I’ve just read through some Peter Ssweranga’s blog and there’s an idea I’d like to consider, “mainstream media”. A word he too put in inverted commas because I think the term has become vague. The South African context is the only one I have real access to, so if I look at the media I consume and the parameters of the content there’s a really difficult classification process if it’s looked through the binary sorting system of mainstream and alternative. Add to that an obscure amount of cut and paste media.
The issue that perhaps trumps the concept of mainstream is prescribed, by this I mean that precious few citizens have access to high speed internet and caches of media. Not everyone has that friend with a hard drive filled with indy celluloid and obscure music. If you’re reading this you’re probably one of the privileged few able to bypass broadcasters and consume what you like. Sure with the ever broadening cellphone internet vibe there are far more online users than before, but it’s still miles away from connecting the majority of the nation. So the problem lies with lack of choice and the decision makers being one dimensional.
Add to that how unaware we are of the independent broadcasters that have bridled the information super high way to share their creative excess. That’s why dispositions like Peter’s are important, his thirst is to engage in meaningful media, but equip whoever is willing to listen with those same channels.
Wading through the endless mound of online stuff becomes quite tiring, add to that some original thinkers that insist on playing music during their podcasts. It pisses me off, the assumption there is; though I’m listening to a podcast, which I’ve downloaded, or am in fact streaming, I can’t put my own playlist together. Listening to a recording of a recording irritates me for some reason. So pod people, please don’t play an endless selection of songs, we can pause your talking and decide for ourselves when we want to listen to music.
Given the sheer volume of work floating around the web, I find it pretty sweet when people like Peter take the time to sift through their experiences and provide us with a short list of good content.
Doing so for alternative reasons, whatever that’s meant to mean, might be a short lived exercise if it’s done without understanding. I, like the next guy, enjoy people who spend time crafting how and why they say things as much as the concerted effort they put into what they’re saying, it just has the potential to get kak rather quickly.
Like Sheen’s podcasts that he did while high, a level of conceited coke blabber that hedonism’s P.R. department can do without. I think that level of Thompson esq hack deserves to be ignored, but what we need is the grit and devotion of that forefather of twisted-dom. A seasoned professional able to read the thermometer pulled from our collective unconsciousness’ anus, not to mention a thinker brave enough to put it there in the first place.
Being underground, being alternative, being outside of the mainstream- sentiments that are tired as fuck because of the abuse they’ve received, isn’t dead yet. Using these brand name dispositions to alleviate the authority of broadcasters, of the censors- looking for thinkers that serve the ideals of the voice you want to influence your inner world, this is what it’s meant for. An application far broader than meeting some aesthetic benchmark.
That’s why I subscribe to Peter’s work, he’s prolific and energetic and sincere. Sure, being perceived as alternative or original has an undeniable sexiness to it and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to being in love with the basest level of it’s egoistic kick back, but there’s more there though, outside the ever distant hope of being cool, and that’s defacing ignorance, engaging the moment and being that little bit more alive.
There’s absolutely no reason we shouldn’t at least try.
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