20 November 2008

Pearls Before Swine

Damn your hide Cory Doctorow!

I read BoingBoing, you read BoingBoing, most people on the interweb have, at one time or another, read BoingBoing. No doubt if you put a thousand bloggers in a room with a typewriter they would eventually write BoingBoing, so it should come as no surprise that inevitably parts of one's life should actually start to appear on BoingBoing.

I can handle it when books I have read, or music that I like, or small circuit bent metal robots that flash and make happy musical squeeking noises and have been sitting on my desk for the last year are suddenly 'discovered' by Cory Doctorow and proclaimed to be the next big thing. I can even handle it when hordes of bloggers rush out to buy Greece's entire collection of badges shaped like vintage arcade game buttons, and then when people see them on my record bag they say, "...'sup, you saw those on BoingBoing, right?", to which I reply, "no, I've had them for ages", and they then invariably say "yeah, but you saw them on BoingBoing right?".

Badges, robots, graphic novels and cds of blip-hop are all ephemera of the internet age, and one can understand their appeal being widespread and so inevitably my tastes will overlap with those of the masses and we will share some items in common. I have resigned myself to this fate. What I cannot deal with is when something really obscure and hitherto a purely personal pleasure gets picked up and broadcast with a "hey that's neat" tag, ogled and mauled by the uneducated masses of comment trolls before being discarded by the wayside, consigned to the internet bin of yesterday's news and yet forever burdened by the lingering albatross of "...'sup, you saw those on BoingBoing, right?" comments.

What is the subject of today's ire? David Pescovitz's "discovery" yesterday of artist Ala Ebtekar, sandwiched in between a review of an infra-red gun/alarm clock and an ad for a NYC chipmusic festival. Grrrrrr. Back in September I saw Ebtekar's work at the "Art of Democracy" exhibition in the Meridian Gallery in San Francisco, and bought a piece, "A Breath of Air". The exhibition opened four days after we left Burning Man, and now the BoingBoing article appears four days after the Dublin Burning Man Decompression Event - coincidence? I think not. Cory Doctorow is sending me a message from his hot air balloon, circling high above the tag clouds, mocking my feeble attempts at expressing individuality. I get enough of that from the Guardian Weekender, thank you very much.

And what pearls of wisdom have issued forth from the misshapen mouths of the comment trolls thus far, when faced with the juxtaposition of pop art and Iranian mysticism, of secular war and religious law, of new world imperialism and ancient empire that is the work of Ala Ebtekar?
"Ok, so when I first saw the image without reading the text, my first thought was, "I *want* that wallpaper for my studio." - Markfrei

The exhibition only ended two weeks ago and the piece hasn't even arrived, and yet when it does I am already forced to put a small sign under the frame saying "No, I did not see this on BoingBoing".

Damn your hide Cory Doctorow, damn your hide.


At 10:01 am, Blogger Jonzer said...

Interestingly enough on the "Boing Boing" front. My better half has begun readin the autobiography of David Eggers, who began his career in the same building as a fledgling paper-based circular called Boing Boing.

They really are very now.


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