While considering ways to blog about a date/outing I had with people that I met through my blog, it struck me how very postmodern this whole business was. I was blogging about a date I had with someone I met through someone who read my blog about dating and I knew that some of those people (at least one for sure) would now read about that date and themselves on my blog, which would likely affect the way I wrote about it.
If you haven't had the misfortune to study Postmodernism, here's a quick and dirty primer (ok, not so quick):
It's by nature indefinable and affects every aspect of academia and culture. It's one of those, 'you know it when you see it' things [Duchamp, Warhol, John Cage, Schoenberg, Punk Rock, Anti-foundationalism and Deconstructionism, Le Pompideu Centre(the building), amusement parks, video games, Bladerunner...,]. "The Matrix" was a Hollywood description of our postmodern fears. The writers of the script were well versed in pomo literature. (Check out the title of the book where Neo hides his contra-band diskettes.)
Some pomo fears relevant to this discussion follow. Simulacra (i.e. videos, VR, internet, etc.) are taking the place of real things. We're now the gods of an electronic universe (cyberspace) filled with simulations of the real universe. We've transcended the world of real objects and now conduct much of our business online, where nothing is real. Or is it? The term 'navel-gazing' is a good word for PoMo phenoms. Pop culture becomes increasingly more self-referential, (TV shows that refer to themselves as TV shows, like the Simpsons often do.) 'Reality TV shows' are the ultimate in PoMo, distorting both reality and TV. We are in danger of losing the distinction between the real and the unreal, so much so that sometimes we can't tell what is real anymore (i.e. The War of the Worlds scare).
Our simulations of reality have become so powerful that reality is now simulating the simulacra (i.e. real life Pac Man played in Manhattan, online relationships moving into real life, people imitating their TV-movie heroes) and even worse, simulacra are now simulating other simulacra, like movies about video games and vice versa. We've entered a rabbit-hole where the simulations of reality have now really distorted reality, and begun an infinite regress of distortion and simulation. Like two mirrors facing each other, Simulacra mirrors Reality which then mirrors simulacra mirroring reality mirroring simulacra mirroring reality mirroring simulacra.....
Enter my blogosphere generated real life date.
The postmodern nature of this date is a total head-trip. Check this out. I began publishing my memories of real life dating experiences online. My mental impressions of real events have been simulated digitally in blog form. Other people read the simulacra of my memories and then form their own mental copies of the simulation of my memory of my real life experience.
That was just a PoMo description of blogging, here comes the complicated part.
Because of my internet blogging activities I 'meet' other people online. We have no real life interaction, just email and blogging comments. Then, one reader of my blog-about-dates invites me on a real date with one of his real friends. So I go out and meet in real life this stranger that I first met in cyberspace. (My simulacra world has now spilled into my real world). We have a real nice time. Then I go home to blog about the date, so I can create a simulacrum of this real event. However, I know that the people who experienced that same real event will read the simulacrum of it. This knowledge affects the way I report the event online.
My current actions of blogging my memories are now changed by the fact that the people who shared an event with me in the past will read my representation of it in the future and have their memories of the event changed by incorporating with it their impressions of the simulacrum of my memory of the same event. (Are you lost yet?)
This fact matters to me because these people are now part of my real life. And things in my future could be affected for better or worse by how I blog this now (the simulacra of my past could change my real future.) For example, if my post offends everyone or anyone who was there then that might hurt my chances of getting another date in the future. (Not that I have anything offensive to say, this is hypothetical.) So the way I choose to electronically represent the past date could impact my real dating future.
To recap: I simulate online my past dating experiences with my blog and that caused me to have a real life date which caused me to simulate that date online which could cause changes in my real dating future; this knowledge causes changes in my blogging of the event which causes further distortions in the simulacrum of that event. So I've created a twice distorted simulation of a real event in order to manipulate my real future.
Welcome to the Desert of the Real.
Come back for more TRUE stories of the strange, sad and pathetic exploits of me not having sex in the city.