27 February 2011

Blessed is Zuckerberg; Insecure Misogyny Inherits the Earth

Congratulations, you poor!
God's domain belongs to you.
Congratulations, you hungry!
You will have a feast.
Congratulations, you who weep now!
You will laugh.

(Jesus Seminar, "verifiable" beatitudes)

After seeing the "Facebook Movie" (I like to call it this as I assume the actual title, The Social Network, was chosen more for legal reasons than the verisimilar or aesthetic) I have decided that the meek have inherited the earth.

This is the Jesus of resentment and revenge.

The Facebook Movie proposes that the software was designed as vengeance--first against a single woman; then against the gender. It must take its place in the long line of misogynistic plans bent on denigration and domination of the female. But it has gone well beyond that.

Insecurity, inferiority, social ineptitude, immaturity, shallowness, impulsivity--all characteristics engendered by male dominance and proudly on display in our technologies, none more conspicuous than Facebook.

I have a flesh-and-blood friend to whom I once confided that Facebook pictures of "friends'" parties that I didn't attend, didn't know about, wasn't invited to, made me feel, well, socially insignificant. He, though often in these pictures, confessed to the same kind of feeling.

This is the genius of Zuckerberg; he has made us all feel like losers desperately seeking approval. Now, it's not untrue that this is the whole modus operandi of advertising and is a major engine behind our drive to consume useless gadgets and seasonable fashions...but the sheer granular nature of this "network" can make even the most confident being feel his lack and wanting. One can dissect the methodology of market manipulations and stay objective about them; but Facebook attacks you via your personal, individual, daily, friendships. Just look what you missed--or better, what you were left out of, what was denied you.

Turn it off, Child.


  1. Facebook takes our insecurities a step further; in feeling insecure and left out you must combat this by creating your own cool Facebook front. Everyone else sounds cool and involved, everyone creates their alternative Facebook cool self to present to the world. "Look at me, I'm not left out...I've got a cool life of my own!" None of these are our true selves. If we limited our Facebook interactions to people we were actually involved with in our physical space this need would not exist. But instead we (generally speaking) try to one up the asshole we dated in college, because, after all, our lives are infinitely cooler.

  2. Interestingly too true...but easier to "turn it off" than create another self. However, I'm not sure any of us quite know about this mysterious thing you call a "true self"!

    Of course, I was likely the "asshole you dated in college" as one of my selves...