Ginsberg, Burroughs, Kerouac, Cobain, Thompson, and Hendrix didn’t build anything. We writers and artists are an over-glorified, over-praised lot. We cast our little literary spells, throw up our paint, and dance across the stage. But in the scheme of the global village we’re only the tribe’s witch doctor. Waving our magic wand in the air and saying things which evoke specific images in your head ["woman and horse AND 6 midgets and a chicken AND man and blender" -- fool you once shame on me...] and emotions in your heart was only a cool trick back in the 1950s. But now any jackass can do it. Just observe the comments section under this post and marvel at the advanced magical skills of the common, basement-dwelling internet troll.
Today the genuinely radical artist has a far broader palette, and the writer an infinite typewriter with an ink ribbon that never runs dry. More importantly we have This: the ability to reach into others’ souls to transform them from within and allow them to be the ones to improve the way they live. This: fixing a broken world at the root through further empowering the individual to command his own destiny. This: the consensual healing and mutual benefit of others — is the inverse of self-destruction. This has a cursed name reviled by the manic depressive goblin hordes of Occupy Wall Street: Capitali$m. (Like silver to the vampire, it stings the Left more when it’s typed in green with a dollar sign. Oh, it just looks so un-cool. Much cooler to take a dump on a cop car. I think I’ll write it that way from now on in all of my subsequent blog posts — and the rest of this article.)
You know what is far more badass than Kerouacking it across the country with a slick guy like Dean Moriarty? Being 27 years old, worth 17.5 billion dollars, the cultural heir to Boomer Redeemer Steve Jobs, and the CEO of your own corporation that you built out of your dorm room.
My good friend Michael van der Galien likes to cast Mark Zuckerberg as though the most successful Capitali$t of our generation were the reincarnation of Joseph Stalin. He assails Facebook — the digital gulag — because it’s found a clever way to provide you with a free tool to A) easily stay in touch with faraway friends and family B) meet new people C) waste time and D) appreciate a more useful advertising environment curtailed to your interests and needs so that you’re more likely to actually find ads that are helpful to you.
I’ll tolerate Michael’s animosity. He’s right to be jealous of Zuckerberg and identify him as the competitor for all aspiring Millennial Capitali$t-Artists. But let’s get serious for a moment.
Nobody has to use Facebook, and as with all consensual transactions those who participate in it do so because it benefits them. It’s a Win-Win-Win solution for Facebook users, Facebook Advertisers, and Facebook’s stockholders. Everyone leaves happy because this idea that was built from the ground up works. That’s really cool — and it’s just the beginning of what’s going to be a really cool future.