Art by the Tracks on Sutton St. Tomorrow, Saturday
I was reading an old New York Times Sunday Styles over coffee this morning, and read an article that made me rub my eyes in disbelief. “Jovan Hill pays his (Brooklyn) rent and buys pot with what he makes from live-streaming his life.” What???
The article discusses this Jovan who lays around his apartment all day filming the mind-numbingly boring nothing he does all day. All this he streams on the internet to the fascination of over 7,000 followers. He tried work, the article states, but found he made more money (about $4000 a month) from the minions who have nothing better to do all day than watch him do nothing and deposit money in his PayPal account. “Feeling broke!” he writes. And people send him money.
Apparently the world of the internet is crowded with live-streamers whose lives other people follow, in spite of the fact that these streamers do nothing.People document their pregnancies and even film their childbirths. These on-line celebrities are called “micro-influencers,” and are another thing that is wrong with the world today. Where did we go wrong, thinking that we needed to be all self-sufficient and add something meaningful to humanity? All we needed to do, it seems, is smoke a lot of pot and get other people to pay for it. If I only had known, I could have saved myself a lot of grief!
Some of these on-line posts are one-offs: Charlie bit my finger was seen by millions. Cute cats and dogs occupy millions of people who maybe should be staying focused at work. All right. I kind of get it. But on-going media presence by certain so-called celebrities puzzles me. On-line celebrities range from our local media star, Tommy Finton to the wretched Kardashians. Now don’t get me wrong, I admire Tommy. He is a young guy with a ballsy sense of style. When he worked at the Black Mountain Ingles Store (Blingles) I would see him bringing in the shopping carts in his formal attire, a felt fedora, and long overcoat. He has over 1,000 followers on his You Tube Channel where he emotes on a variety of topics. Several times, Millennials from out of state have come into Chifferobe to track Tommy down. “Do you know Tommy Finton?” they ask.
When I tell them I do and that in the past he sometimes made felted figures which he would sell in my shop, they take my picture and ask if I know where they might see Tommy around town. He is the reason they are in Black Mountain. When he gained even more media attention, and he was too busy to needle-felt, he was invited to appear twice on Tosh.0. Tosh is a wise-cracking television host who specializes in making fun of people. Tosh sensed that Tommy is an earnest, fragile guy with special needs, and was uncharacteristically gentle with him. I watched both episodes and found them just a tad uncomfortable, but felt that Tommy was charming.
Perhaps you are like me and don’t have lots of time to browse the internet or watch random You Tube Vloggers giving style, cooking, or life advice, but I have learned that there are thousands of them. Now I don’t like to give advice, especially to my children who ignore it anyway and find it intrusive, but I certainly don’t take any kind of advice from strangers. I do watch videos occasionally to learn a new knitting cast-on or stitch, but why would I ask a stranger about my love life, how to dress, or what to cook? I have my own style and don’t need a Millennial to advise me about what to wear. If I wanted my home to look like everyone’s I’d just watch HGTV and copy every single house they design: white kitchen cabinets, subway tile, loud wall-papered accent wall, mid-century modern furniture. Get rid of anything that is unique or has history. Rip out the charming brick fireplace. Heaven forbid your house isn’t “up-dated!” Are people that insecure?
That brings me to one of today’s biggest mysteries. What exactly do those Kardashian women do, and why do we care? I was at the dermatologist’s office this morning, and as I have already stated for the record, he has the best assortment of magazines of any doctor’s office around. I picked up a Vogue and there was Kim on the cover. And why was she dripping wet? I read the article and learned more than I ever wanted to know about Kim, but I still don’t know why they splashed her with water. The writer described her enormous house with its vast dressing rooms and closets. But I still don’t know why she has such an enormous rear end. She denies that she had implants, but I mean, really? And why the hell was I reading this article? A burning question, though, that the article answered was “What does Kim want next?” I’m sure you are dying to know.
Well, she wants to be a criminal defense attorney. Really. She studies law books in her spare time and is planning on taking the Bar Exam soon. My guess is that if she passes, she will dispense legal advice on her own You Tube channel. Nowadays, anyone can claim to be an expert on any subject in the world of the internet. Did Kim graduate from high school? Dunno. But she can certainly be a lawyer. And advise Donald Trump, whom she has already worked with to help free an indigent Black woman prisoner. Her motivation, she claims, is that she has three and will soon have four Black children. Is she anticipating that they will need legal advice?
The internet and all the technology that allows us to stay tuned in is growing to take over every aspect of our lives. I resist getting a device to play what I want on my on-line streaming music device or to dial the telephone for me or adjust the lights. “Alexa, where are my car keys?” I can still manage those tasks without help. (Maybe not the car keys.) But it’s no wonder that Ron and I have to call grandson Andrew when we have trouble logging on to Netflix. This Brave New World of life on-line has left us far behind. Is anybody else befuddled?