The Rant realizes we should ratchet up the rantics, and the alliteration, because when net neutrality ends, and we can’t pay the toll for the digital Autobahn, our site will load slightly faster than a 1MB file on a dial-up modem via AOL.1 We could get all weepy or indignant, but quite frankly we knew this day was coming. Once the corporate monsters figured out how to monetize who gets the eyeballs the fastest, the party would turn from a rave to the prom at a suburban high school, complete with a DJ that has Beck, but only Odelay. You’re a loser baby, but we don’t have the coin to kill you.
The Rant was never one of those breathless believers proclaiming the internet and all its digital satellites hastened a new universe. People never seem to understand that access does not equal talent. But at least now you could get discovered or create a following from your bedroom with minimal expense. And the world felt a little brighter with all that weirdness out there, easy to find, instead of Michael Bolton getting crammed into your brain from the one FM station you could still receive on the radio in your Dodge Horizon. That was oddly specific wasn’t it? Draw your own conclusions.
The net will soon be sucked into the system that you have been barred from for a very long time. And perhaps that will serve as a sort of clarion call to stop fantasizing that velvet rope is ever coming down for the likes of us. Time to make our own systems and our own rules. That will require starting at the most micro of levels and actually engaging with the person next to you. It will require community and guile. But let us stop deluding ourselves that the current machine has any other purpose but to chew us up and spit us out for the lowest cost possible once it has manipulated and exploited and upsold us to exhaustion. We will have to build our own machines to kill fascists, because currently the fascists run The Machine, and it is growling outside your door.