The artist is always engaged in writing a detailed history of the future
because he is the only person aware of the nature of the present.
Jermaine Affonso is editor in chief of the website ClickHole which satirizes web media. What is noteworthy about this website is that it corroborates a major insight related to Simple Reality: “I think the thesis of ClickHole is roughly: The world is a scary and horrifying place, and we’re all just kind of trying to make it through.”[i]
P-B is a terrifying illusion but one that most of us believe to be reality, hence we must find a way to get it out of sight and out of mind. In short, we must find escapist strategies. Web media itself works for that. All of this regrettable behavior exists because we could not answer Einstein’s question in the affirmative. “Is the universe friendly?” Most of us have unconsciously reacted with a forceful NO!
Is the growing presence of the Internet in occupying our time and our minds empowering or debilitating? Much of the content that web users find mesmerizing goes viral so quickly. “That can distract you for a little while. This viral stuff, you can look at it, and it actually does allow your eyes to glaze over, and you can escape a little bit.”[ii] So the motivation of a lot of our screen time is to escape. It is not an empowering or a healthy behavior.
Affonso’s analysis of the function of ClickHole begs the question: Does it work? Can we escape the reality, the consequences, of the experience that we ourselves have created? ClickHole is designed to make us laugh like The Onion which started ClickHole in 2014. Can our ability to see the admittedly dark humor in our situation insulate us from our day-to-day experience? “Yeah. I think to some degree all comedy exists to make people laugh and see something deeper. And usually when you look deeper into something, you feel terrible about it.”[iii]
In that case, perhaps we are not looking deeply enough.
Chapter 20 – Web Media
[i] Cox, Ana Marie. “Jermaine Affonso Can’t Escape the Garbage Either.” The New York Times Magazine, August 2, 2015, page 54.
Find a much more in-depth discussion in books by Roy Charles Henry.