The Clip Culture
[P. J.] [RU] [FR]

The Clip Culture

The first definition of reason is search for integrity. A conscious being is to bind together all the parts and aspects of the world, which is a unity on itself, as a source of all things, but can only manifest itself in a phenomenal chaos. The brightest minds of the humanity have applied much effort to give people the taste for grand-scale plans and deeds, far beyond the limitations of a person, a family, a clan, or a class... The Earth is too small, we need the whole Universe. And it is not only a question of an integral vision; we must also bring integrity to the world, actively reunite it where it cannot manage it without us.

At that point, somebody with a thick capital would stand up and peal out at the full power of the thoroughly pocketed media: no, we don't want team up with just anybody! and this is the principal human right, to be rich and exploit those who are not wealthy enough to have any rights at all. In response, the despised under-wealthy (who do not have anything against bloody capitalism as such) would demonstrate their indignation and complete assent: no, we don't want to anything in common with those blood-suckers!

And let's do away. With whom? Obviously, the brightest minds of the humanity. Let them keep falling over the vain ambition of making us human; just in spite, we are going to break the world to the tiniest possible pieces, to draw them up in an entirely random manner, like the rundlets in Russian lotto. And we called it Clip, and we saw that it was good.

In the beginning, the intentions were as good as usual. A pop star at concert, this is not only favorite music hits, but also a very special atmosphere, showing the musician's talent in motion, in addition to mere sound. Fine! Let's cut the show in canned pieces and start selling concert video selections. On the other hand, television has come to every home, and such compact blocks are just perfect for broadcast. On TV, like earlier on the radio.

Go on, grow on. Why not screen a studio record, adding an artistically designed video track? The public is happy. Later, simple stories acquired more dynamism, parallel development... Apparently, for the triumph of sublime art. With modern music taking on a heavier rhythm, the pace of video is also working up to match.

Finally, what do we have? Weird pictures furiously flashing all over the screen can drive one to epilepsy. Technical tricks invented for their own sake and having nothing to do with the music. Mad aspiration to pile up more perversions than anybody else could. After all, music is intentionally composed as a clip track, with any smart idea cut down to the format. No wonder that robot composers do here no worse than humans, and all humans need is to sell their output for a good income. In the nick of time, the Internet has developed handy technologies allowing one to upload the fresh-baked "masterpiece" to social networks right from one's mobile.

Of course, this concerns music no more than any other occupation. There are special TV channels for silly anime, fashion talks, food and travel... There is a pretentious elitist movie culture, selling vague wandering for deep thought. In the news, we meet the same jumble of video fragments flashing on the screen in no sensible order, a last minute scene attached to a years-old record, regardless of the information on air. The mishmash of gossip in the magazines, the clutter of junk in the shops. The whole one's life starts to remind a crazy kaleidoscope producing one pattern of common trifles after another—but can we do without them? In this fuss, the very capacity of congruent thought and consistent action dies out unclaimed. That is exactly what the organizers of the show meant.

We are not merely advised to love eclectics—we are aggressively foisted with it. Don't try to catch the sense of being; there is no sense at all. Live here and now. Got yet another helping of happiness? Be happy; what else do you need? Too much of a good thing is good for nothing. The pursuit of integrity yields to a stream of random fragments, the whole Universe packed in a single huge clip.

Advanced technologies provide a good foundation for unity, but they are used exactly for the inverse, to dissolve the very idea of integrity. For instance, browsing modern Web sites is a real torture. Which is quite understandable, since they are not made for browsing. The sites are optimized for robots, and not for humans; the latter are suggested to use search engines rather than track the site pages manually. The habit of googling for any trifle has already become the core of the customer's heart, so that the whole Web seems to be a vast global dump, and there is no use trying to sort it out and reasonably arrange. A scrap-heap with humans rummaging it like the maggots of the dung-beetle.

What comes next? I don't know. Probably, it would be simple for somebody to flush the humanity down the toilet sink, as there is nobody left to long for integrity. Still, by some miracle of nature, from the deadly muck of the clip generation, the shoots of a new culture might eventually break out towards the sun, encouraging those who can and will consciously build a world of reason.

[Assorted Notes] [Unism]