Broadcasting Verses Cybercasting

The Mother of All Paradigm Shifts

#Internet

Mon, Jun 30th, 1997 04:00 by Bob Allisat ARTICLE

The emmergance of cybercasting in all it's forms from the morass of the internet has taken many by surprise. Surprised most of all are the mass market broadcasters. Approaching year two (or three) of the Internet boomlet and already "market share" is being lost to the Web and other Internet phenomes. Executives sweat their 5k suits to the Good Will. Huge budgets get allocated in those sweat sessions. Billions get poured down the internet black hole while careers dangle by the finest of threads. And still market share slips. To millions of amateur and hacker sites. To every Tom, Dick, Harriet and Barbara. To every po-dunk mini corp and mom'n'pop Ltd. with a PC and their pissant web site, crackling audio and sissy video streamer.

Increasingly, armed with the relatively miniscule investments of Personal Computer, camcorder, tape deck, software and time every citizen can become a magazine, newspaper, movie producer, TV or radio station. End of story? Mass media dead? Whoa there Silver... not so fast Kimosabe. I'm sorry to say there is still the truely massive political and economic force of the corporate mass media to contend with. The temporarily frightening prospect of conflict looms with the gargantuan inertial pressures of the predominantly American movie, music, TV and radio industries. We are confronted at every turn, blared at from every abode, harangued from every store and everywhere in between. Even if the clock is running down on the mass mediasauruses their day ain't, isn't, is not over. Soon IMHO (In My Humble Opinion). Not yet. not now. Not without virtual blood being shed in epoch ending scale torrents. "Theirs". Hopefully not "ours" (writing as a cybercast wannabe).

The Internet, via cybercast audio/video contents and suplemented by plain old sucky web pages, is poised to entirely circumvent the mass media. But not without one hell of a fucking fight from our info and entertainment overlords. And I do mean fucking. And I do mean fight. There is no way on Earth that the big interests, significant investors, moguls and mogulettes behind the conventional media will allow themselves to be swept aside and asunder just like that and pell mell. Though that is the only way, in the end, it will happen. Just like that. And very much pell mell. And, by the by, with a suddenness that will have us all gasping in freaking amazement. The old Titanic effect... ooooooooo - Big ship! Ooooooooo - Big Iceberg. Oooooooo - Big Ship go down FAST!!!

The most curious and ironic phenomenon of the earliest of days for the Internet Era is the bemusing presence of the mass mediasaurs on the Internet. More humourous still is the manner in which these coglomerate clot organizations allow the subject to be broached in their various broadcasting organs and organelles. First off the new, cybermedia are always viewed as extensions of the old... as "plug-ins" or add-ons. As if one can simply roll over the cookie cutter mentality and big ad one think approach in infinite clones of auto blurbs and soap operas in all their banality. Second off the Internet (outside condoned, sanctioned sites) is the bad underside of society. The weaknesses and foibles and wierdnesses. The evil and the sinful. The bad and the ugly. While, of course, conventional broadcasters and their various and devious cyber-henchmen of mass media consumerist culture are painted to as the good protectors. The stable, reliable purveyors of truth. Purveyors of light respectability, information, advise, unbiassed coverage, opinion, and so on and so forth yada, yada, yada. All to protect us dummies from ourselves, thank you very much nouveau big bro.

The reality is we only need protection from the non-mythical them. And we citizens all are weird, all curious, all differant, all fucked and wondeering and infinitely tired of infinite Disney, Time Warner, Universal Studios blah, blah, blah bullshit. The truth is we need no protection from each other. Ultimately we require safeguarding from the mind warping uni-thinkers. So, the actual everyday, real-time Cyber picture is stunningly the reverse of what is being blasted at us from every dying orifice breath of the mass media bar none.

Classic situation. Barefoot guerrilla freedom fighters (The Internet Internauts) verses the Oppressive Regime of El Presidente for life's Junta (US consumerist mass media). Except for the fact that the one (US Mass Media) owns the very ground, modalities and everything the other (Internet Freedom Fighters) uses to exist. It would be a shoe-in otherwise as to who wins. And here is where the crunch comes. The big cruncheroo... we who are quickening the sands that will inevitably engulf the monster media are currently at their total, complete and utter mercy. At every technical, technological, and strategic level the Internet is controlable. Except for numbers, creativity, genius flexibility, deviousness and, of course, future viability, we, the new media are at the mercy of "Broadcasters".

No matter. We are witnessing and will continue to witness efforts to erradicate all of our independent Internet ventures and adventures. Through what-ever means The Empire can imagine. Through legislation and the courts... witness the bogoid Communications Decency Act and similarly absurist stateside infohighway political correctness laws. Through propoaganda via all those silly Internet 'R Evil articles and clips. Through buy-outs by overheated leverage crazed venture capitalists. Through mega-buck, mega-loud, mega sites attempting to suffocate all diversity. Through infrastructure and, increasingly, content provider take-overs to consume any and all idependant ground. But still the revolution continues. Still the losses and sweating and hair pullingmounts and - soon - the ledge claiming race in Marathon 65th floor to street level corporate divefests.

The insideous and doomed mass media tolerates no competition. For competition fragments it's profit generation base and challenges it's credibility. The Internet media at it's core is atavistic and atomistic... it deal in idividuals and small units, people and persons. The internet media is one to one, un-edited, polilithic, cacophanous and Babellic... basically the conventional medias worse fucking nightmare come true. And try as it may, pump as many billions as it likes into the Internet to stop it... all to no avail. The money is lost. The efforts fizzle. The push continues from every side at every angle, from every citizen. Indefategable, indefeatable. The ants come marching one by one... hoorah, hoorah.

This is the first opportunity we human beings have since apparently the blessed stone age for the mass media to truely belong to the masses. The Gutenbergian version of reality .... whereby the "press" owners and organ-blowers tell us all what to think, feel, buy, sell, smell, want, hate, love, kill, etc is verging on toast. Immanently to be history. Soon to be wasted. Tables are about to be turned. Unless - and I highly doubt they will - the various sherriffs of Nottingham who scourge our own Internet Sherewood forest succeed in capturing the ground. Unless that happens the poor will indeed rob the rich blind so to speak. And without mercy for the fortunes involved, we the People will aplaud as the various Titanics sailing globally slip under the icy mirror to oblivion as we lay claim our own passages, as citizens, in the world. We will reclaim our knowledge, know-how, information, ideas, mythology, traditiopns, opinions, news, events, sexuality, culture, art, politics and the plethora of civilized existance.

Unless - and there is still a chance - the Mass Media bastards manage to somehow subsume our Internet cybermedia in their torentially hollow, mega-mono-maniacal monopolies we will dominate. And then we're all very much potted. Until the next, similarly revolutionary media saunters along heavan help them all. But it looks good for the revolution. So far so good.

Talk about paradigm shift, eh? The mother of all paradigm shifts. Stay away from juggernauts, citizen, unless you're prepared to go down with them. And we watch it all go into the salvation day brink to save culture, enlightenment, civility and our-dash-collective-underscore- asses-dot-net. *If* you follow the gospel according to Allisat. Which, of course, you all do and needless to say and so on and so forth etcetera etcetera etcetera so help us Internet, Ahmen.

Fin

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