Thanks to Freya for this story from the New York Times, "Bright Lights, Big Internet" by Bill Wasik. It's dead on and we're all living it. Click on any paragraph and see the whole story.
THIS summer, as in so many summers gone by, young aspirants to the creative class — would-be writers, musicians, artists, editors, comedians, performers, thinkers, provocateurs — are stepping off buses in Port Authority and trains in Penn Station, navigating their rented trucks and borrowed cars through outer-borough blocks. These new arrivals come to New York, first and foremost, to find one another, a flock of other young people like themselves. But they come also to seek success, to chase their “big break,” that vague but real moment when, as if by magic, one suddenly finds oneself on the opposite side of the glass from one’s nose print. Is New York still worth the trip?
Meanwhile, another destination beckons, a place that courses with all the raw ambition and creative energy that the hard times seem to have drained from New York. I am referring, of course, to the Internet, which over the past decade has slowly become the de facto heart of American culture: the public space in which our most influential conversations transpire, in which our new celebrities are discovered and touted, in which fans are won and careers made.
Every month more YouTube sensations emerge, more bloggers ink big book deals, more bands blow up through music Web sites and MySpace, and every day more young people seek their “big break” in the virtual megalopolis rather than in (or as well as in) the physical one.
And then there is the Wild Wild East Dailies. Listing, hoping, grieving, smiling, wishing, hoping, praying, delaying and writing again. The path to Infinite Wisdom is long but at least I'm on it. It's all about the trip you know. Destinations rarely matter.
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