How many blowhards talk too loud as they spout long-winded platitudes meanwhile dissolving, like a cloud, depleting themselves with attitudes? They heed not the passing terrain as they spend their ephemeral lives spouting gusts, gales, and spittle rain to topple temples and shake bee hives. They’ve much flative outrage to vent as their stormfronts tumble overhead, the thunderheads soon having spent their fury unto silence, instead. TV broadcasts them far and wide, their squall line of faces puffing up with outrage from which none can hide as tornadoes spin in the teacup. Sirens wail, the vortices spin, and the National Guard is deployed while we cower in shelters when the blowhards battle, and are destroyed. Then the radar clears, and the map, as red pixel patches drift and fade, but I can hear the thunderclap of yet another blowhard’s tirade…
The Outrage Machine is in high gear, mulching both lord and peasant alike, grinding them up throughout the year, ending whole careers at the first strike. More efficient than a woodchipper, farther of reach than a printing press, it is akin to Jack the Ripper, the bloodstains being a PR mess. Nor are the cogs satisfied for long and soon even the feeders fall in, astonished that they, also, could wrong but a little and pay for their sin. Digital sausage is its mainstay, the byproduct of its online rage, it earns its sacrifices each day just by being an anthropophage because we love when Aztech machines are bloody with the ink of all those nobodies, losers, stars, teens and tweens, celebrities, anons, hoes and bros. Let them offer their ignorance to enthrone us with our self-righteous wrath so our dopamine lords can imbue our brains with meager joy at each gaffe, but bicker, too, in online comments, the oneupsmanship among the hordes in this incestuous comeuppance as we vie for upvotes, Reddit awards. It is a harsh reality, thus, that a loose tongue can get caught in gears which, once caught, never let go of us, nor our families, friends, or careers. So sit tall, lords, hunched over your screens and feel pride as karma’s cogs grind on, meanwhile beware the Aztech Machines: a loose tongue cannot be withdrawn.
Tail to tail tangled together
and making nests of whatever trash
they find online, outrage ever
turning clicks to revenue—to cash.
Always excreting where they eat
in forums, comment sections, twitter,
knotted as one, their marching feet
in unison, their hearts bitter,
they seine the sewers for feces
that flow ever downstream,
and are a spiteful species
whose legion of followers teem.
They seek the stinkiest manure
with rodent teeth to gnash and gnaw,
thinking themselves so good and pure
as they chew all other creatures raw—
all whom happen to cross their ranks
of hate-cliques amassing their hate-clicks,
a group ungrateful, without thanks,
rioting in sewers and attics.
And sooner or later they purge
themselves of those not pure enough in
their circle, a crazed demiurge;
a cannibal circle of vermin.
(A modern reinterpretation of Carl Sandburg’s “I Am The People, The Mob”)
I am Social Media—the Mob—the tweet—the trend.
Do you know that all the distractions of the world are done through
I am the idle man, the instigator, the selfie-taker of the world’s food
I am the audience that hashtags #mystory. The Kardashians come from me and the Trumps. They die. And then I trend other Kardashians and Trumps.
I am the feed going round. I am a blog diary that will gain a following. Terrible shitstorms
pass over me. I never forget. The best of me is plucked out and trashbinned. I never forget. Everything but Nuance comes from me and makes me twerk and give Likes for all I hashtag—and I never forget.
Sometimes I OMG, filter myself and trigger a few million hypocrites to remember. Then— I never forget.
When I, Social Media, yearn to remember, when I, Social Media, abuse the mistakes of yesterday and begrudge whom I mobbed last year, who played the scapegoat for me—then there will be none not offended in all the world say the name “Social Media” with any click of a post on their phone or any facebook status omission.
The mob—the tweet—will trend again.
Seems a lot of online articles exist
so (dis)connected people can rub their special
furiously, working their way toward
their “O” face
getting off on
and incendiary stimuli.
There was once a time when
it was an artist’s role to
the word meaning literally
to “turn against”,
like a fingertip turning against
to provoke a climax and
but now everyone is a critic
trying to earn finger-clicks
by denouncing everyone else’s work,
all in the pursuit of that social justice cause
known the world over as
Well, as a creator
daring the fray of online competition
among the bland, common flow of
mediocrity, let me tell you something:
Sincerely— thank you.
After all, you are the
My most adored.
Without you and your
what good would my work be?
What good is a rotten egg
unless it can make a big stink
on someone else’s front porch?
And what good is the moral
unless you can lob
of your own?
So hold me, dearest,
as we twirl about this
to and fro,
as our audience croons
and rubs their clits and dicks
in vicarious climax, which is
ever deferred and ever
You are my
and I am your sugar
and how sweet the succor
we favor in each other,
like plastic fruits we eat
while we eat
the scenery, the two of us as
actors upon a social media stage,
waiting for the audience
to throw roses, or
rotten tomatoes, the latter sustaining better
in their own way
than the petals of praise.
You are my destined sweetheart,
my star-crossed lover
courting justice against my
and as you vilify my work
I adore you, for everyone loves a good
and this paradox is the path to
So bless me with your
tell me I’ve been a
tell me I’m a
a homophobic redneck,
and bend me over your lap(top)
for a good spanking.
I will work all the harder
as you hunch on my provocative art; as you
hump upon it viciously to show your
while we both turn tricks for a few
pennies per thousand clicks,
like Pornhub, but the two of us being
to show our true faces.
Sometimes this feels so good
I almost forget
we’re both faking it.
It is the newest spectacle sport,
and the most popular in America,
the audience and the players
united on the field as one,
dog-piling onto the person with the pigskin—
the pigskin being
long pig skinned for a game
Social Media is the new
with a million retweets
for a therapeutic session of
It is asymmetrical warfare, an
aircraft carrier’s worth of
self-righteous artillery shells
blasting away at every backwater thatch hut
that some terrorist
to our sensibilities
It is not a matter of
Left or Right,
right or wrong,
justice or penitence,
but a means of getting our
to make us feel better about
our own street corners
as we curbstomp the condemned.
It is a
Julius Caesar narrative
as everyone unsheathes their
to text a bloody mess.
Et tu, Brute?
The only thing worse than a
is a holier-than-thou troll
inflicted with the disease
And don’t think you will escape this
trending pillory—it is the most popular
fashion accessory of the modern era,
and is bound to catch you eventually.
We no longer enjoy 15 minutes of fame;
now it is 15 minutes of
Punishment should always be dispassionate,
not only for the sake of blind justice,
but for the sake of those of us in the jury,
in the audience.
We should not uncage the monkey in man
by letting emotions become involved,
otherwise simian fingers
and fling poo
in every direction
until we are all plastered
We like to believe,
while bathed in the bright light
of our digital screens
that the world is lit up and we can
but everyone lives in a cave,
seeing only the darkness of their own
and mistaking it for revelation.
We are troglodytes groping
through the dark caverns
of our own skulls.
there are those
trying to ride piggyback
to the piggy bank
off the mistakes of other
thinking themselves the Greek choir,
standing godlike on the sidelines
speaking of shame in strophe,
to the scripted dialogue of a villain
when, in truth, they are the merely crowds
gathered excitedly to see
spitting on the condemned
as he walks toward the gallows,
never having had a
trial, condemned by the rage-blinded
while fingers eagerly
tear meat from bone
like the Bacchantes tearing Orpheus apart
with their keyboard-clacking frenzy.
But what a dangerous thing mob-rule is,
for you never know when it will
show up at your social media account.
And we all do not simply live in glass houses,
but instagram posts,
our lives selectively cropped and
to be scrutinized in
truncated audio recordings.
Who knows when you
will be the one burned at the stake in the next media firestorm?
Let he who is without sin
type the first comment.