Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Local

By way of preface...in a recent blog post, Stephanie Young seeks (at least part of her essay deals with this) a more local internet, only to end wondering just what do we mean by local.

The local is anything readily accessed or paired with. I'm near, it's local. It's anesthetic! If I'm part of a local scene (images or codified stimuli that have more meaning for me than for others) then I'm easily located in the space of that scene. If that scene is located on the Internet, that scene, for me, is local. I can loco there, a quack doesn't echo- I can maneuver within that space. This works regardless of whether I'm part of a burgeoning scene from Sydney, Australia, or Trieste or New York City. If I move within I'm loquacious enough for the scene to become local/localized to me. Locality, localness -- en loco parentis with screaming Al Pacino masks -- has changed for me, and mostly for us, with access to what I'll call "the locality acceleration" (sounds right out of Logan's Run) of the Internet. What is should be of further curiosity is how the Internet changes the sense of locality in my own head. How is it I empathize with those souls of Sydney by belonging to their scene, since I know nothing of the city? Is my assumption of the local merely localized to a specific group of interests?

Have our chances of experiencing localness multiplied or moved out of the way?


twelve.dollar.soup said...

I vote both! The local becomes accessible to multitudes, making it seem more available, more immediate, less strange, but its overexposure risks parody and misunderstanding, thus the local is made alien even unto itself, and a heretofore nonexistant (or at least very different) isolation exists, the emphasis on exposure only intensifying this isolation.

Ryan said...

Yes! So true.

Hence, "country" linedancing as parody represents nothing about the "country."

Or like the "whitewashed" Indian Powwow, becomes a dance you learn from conquerors as having been your own.