The Broadway bully
Should I sign onto a social media service like Mastodon? That might attract more interest in my blog? More readers who would devour my posts and reward me with their own insights? Pat my vanity with praise and even feed gluttony with the largesse of advertisers?
Walter Winchell became a slave to his gossip column in the New York Daily Mirror. Every breath devoted to feeding the monster to satiate its ravenous audience. Turning both column and its author into freaks of tabloid journalism. A grotesque version of the trap I could wind up in if wooing a mob of fools were my goal. It's not my goal. I want no part of being caught in a trap feeding a monster so it can feed more monsters.
The romance of two-way reciprocity
A very nice monster is feeding me insights when and where it feels like it. Spontaneously, for the benefit of individuals. Not clumps of statistics making fools of themselves over bits of confetti that go viral. My every breath is devoted to protecting the conditions that make it welcome. Rest, exercise, and food for mind, body and soul. Healthy personal relationships. All formulated for mental peace, strength, and clarity. So far, the monster is happy and productive and I'm happy, too. We have a healthy relationship. It's not me or the monster that's producing. It's the relationship, my main concern. Attempting to industrialize the process could corrupt the relationship. Turning two-way reciprocity into one-way exploitation -- not my style.
Claustrophobia is good!
Winchell’s monster responded to exploitation by taking over his life. Thoughts, feelings, values, work, relationships -- everything. It corrupted him and because of his outsized influence eventually corrupted society. Adding to the damage done by McCarthyism because it kept the house full. All to satiate his column and the gossip-mongering troglodytes who fed on it.
Individuals can't extinguish our selves, our integrity, if we maintain equilibrium. Messing with groups is where the trouble starts. Where equilibrium ends, with anything "social." Social media services beckon with the lure of groups we think we own until the truth sets in. Mr. “Truth Social” may think his bizarre idea of “truth” captivates his “social,” but ”social” owns him. The power he wields is wielding him. He’s created a monster that isn’t nice. That’s dividing us worse than McCarthyism. That's not power. That's captivity, pure and simple.
Claustrophobia protects me from that kind of "power." Gimme freedom! Gimme power that works from the bottom up. Gimme democracy! But don't get me wrong -- Mastodon sounds great!