There is a documentary about Anthony Bourdain that is making the rounds. There seems to be some kind of cult with him and his life. He somehow rose up to be part of the gurus of culture and culinary expertise. His nomadic “parts unknown” fueled the imagination and cult of travel as a way of life. Designing a new kind of man born out of addiction and self reflection/absorbed/deeply lost…. privilege. Another white guy showing us the riches of other places, people, cultures. Framed by the camera to show just enough of the exotic to make it desirable. To stir a romantic longing in each of us.
The faux reality of his TV personality filled homes while the dust of his true being gather together in piles that no one saw. Vulnerable to the whims of networks, ratings and creating more and more content to satisfy the voyeuristic perverse cult of his created self… in the end he could not make the dust of his behind the scenes come to life as pixels do on a flat screen.
The virtual world is a hollow vessel. The mechanism of social media has robbed many of dignity. Many beg to be noticed.. To belong. Yet, this insatiable world of capitalism and branding is computed by the algorithms of trends, hashtags, and being seen…. relevant. Selling your data to have access…. discounts…. The odd friendships of “likes” and “following”…. some people we knew long before this screen world others are part of that weird way we are degrees apart… networked into webs of connections. Your virtual visibility becomes more important than your content… the real you is a ghost the the machine….
To make a living in this is a complicated art and science. Some are selling an angle to get ahead…. others sexualing their content…. then there is just straight lies and misinformation. The algorithms tally and out comes the percentage of visibility…. or you just pay up to get more visibility. We are more connected than ever and yet we feel so far a part. So unseen, felt or heard….
The star dust of our being is burning out behind the screen. Our pixelation is not the measure of our humanity. We are not being seen.