May 2th, 2023
I'm Listening to: Entropy by Dan Warren
I'm feeling: Stumped
I'm playing/watching: Minecraft
Fair warning, I am not entirely sure where this blog post may go, and I am operating of of my own knowledge... which I feel is still expanding on this topic.
Recently I just caught wind of what was going on with Yesterweb (the site/community). Yesterweb is something sadgrl.online started that gave insight to the concept of the 'indie web' most people refer to and many read the manifesto located there that inspired them. I hadn't run into that site myself when I made my own, but I know it was a pretty significant drive for many to move to neocities. I mention my lack of seeing it at first because I basically did not touch the social communities at all, I wasn't on the forum or discord etc.
This blog isn't about Yesterweb- not fully, and I don't want to make it all about the shutdown because again, I wasn't there when this problem was blooming. But, it brought many thoughts to mind.
Again as I say, whatever thoughts I express here were brought to my mind because of what I read but, none of this is directed at how the mods handled this. (And i also completely undeniably understand the need to shut down such massive, hard to control social spaces simply from that perspective too).
When I heard about what was going on I went to the forum, and saw how it was read-only. I went to the last announcement thread to get some insight and its turned into me reading the incredibly lengthy 3 page thread probably with thousands and thousands of words at this point. Once I started seeing some more mod input explaining things I knew I wanted to get even more insight on the thoughts not about the shut down itself but the intention of Yesterweb itself. Because even outside of that site, I felt like there was just something... there was something being missed, some unidentified, that just wasn't being taught or spoken.
A conflicting read I couldn't grasp was this sentiment that the idea of such a movement couldn't be spoke straight forwardly in a "this is our idea and what we are doing" because people could hear the ideas expressed and misinterpret it and this makes sense. This is something I do understand- you can explain a complex idea of theory and someone could understand it some other way, and in terms of a movement that could open up to people saying "wait, i thought you meant this?"
I get that as I see it play out time and time again (and I know I have fallen into issues of the same thing in other communities), but at the same time the idea of letting things sit in the air and hope the energy pushed by you for the movement....catch on somehow without it spoken? I guess? That people will come to getting the implications you have about sub cultures and counter cultures, Marxist theories, commercialism...
I sit here reading threads and discussions like this and cant help but question "where do i start?" and thats something i would want to hear in that kind of community, you know? and it was hard to see if that was ever done in that space. There is always a divide between those already intent to lead a revolution because they have the knowledge to apply to it in a useful way and those who could but just... dont have the intellectual knowledge? I think we all know those people arent stupid- i think we all know there are loads who would start to follow that idea but as a person who feels like they are in that category, I feel like I am sitting in the dark unable to partake in a movement I would gladly join, or even just feel like what I am doing, isn't what it should be.
Because I don't understand most of what is talked about there. I feel like i know what we want in that kind of movement but hell if I understand the kind of political theory those "above me" so strongly applied behind the scenes.
There is where i think of 'accessible theory' though terms used very loosely to gather my feeling. I know it sounds counter productive to bring this question to the empty crowd of a blog, "How am I supposed to find the knowledge on all these things you apply to this kind of movement?" one would want to say 'google it' but I think we all know full well the biased and sometimes useless nature of current search engines, which makes it harder to dive into the deep end. And even more so, where do I go to engage and find a community? One that... would also have levels of discussion that wouldnt alienate me.
The inability to identify the theory and the ideas is the biggest hurdle to me. If i was reading this thread and someone hadn't said "this is about sub culture versus counter culture" I wouldn't have know, and its right for them to say people wouldn't know but, what the hell are you to do other than to educate if that is whats missing? if someone hadn't said they were applying Marxist theory to the inner workings of their decisions in the movement i would have no damn clue, because I can't recognize Marxism. I can see full well how certain things came into play with a movement like the Yesterweb, and why somethings arent outright stated but where do you balance straightforward teaching and unspoken natural growth?
I know like the many others who joined that community that I would be pulled in my nostalgia and I don't think any of them were saying that alone was bad, but the idea that those who were did not know or apply the knowledge they were applying themself in order to become that 10% who understood, feels like it brushes off the potential these people would have if they were given the readable resources for these topics. There is a point I feel where that walls needs to be broken down and the unease of people interpreting your statement differently when stated bluntly at least leaves a higher amount of people having learned anything at all- that they can at least apply to a radical movement in whatever way they want that they couldn't before. Though again- I don't intend for people to read this as me pointing my finger at Yesterweb in particular- this is a sentiment I have had for a long time.
A recent post on tumblr that was fitting in time for my reads of the forum brought to mind this a bit more, just in the topic of consuming non-fiction. I think the 'lack of knowledge' on some of these political theories etc in younger people is that and many other things. For one, I also have majorly consumed fictional media above all, and most of my leaning to left ideas spawned from many things I thought about after consuming said media. This isn't bad of course- fictional media is easier to take in and the fact it feeds many's drive to change and learn is fantastic. But as that post outlines, its limiting. Fictional media is 1) made by a biased creator who also consumed these ideas and are feeding them back to you 2) the fictional media itself (even more when applied to mainstream media) is often worked into whatever framework is acceptable before being put out (cartoons often getting censored for kids, networks in general denying many aspects of an episode's script, etc). And so, the point towards non-fiction is important, and I think for a lot of those who fell in the category that was not the '10%' that the Yesterweb hoped to have were often people like that, and while I don't feel I blindly fall into that category, i know I have been there and grew there and was still left directionless in how to change this about myself.
I can, and have, picked up your expected books to read even as they often sit unread right now. I have been diving deep into all the discussions people have had across the YW forum etc consuming whatever the hell is being said and hoping this sticks in my head. I don't write this article to point my finger at Sadness or whoever else and yell "please, you need to show me what to do!"
but I sometimes feel helpless and uneducated in front of the undefined "You" that i refer to in my head. I LOVE The political direction people took from web revival even as it is not all of them. I AM driven and determined to keep this mindset no matter how little I feel I know on the deeper things I could apply. I WANT that to change and I will do my best to see it through, really. I was not involved directly in YW community and I hope this blog doesn't come off like a jab at them as I simply wanted to bounce off my internal frustrations in feel 'lesser than' when it comes to topics I feel I still am learning about. What the YW brought up for many is so incredibly important and I think we all need to remember the real intention behind "web revival" which isn't that its just nice to have a pretty website that looks like it came out of the 90s. We are doing this for more than that and we always should be.
Consider the above more an analysis on what I felt was missing. How I felt I was missing something (and maybe still feel I am). Sometimes you need to vent, right?
As always, if you want to contact me about this blog, email me!Especially if you have thoughts to reach out about starting on learning more about what I speak of here.