Saturday, 7 May 2016

Feeding the Buzz

most of this penned some other time, found it in a notebook of mine recently, some edits & mistakes made in typing up. Thought you were due another affectionate ramble. 

Where the hell did Buzzfeed spring up from? Which internet fad had to die for Buzzfeed to come screaming out of the ashes? Cheezburger cats? (or whatever the devil calls itself) Memebase? Not 4chan or reddit, no, those will continue long after humans have vaporized themselves off planet, I'm sure of it.

Something about the very name, the peppy, white-toothed smiling name that leaves me unhinged. People need their 'feed,' their news, celebrity gossip, treend rants and the rest, fast; in a buzz. People want an exhaustive condension, from events that unfolded over days, months, reduced through planning, editing and posting into hours of labour, to produce a light-hearted list that can be ingested in seconds.

Saying that, there is an extremely unexpected clash in Buzzfeed's publications; there are weighty, thoroughly researched, well-considered historical narratives with pleasingly placed & relevant historical imagery and artistic illustration throughout, and in a click you'll hurtle away to a drenching of gifs relevant to the emotions you remember going through as you watched Friends or Seinfeld or The Simpsons or ate a biscuit or a shoe or a vegan hot dog.

Buzzfeed 'community' is a strange invention within a strange invention. A few attempt to revel in contemporary and memorable pop culture, like the actual staff of Buzzfeed, importantly referencing as much Simpsons as possible and spoiling every major plot line in Game of Thrones. A large chunk of posts just appear to affirm scopes of different identitys, and in subtle ways affirm an us/them discourse. 'You'll only understand this list if you are a carnivore/ a head in a jar/ a hundred year old baby/ from Xville in Y county in the realm of Z. Now I've ranted that out, let me tell you that I am magnetically drawn to these posts. What nuances and everyday experiences do the American offspring of El Salvadorian immigrants go through? What's it like to be a Nuclear-submarine repairman? Worlds that would otherwise be far away from you are (perhaps unwillingly) bare to your gaze.

I am knackered and my feet hurt, so there's probably not much tone to reverberate here... I mean, there are definintely worse things on the internet (the poor editing and general aesthetic of this post probably one of them) but I thought it necesarry to cast a wide-eyed, bleary stare into what I think of Buzzfeed, as history will one day doubtlessly trudge on, from what was just becoming familiar to what is beyond current speculation.

Now, to sleep, unfed, unbuzzed.

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