I found out that “.sucks” is a domain suffix you can own, so I figured I might as well embrace the fact that I must suck. Because according to the clickbait overlords of the internet — I do suck. However, I suck in a way that makes me indispensable to the internet.
If you’re not familiar with what I’m referencing, just Google my name. I’m not going to link you, because it’s not my job to toil away in their clickbait mines. Too many young people are coming up, hacking and coughing, dying from Click Lung.
On the internet, you’ll find a million articles about me, by a myriad of writers, who are paid crumbs, often in non-union jobs, to produce clicks. I don’t mind them telling my story, assassinating my character, or even getting some parts of my life, career, and background completely wrong.
More than you, I am the internet. The writers who cover me, write about me, or posit theories about me — they’re users of the internet. I’m someone who actively creates the internet, from sites to applications. I program the ads that send you to sites, and then I use machine learning applications to track your behavior. It’s easy for me to go viral, or create viral content, because I grasp a piece of philosophy that journalists* don’t seem to understand about Web 3.0 — reality is fucked. No one wants to be there.
(*I’m using the term “journalists” loosely here, because the vast majority of you are just churning out clickbait and hoping for the best.)
My philosophy of “Me vs. The New Media” is adversarial, because it has to be this way. The internet only responds to a battle, or conflict. If I’m not fighting you with a remonstrative, outspoken personality — then people won’t pay attention. Unlike journalists, I’m not held to the rules of traditional decorum. If you write something negative about me, I’ll purchase a Google Ads display campaign about you, buy a domain like “joesmithskidmarks.com” and show everyone in your hometown display campaigns like this.
The cool part about modern anonymity is no journalist I attack is able to prove I was behind a campaign, because there are hundreds of places I can reserve domains online anonymously, host websites with no paper trail, and create burner credit cards to service bogus ad accounts. Journalists have only one angle: Beat me to death with “the truth” — because their legal departments have to deal with the new era, post Gawker/Hulk Hogan/Peter Thiel. If I don’t like what you publish about me, I can sue you out of existence. Gawker was sometimes great journalism, but at other times, they overstepped — and that’s why they don’t exist anymore.
I can win ways you can’t, and I’m acutely aware of it.
We live in screen-centric world, where “reality” is used as a euphemism for “heavily-scripted.” The Bachelor isn’t “reality” television; it’s scripted and massaged for producers for maximum entertainment value. This is the fulcrum of a Trump Presidency, where his brand of spectacle, entertainment, and showmanship has proven definitively: No one cares what’s real. They care about being entertained. (It’s just highly unfortunate, because he’s a politician, where one would hope telling the truth as a public servant would matter, but it doesn’t. The reason it’s okay for me, and not for him, is because I’m not making life or death decisions about anyone’s life.)
Most (normal) people are aware that I embellished parts of the famous “van story” — and they don’t give a shit. They liked the story, and it didn’t matter to them that it contained some parts that gave it more drama.
When I’m creating content, everything has a purpose. A few journalists classified what I did as reckless, or borderline sociopathic — like I’m not aware of the difference between reality and fiction. They’re working under the assumption that I’m holding myself to a journalistic standard, and I’m not. There are plot holes in most movies, but we suspend reality, because we don’t care; we simply want to be entertained.
Most (normal) people weren’t upset that I openly attacked the racist subculture of country music. People knew I was using jokes and humor to make a point. It’s butter on toast — because no one likes dry toast. (One country music blogger basically decided to make me his nemesis, which technically was a way better outcome than I could have ever asked for. The repeat content really cemented me as the villain. Thanks for that.)
Our culture is a heavily massaged reality, selectively curated and edited to display the pictures that we believe give us the best image. It’s all the Facebook bragging about job accomplishments, new cars, and new houses. It’s the perfectly staged Instagram photos, curated beyond any sane measure. Don’t even get me started on the “careful office talk” that happens on LinkedIn comments — that shit is the battle of people who are so careful about their careers, the sanitation has removed anything that would ever make them exceptional.
New Media, the “Media of 2020 and Beyond” needs me to exist, because I am screen agnostic. I understand that people don’t see any meaningful difference between the screen in their hand, versus the one on their laptop, versus the one hanging on their wall. People know that screens are there to swipe and scroll the hours away, and I’m perfectly happy being part of the fiction that happens while they’re scrolling.
It’s a pitched battle, and I’m going to be the nemesis. I have always been the nemesis, from my days at MySpace, to the time I spent as “California Cornbread” blogging on Tumblr. I have fought Fall Out Boy, 5SOS, country music, shitty DJ’s, and even told a story about a van filled with heroin.
I don’t care which stories you believe are real, and which stories you think I embellished. I don’t care if you believe I really hate your favorite band, or if I’m doing it just to prove a point and create a controversy. The point of what I do isn’t to be real — if you want reality, go read nonfiction. I’m here to disrupt reality and push boundaries, because it’s important to push your imagination, even if the methodology is unorthodox.