Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Used

It's generally regarded as good practice for big websites to include some sort of disclaimer when publishing links to sites beyond their control. The BBC News site, for example, has a standard blurb: "The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites".

Sounds pretty fair to me. You can go here: but don't blame us if it's shite. And then I noticed this, on the homepage of the Internet Movie Database: "IMDb cannot vouch for the user experience provided by external sites".

What the hell does that mean? A site doesn't "provide" a user experience. A user experience is "provided" by the user, who responds to information and other stimuli provided via the medium that he or she is using.

At least, that's how it should be. And then I remembered that Adorno quote that Patroclus and I seized upon a few weeks back, within hours of each other, unaware and thousands of miles apart:

"The customer is not king, as the culture industry would have us believe, not its subject but its object."

But that's no longer a subversive observation, it seems. It's now corporate policy, loud and proud.

Also... The mighty Swells of stuck-caps-lock fame laughs at cancer, but not in a brave way; if you haven't yet visited Teleport City, then you really ought to; and thanks to my dad for spotting this, by Agnes Catherine Poirier in The Observer: "The French think Edgar Allan Poe is a genius. Why, asks the uncomprehending Anglophone. Because Poe was translated by Baudelaire."

18 comments:

Robert A. Swipe said...

I went to School with that Max Adorno.

In Frankfurt.

Molly Bloom said...

That link to the 'French' article was great...thanks for that. As for the customer quote...lots of people still fight against the industry. I'd like to think we 'negotiate' with products. Do sites provide us with an experience? Yuk...I hope not. I want to make my own experiences. Yes, it's a stimulus isn't it? Might make us bounce off somewhere else...just like I bounced off someone to get to your site. You might have to symbolically 'become' one of my blog brothers soon. You often provide the stimuli that creates the talk. That's interesting. But sometimes you don't have to even comment on it to provoke a discussion. Yes, I know, I'm babbling again...

Sometimes the comments can create new discussions as well. It might go off in completely different directions. That's why a site can be the starting point for something new and multi-layered. We take what we want and then transform it. For example, your pops sent you that link and you took the Poe part and then make it into something new.

I suppose that the IMDb site is just trying to cover their backs because they are worried about some of the truly dire sites that are out there about film.

As if we are all passive consumers...it's all about negotiation and responding in your own way. Isn't it weird how the blogworld can cross over though...how you and Patroclus used the same quote. Synchronicity is a powerful thing. I love it.

Robert A. Swipe said...

I think blogging is about the only safeguard we have at the moment against the complete cultural hegemony of consumer capitalism. Of course, just like pop music before it, it's a part of the thing that it's (meant to be) opposed to. But if you're looking for some sort of - for want of a better word - underground or alternative scene, then I think it's this thing. (And I don't mean all the cultural commentators like Normski and all that shower who are just doing what the orthodox media does, only using these channels. I mean OUR lot.

I like the diversity and immediacy of blogs as well as the things the Mollster lists above. I think as with pop music (when it had any meaning outside of its status as mere product) these things are best when you feel that there is someone at the wheel who doesn't know where the car is going (or even how to drive it) - only that it's a real hoot and one that negates everything external to the experience of the drive for the time it lasts.

I find similar joys on here and I think we should all make a pact to stay 'Underground' - or keep a part of what we do as it is (informal, free and of generous spirit) Others may mock (mentioning no names La-di-da Gunner Footman) but isn't there something quietly subversive about the fantastical aspects of blogging - being whoever or whatever you want in a world you make for and with yourself and your friends? I certainly think so. Beneath the pavement, the beach....

Anyroad, describe The Spinster for me Tim - as you have had the great honour of comparing perms with her in the flesh....Is she as gorgeous as The Mollster here?

Billy said...

Ah Swells, I remember him... poring over the NME, the ink coming off my fingers, him ranting about Napalm Death or Steps.

Actually my favourite Swells moment, I don't even like the bank he reviewsI've actually found on the nme website:

http://www.nme.com/reviews/2023.htm

"And do they RAWK!? Uh, does the Pope promote a set of disgusting Dark Age ideals which denigrate women, retard human progress, keep millions of human beings locked in the dank spiritual cul de sac of maladorous superstition? Uh, YEAH!"

Molly Bloom said...

I was looking at MySpace...I don't know why...and I was interested in the fact that everyone on MySpace shows their identity (just thinking about something Bobster said) but people don't here. It's quite strange. I know I've put some pics up of me...but most people don't. I wonder why that is. What is the fundamental difference? Perhaps it's like Bobster said...this is more underground and subversive.
I don't really look at MySpace...I have a site...but I never use it...I just wanted to be able to comment on someone else's. I prefer it here.

dh said...

It's all in the language. Banks in the US for instance are there to 'serve' their customers. If they cut back on services it's to 'serve customers better'. Try arguing with that kind of logic and you'll end up on the no-fly list.

Spinsterella said...

Oh, I remember Swells too.

I was always a Melody Maker girl, but I used to sneak a look at my sister's NME occasionally.

I disapprove strongly of by-line pictures and stars/marks-out-of-ten

Tim Footman said...

Molly: negotiation sounds like a compromise, but at least it's better than abject passivity.

Bob: underground sounds good, but eventually we all feel the urge to ditch Rough Trade and sign to EMI. And, for your info, the Spinster is 6 foot 2, 18 stone, has hairy hands and smokes cheroots.

Molly: Argh... maybe I should be on MySpace...

DH: but if enough people argue with the logic, the banks are fucked. And, as I understand it, the whole of the UK is currently on a no-fly list...

Billy, Spin: I've got a sneaking suspicion that it was Swells who coined the phrase "bedwetter" for the likes of Morrissey.

Billy said...

I thought it was Alan McGee who called Coldplay 'bedwetters'? This coming from the man who unleashed "I wonder why the sky is blue" by the Pastels into the record shops.

Tim Footman said...

Actually, Billy, I think you may be right. Talking of which, I pinned down this incisive piece if political analysis from Chris Martin:

"Do you read Harry Potter? It’s just sad that the world is run by Muggles. It always had been and always will be. Being a leader of a country is incredibly difficult. You’re never going to please everybody – or, indeed, anybody. I’ve got great respect for anybody who wants to do it, but the type of person you have to be to be a politician is different from the type of person that you really want a person to be."

er... right...

Robert A. Swipe said...

"the Spinster is 6 foot 2, 18 stone, has hairy hands and smokes cheroots."

My hump, her hands - it would've been a marriage made in heaven....

Home wrecker...

Robert A. Swipe said...

Chris Martin?

Cunt Martin more like.

Rehab saved my life said...

Check out this link :)

First Nations said...

...as i've said somewhere else, thats why i come here.
1. i've been in that hospital many times, all over the west coast. yeah. it's like that here. that poor bastard.
2. he is absolutely correct about the drugs. hospital chemicals spoil you for lesser chemicals permanently.
3. i am agreeing with robert swipe about the underground nature of blogging. eat the rich.
4. i am so busting you, footman. spin is completely covered in a fine, white down, stands only three and a half inches high and is a rum-soaked crook afficianado.

patroclus said...

I think I concluded in my thesis that Google and News Corp. and all the rest of the big companies that own the blogging sites are content for us to think we're in control of some subversive underground movement while they bulk up on numbers, but that shortly they'll start making us do things we don't want to do, like carry ads, pay them money, watch their ads, or only use language they deem acceptable. And then we'll see who wields the power and who doesn't.

For as Adorno said, the culture industry likes to exert 'total social control' over its subjects, and it gets a bit anxious when that goes awry - witness the notorious recent articles by J. Street-Porter and Y. Alibhai-Brown.


Mind you, if thereb are enough of us, and if we don't all sell out and land book deals and Guardian columns...what a wonderful world it would be.

Tim Footman said...

I'm just waiting for Chris Martin to be unveiled as The Independent's new columnist...

I don't share your fears, Patroclus. What the blog phenomenon has done is to get more people getting their thoughts online. The medium by which they do it is irrelevant: if fatcats take over MySpace, Blogger, TypePad etc etc, then the users will just move elsewhere. The damage is done. We don't owe them shit.

And I don't see the problem with bloggers getting work in old media. That's just like all those hacks from Oz and the International Times moving over to the NME, or pirates joining Radio One. They'll bring attitude and independence, even to The Independent. (After all, bloggers are used to operating a not-for-profit model, just as the Indy's been doing for years.)

Robert A. Swipe said...

Patrick Roclus and La-di=da Gooner Timothy - it's really quite simple, isn't it?

Would you rather have your life mediated by people like Spinny, The Mollster, Billster, even - takes a huge, deep, existentially worrisome breathe....some wanker like Robert Swipe... than Rupert Murdoch (or whoever...?)

My point on this is that you have a soul (for want of a better word) and its upkeep is your responsibility (and yours alone) so why waste time with people who are (Spinny style use of the *) *trying to sell you something*? Why not just follow your heart/dick/fanny/nose and enjoy the opportunity that this blogging business affords us to communicate with one another in wonderfully salacious/interesting/novel/possibly even subversive/downright enjoyable ways???

I'm sure there's some 60s maxim that involves using the word 'head' in an intelligent-but-suggestive way that would help me out here...


envoi - sorry the Spinster's jibbed you Timothy. I thought you'd (to quote Elvis, if I may) "have made a lovely couple....but you never got the chance..."

Still, close shave, all told - with hairy hands like that. Must be all that wanking...

xxx

Bob

Tim Footman said...

Bob: we can do that (the following our various orifices bit). But as we do it (especially if we're among the first to do so), why not analyse the process as it happens? It doesn't actually lessen the fun.