous Post

We are a species obsessed with instant gratification. From the Who Wants to be a Millionaire syndrome to the theist worshipers, everyone wants to get something that they are not willing to work for.

But we have started taking instant gratification to new extremes. The 15 minutes of fame syndrome, brought to its pinnacle, nay, summit (which has been diluted in meaning thanks to all the summit meetings of the bureaucracy), by the likes of youtube and dailymotion, lending credibility to talentless fucks, or demigods born out of pure showmanship (and hardly peer reviewed). But I kept telling myself, it didn’t matter; all the attention they were getting was useless in a world that runs on money, and in a world that forgets these under-achievers as swiftly as they created them (remember N’ Sync?).

But what happens when these acts of infantile imbecility provide with credible monetary gains? What do (ir?)-rational hardworking people do, when they see someone work half as hard (if at all) and living their dreams? I am talking, of course, about Matt, of “Where the hell is Matt” fame.

Sure, all you blue eyed, youtube yuppies and junkies and whatever else’s will be quick to jump to his aid, defending his intentions to be noble, enamored by the other worldly music of his videos, proving my point once again.

For a person who claims to be doing this for the thrill and enjoyment of traveling and soaking in cultures and all that nice sounding stuff, tell me, what would the purpose of publishing a video and a website be? Oh, you don’t think it is for the monetary gain that instant (if even fleeting) stardom brings? Well, Stride gum, is a sponsor. Guess what sponsors do? They pay you money. What for? Hmmm… lets see… putting a small little link to their website on your site and videos, mentioning them a few times in your travels, perhaps passing on a few sticks of gum even, heck whatever gets the name out there.

Oh yes, there is the inevitable argument, “so what if he gains from his previous journeys?”. Well, what is wrong, is the fact that there are at least a handful of people out there that are doing the same sans the retarded dance, but you don’t see them getting sponsorship deals!

I will end with a disclaimer; this is not a shot at the “shooting stars” that the internet breeds, it is a reflection of the society that allows mediocrity to breed. We create stars out of nobodies, and revel at our ability and achievement at having done so, while letting the true achievers fade away silently, unnoticed. And to the na├»ve that ask, “what harm is coming of it?”; we harm ourselves by the propagation of the phenomenon, by making “future generations” think that it is somehow more glorious to be remembered for something unoriginal, something marketed, outwardly glossy and substantially tepid, than to push the limits of our human intelligence.


arun said...

Y dont u try ur luck with some goofy dancing. I'm sure we would have made millions with our Goa video, starring me!! And thats what makes this world awesome, despite all the serious rat race aspects and struggle for bread and butter, the world still houses possiblities for people who enjoy something to survive on their joy!!

The Depressed Doormat said...

Goofy dancing... check.
Goa videos... check.

I'm still not getting any offers from stride gum or wrigley or happy dent!

The point I was making wasn't about the guy going around the world, but our celebration of the mediocrity of the entire exercise. I fail to see anything "inspiring" in the video, but for the fact that he summed up the courage to drop everything and leave. But then again, there are thousands if not millions of people that do just that, but they don't have advertising contracts yet.

Not to mention, the whole exercise seems to be geared at churning the short-comings of our "youtube culture".

arun said...

Celebrating Mediocracy shouldnt be viewed as a bad thing at all. Its a ray of hope for you and me!! All we have going for us are the goofy dances and goa trips!!

Seriously though, that guy is such a huge hit cause so many people like to see someone who had the balls to do what they cannot because of the commitments and mediocre life they have to hang on to, to honor the afore mentioned commitments.The corp community just cash in on the viewer ship and mediocracy or him are hardly to be blamed in the entire process!! No one celebrated him, they just liked seeing him do what he wanted to instead of what he had to do1

!! Oxymoron !! said...

Matt's fat, awkward and when people dance, he dissolves into the background. I'm not a big fan of Matt, but of differentiation. And, lets face it, there was some bit of lenient planning from the divine! (He didnt really ask Stridegum for anything, 'they' approached 'him'!) Wherethehellismatt, for me, is a *knocking-our-socks-out-dropping-our-jaws-to-the-ground* strategy used by life to say - "Hello *average* person! In life, anything is possible and nothing is impossible!!!"

The Depressed Doormat said...

@Arun:Again, I am not dissing Matt. I just don't think his escapades are worth much. I know a lot more people that have gone globe trotting (though not just for tourist pleasures, but to soak in the culture as well) and have had more fulfilling experiences. Matt's claim to fame; his awkward (thanks oxymoron for that description) dance.

As for people not having the guts, well they are the problem, and by extension the target of my attack. Matt isn't doing anything worthy of my rant, and the corporations do what they must for their bottom-lines; which is an altogether different discussion. It is the masses that piss me off. Hopefully it is clear now.

Let me clear a few things first.

There is nothing "divine". It's called plain and simple probability and chance. Nothing divine, no plan, no bearded old fool in the clouds.

Now that I got that out of the way, I am not arguing the fact that Matt personally has done nothing wrong, and therefore my rant was not directed at him, even if it seemed to be the case. The point was that there are much more deserving candidates for "sponsorship" or grants, but our culture of promoting mediocrity and of short-term gratification has a way of (by virtue of a lack of recognition) playing down more serious efforts by the "average joes".

As for the "everything is possible", uber-optimistic brainwash, well everything isn't possible. Our lives are too complicated for such a simplistic view. The odds, often, are stacked so heavily against individuals, that for all practical purposes, it is an impossible task. The best analogy I can come up with right now, is; imagine driving a unaltered, stock Ferrari F-355. Can you drive it at 200kmph? Sure you can. Can you do that in first gear? I'd venture as far as saying that it is impossible.

Purely Narcotic said...

Haha! Such much angst.

Smart idea to get an unemployed awkward fellow some work but the sales figures for Stride should speak for the intelligence of the person who struck upon the idea of sponsoring the guy.

Thanks for dropping by. I like your blog and will go through it in its entirety over the next couple of days. In other words, expect random comments on random posts:)