May 19 2020: For various and sundry reasons I have been researching and writing about remix culture over on the business site. One of the things I watched was a documentary called RiP!: A Remix Manifesto. I didn’t find it particularly great, but the manifesto itself is compelling. Most sources credit it to the director, Brett Gaylor, but within the film Gaylor seems to attribute it to Lawrence Lessig. In either case, it goes like this:
- Culture always builds on the past.
- The past always tries to control the future.
- Our future is becoming less free.
- To build free societies you must limit the control of the past
This immediately brought to mind the people who want to make things great again, primarily be dragging things backward to some idealize past (beautiful coal!) rather than building on it and moving forward. It also evoked images of the anti-lockdown protesters that just want everything to miraculously be the way it was before the pandemic.
The New Normal is a Remix
Whatever the future looks like, it’s not going to be the same as the past. For a start, that would mean that we as a species haven’t learned a damned thing during this pandemic. I know to some people being willfully ignorant is a feature, not a bug, but I think most of us agree that minimizing their input is probably for the best.
A lot has been written about how this pandemic has revealed a lot of flaws in government, infrastructure, and cultures as a whole. There’s been a huge reveal about what’s necessary and what isn’t, what we’re able to live without and what we can’t. The future normal has to remix the most important parts of the past, the things we’re truly suffering without, with what we’re growing aware of in the present. A new normal should be the best parts, the most desirable parts. We have an unprecedented opportunity to not let the past dominate our best possible future.
May 19 2020
- If you get anything out of these blog posts, consider buying me a coffee. You can also purchase one of my books or zines from Gumroad or DriveThruRPG.
- I check all email and Twitter DMs, personal and professional,
three timesonce a day. I respond as time allows; if it requires some thought or research on my part, it will take me longer.
- I am actively avoiding news and social media to focus on writing. Please take your information from reliable sources and certified experts, not the Mad Carrot and its puerile cultists.
- Today is Day 64 in isolation.