28 June 2007

Andrew Keen - Comic Genius

Andrew Keen is a comic genius. Andy Kaufman has NOTHING on this guy.

How else can we explain his blog post on Encyclopedia Britannica’s blog (Encyclopedia Britannica has a blog?), railing against the inappropriate liberties and "destructive consequences" of Web 2.0? And he did it with such a straight face, I almost missed the irony (actually, his photo sort of gave it away).

You can also check out his "Against You" manifesto at ChangeThis.com, bemoaning all these new online mechanisms which allow anyone to do an end-run around traditional media outlets and become an author. You know, things like ChangeThis.com. Here are a few quotes, starting with one where he expresses deep concern for the well-being of established media sources:

What about the tradition owners and distributors of culture and information— the mainstream media companies, the Hollywood studios, the big record labels, national newspapers and magazines, book and magazine publishers, and the television and radio networks?

Yes, in contrast with Web 2.0’s Generation Y, my generation is audience. We don’t want to be authors. We want to consume rather than create. My generation is appropriately deferential. We know our place in the cultural order of things. We revere the expert creators of our culture rather than seeking to be those professional artists ourselves. Like Rob in High Fidelity, my generation collects music rather than wanting to make it ourselves.

Taste resides with an elite of cultural critics able to determine, on behalf of the public, the value of a work-of-art. The digital utopia seeks to flatten this elite into an ochlocracy. The danger, therefore, is that the future will be tasteless.

Oh stop, Mr. Keen, stop please, my sides really hurt, you're killing me. Hold on while I catch my breath...

Brilliant stuff. Absolutely brilliant. I'm LOL'ing and ROTF'ing. Gotta go twitter about it now.

(he is joking, right?)


Mark said...

errrmm, I think he's actually serious.

Which I find really funny. And sad.

Either that or he's really really dedicated to irony and satire.

Dan said...

Actually, I think you're right, and he is being sincere... and somehow missed the irony of his actions.

If he was really dedicated to doing this as an Andy Kaufman-esque stunt, he'd have published his book at Lulu...

Gabe said...

I agree....after reading his manifesto, I think he's serious. And I agree that his manifesto itself is ironic given his content. He actually believes in elite-ism? And of the greats that supposedly come out of Mass-Media, only Bono I consider worthy. Hitchcock - no way. The other guy - never head of him.

Gabe said...

Coming back to this...man this guy must be crazy. He actually uses deferential. I guess if everybody was deferential we could still burn up the planet with fossil fuel. In fact, had more of our fore fathers been deferential, we wouldn't have needed to go through that nasty bit a while back called the revolution;)