Monkey Business

Over this past Christmas break my schedule was light. In fact, I didn’t really have all that much to do. I inevitably turned to Netflix to feel as though I was engaging in something (I read too, but that only gets me so far into the day). Through my perusing of what was available to watch, I found a documentary called: We Live in Public. (http://www.weliveinpublicthemovie.com/). The documentary was all about how one man essentially predicted reality television and the same level of personal use over the internet that sites like Facebook and YouTube allow individuals. Most notably from the film was the experiment Quiet:We Live in Public (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saupV-QUAjA), which was the Real World, but actually and truly unscripted and without rules. Naturally this got me thinking about sites like Facebook and YouTube and how in today’s society anyone anywhere can film anyone doing anything and post it, leaving it subject to the viewer.

This is where I feel Kushner can be brought in, “If culture can be thought of as both the exalted and the quotidian expressions of a people’s life, then all culture is ideological, political, rooted in history and informed by present circumstance.” (44). Here Kushner is saying that one’s culture and politics are not necessarily two separate concepts. Kushner is arguing the opposite: one’s culture and politics are inherent to one another. Furthermore Kushner goes on to say that every individual across the globe has and is a part of a specific culture (43), and all the videos, comments, etc posted on the internet are certain art as people are interacting with them, despite their sincerity or depth of interaction, and in some way are affected and shaped by such interaction.

And here is where I feel it is necessary to bring in Roy, who states on the subject of being active politically, “One is not involved by virtue of being a writer or activist. One is involved because one is a human being” (24). As individuals of a society where anything and everything can become the next internet sensation we must realize that our lives, as Roy states, can be and are a type of political activism and we must realize and accept this responsibility and do something other than throw our shit at the internet to see what becomes popular.

Works Cited

Kushner, Tony. “Some Questions About Tolerance” New York: Theatre Communications Group, 1995. Print.

Roy, Arundhati. “Power Politics” Boston: South End Press, 2002. Print.

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