Justin Jacoby Smith is an organizer, web geek, Buddhist, and poet.

democratization of the spectacle

I think I finally get it. I was re-reading this old post, and something clicked for me.

Things like Twitter, the Timeline, Instagram, Moon's example of the intrusive wedding photographer who creates a record of the event more cinematic ("real") than the event itself as experienced by participants--they represent the radical democratization of the creation of Spectacle. All of us--that is to say, those of us on the privileged side of the digital divide--now have the tools at our disposal to create and propagate versions of our lives that may surpass our lives-as-lived in drama, taste, cinematography and lighting. Doesn't your birthday photo have a special poignance with that Nashville filter? Isn't it nice to be able to untag--effectively erase--yourself with that unfortunate haircut?

We, for the first time ever, own the means of production of Spectacle. Of course, in our newly empowered role as narrators of the lasting records of our lives, it helps if you know how to tell a good story.

Yeah. I think I got it.

It's worth noting that we don't "own" the means of production in an important sense: Facebook doesn't follow our orders, Twitter isn't run by consensus of its users, etc. And yet, using these tools owned by others, we can create stories of our own. Shades of distributism. Think Minecraft, the gaming mod community. There are more connections to be made here, but it's late and I'm overdue for sleep. Just thinking out loud. More soon, maybe.