My subject for the last day of @Platea's "Following Piece 2.0" is a self-identified curmudgeon and misanthrope. His profile professes his revulsion for humanity. Why "parasite" is part of his Twitter name, he never really clarifies. Parasite did not post very much on Friday, concentrating most of his tweets in the early morning hours about his general disdain for Chief Justice Roberts and the damage the Bush Administration has done to the justice system.
With that good beginning, I was really looking forward to following him for a day. So I was understandably disappointed when Parasite's feed went silent for the rest of the day. I guess I got spoiled by the frequent tweets of my earlier subjects and their tendency to have something that significantly concerned them across the day. In Acconci's original Following Piece, sometimes the people he followed went into private space quickly, making for a short report. This cover of that work ran into a similar phenomenon today. I would be a hypocrite, indeed, if I complained about anyone else's reliable frequency in blogging, micro- or regular. My own presence in these virtual spaces is spotty and unpredictable.
And this observation, both of Parasite and my self-reflexive turn, leads to an observation about significant differences between public space and the internet: It is much harder for me to avoid moving through physical public space than it is to avoid public virtual space. At some point, I have to go get groceries (to say nothing of going to work). My participation in public virtual space is always voluntary, is always optional (at least at this point in my life, at this point in our culture). There is much to be praised about voluntary performance in optional public space -- issues of agency and communities of choice abound. There is also a different sort of ethic and imperative of care involved in public spaces that we must share -- even more so when that public space and its practices must be protected from private interests and abuse (c.f. "The Tragedy of the Commons"). And that, I think, is what so concerns Parasite in his few insomniac posts -- the abuse of public service (i.e. the justice system) in the name of private interests.
Friday, October 30, 2009
3:09 a.m. Parasite provides evidence that Supreme Court Justice Roberts is corrupted by coal money. This keeps him up at night?
3:16 a.m. Parasite asserts the Bush admin hamstrung the Justice Dept. with shills. He follows the legal system, apparently.
3:18 a.m. Parasite continues his expose' on Justice Roberts, who apparently wants to make it easier for judges to take bribes.
3:19 a.m. Parasite links to story of PA judicial system abusing juvenile offenders. He ties the abuse back to...Justice Roberts.
8:09 a.m. Parasite praises German health care system and wishes he only had to pay $25/mo for coverage. Would it buy sleep aids?