May 23, 2016

Matt Christman on Twitter Politics

I've been meaning to write something about how politics is conducted online, but in the latest episode of Chapo Trap HouseMatt Christman hit most of what I was going to say, only better. He meditated on the fact of hundreds of people (both Clinton and Sanders partisans) taking this tweet seriously:
Here's Matt:

"Politics in America is dead as a part of your life. We think of politics all the time but it's generally as this spectacle we absorb. We don't have a praxis, as they obnoxiously say in Marxist lingo. There's nothing we do on a day to day basis that constitutes making a political choice and asserting political ideology. We observe, and then we spout off online.

"What happens is on the internet, specifically on Twitter, is millions of people — fans of every candidate — basically have volunteered themselves to be part of the rapid response crew of a given campaign. They're going to respond to everything thinking that they're helping — having the psychic satisfaction of thinking that they're helping the campaign.

"And because Twitter is this fucking insane asylum of undifferentiated, context-free streams blasting into your face, it strips your ability to do any kind of rational, balanced analysis of things, any ability to challenge whether it's true.

"So you just become this raw nerve of response. You just have to reflexively respond to any stimuli, in this way that's instantaneous. That, I think, is the generator of a lot of this shit. It's not coordinated — it doesn't need to be. It's basically the pent-up and unexpressed, frustrated political will of millions of people being jizzed out onto the internet at the same time."

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