Facebook.com: The Hammer of Human Identity and the Cause of the Individual on the anvil of the Postmodern Condition

by on June 21st, 2006

The face has always been the equation of a person’s identity. It has been for all social intents and purposes the string theory of existence; one contoured and stenciled dimension of hair, skin, and flesh with variants umpteenth times more diverse than its immediate counterpart, the name.

The face has drawn the demarcation line between identity and extinction. Even the abolished, banished, excommunicated, exorcised, most repugnant alien endures in his status with an inalienable modicum of humanity simply because he has a face. The meekest of the meek and the boldest of the bold are endowed with faces that range from haggard to homely, comely to crooked; identities that make them marked men, sinners and saints, priests and paupers. The Face has been both the triumph and failure of association.

Without the Face there is no imagination. Without imagination there is no history. Without history there is no time. Without time, there is no basis. And without basis life literally sucks, as some profound cosmic vacuum slurps all physicality out of the frames of Creation’s savvy dimensions and in such a case a narrative about face would be totally irrelevant.

But nay, a narrative as such is less than total and more than relevant. For, in this postmodern era faces occupy the imagination of the masses more than anything, ever. This imagination has created history, and this history has given us a sense of time. And there is basis in all this, as digital age accelerates our facial imagination faster than the faceless tyranny of industrial institutions defaces the essence of the single human face.

Welcome then, readers, men and women of faces, to Facebook.com.

“Facebook is a social directory that enables people to share information. Launched in February 2004, Facebook helps people better understand their world by giving them access to the information that is most relevant to them.

Facebook’s website has grown to over 7.5 million people and, according to comScore, ranks as the seventh-most trafficked site in the United States. People with a valid email address from a supported college, high school or company can register for Facebook and create a profile to share information, photos, and interests with their friends.” (http://www.facebook.com/about.php)

And thus, in, and on account of Facebook, a war of encouraging, exciting, and timely dimensions have begun. Facebook.com tears apart the painted faces and facades of individuals as facial imagination blends seamlessly into social, cultural, and psychosexual imagination.

The face brings other faces together into a communion where the deepest, darkest, and most tremulous urges of the face are defrocked, shamelessly, completely, sincerely, as the postmodern winces, winks; grimaces, grins are conceptualized in mechanism such as the facebook *poke*, where a face makes to another face its intermediary desire to commune explicit through a medium that is entirely otherwise, well faceless.

But there is yet another war entirely being fought: A war against the normalization, standardization, and slavification of entire genre and cadre of faces, as institutions of normalization race to scrutinize Facebook to “weed out” disloyal and disobedient potential “beneficiaries”.

Consider this excerpt from an article by Alan Finder of the New York Times, “When a small consulting company in Chicago was looking to hire a summer intern this month, the company’s president went online to check on a promising candidate who had just graduated from the University of Illinois.

At Facebook, a popular social networking site, the executive found the candidate’s Web page with this description of his interests: ”smokin’ blunts” (cigars hollowed out and stuffed with marijuana), shooting people and obsessive sex, all described in vivid slang.

It did not matter that the student was clearly posturing. He was done.

”A lot of it makes me think, what kind of judgment does this person have?” said the company’s president, Brad Karsh. ”Why are you allowing this to be viewed publicly, effectively, or semipublicly?”

Many companies that recruit on college campuses have been using search engines like Google and Yahoo to conduct background checks on seniors looking for their first job. But now, college career counselors and other experts say, some recruiters are looking up applicants on social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Xanga and Friendster, where college students often post risqué or teasing photographs and provocative comments about drinking, recreational drug use and sexual exploits in what some mistakenly believe is relative privacy.

When viewed by corporate recruiters or admissions officials at graduate and professional schools, such pages can make students look immature and unprofessional, at best.”

My friend Benito Bangalotti is aghast.

Benito says, “I never heard of this before, that’s why I have edited my account. I felt that this was insane and at the same time was something real. I wanted to inform everyone.”

I thank Benito.

I then scratch my face against the ruggedness of a thousand bristles accumulated on my face over a thousand minutes. My manly intellect tastefully tucked away beneath my face is prickled. I reply, “No, it’s fine and only natural. It’s two things at once in fact.”

I go on,

“…It is a triumph over institutional censorship: a bureaucratic quasi-demagogical system built out of monolithic double standards, and an adamant un-realism. It is also a triumph over a profligate and closet bourgeoisie; against the timid “normalcies” of a profligate postmodern condition. Both are equally degenerate.”

I add, “…and such an act- the scanning of Facebook profiles actually acts to cripple both degenerate spheres of activity. The institutions that treat human beings clinically as if they are part of some clean cut corporate, blemishless, existential notion- a bizarre system of censorship and cultural bigotry; well, those institutions will now be overwhelmed by such extensive outlets of human existence, such as Facebook affords; Outlets that continually break down these blind notions of institutions that cultivate the image of a disease free individual: a sanitized slave of the corporate-institutional state, an obedient servant. Institutions will thus be forced to confront the uselessness and retardation of their policies and agenda, simply because there are millions and millions of identical Facebook profiles to be “censored”.”

I pause to sip my green tea through an appendage connected to my face called the mouth.

“…On the other hand, people like you, kids that want jobs will out of typical bourgeoisie fear be acknowledging the doing of that which is natural to them- sexual activities, alcoholic immersions, all these things- they will themselves, just so they can get “jobs” from institutions let themselves be censored and prove the point the bourgeoisie is primarily concerned with its basic slavish condition of survivality, and will automatically and anti-naturally repress its most basic social reaction to its life and times simply because an institution- the supplier of its basic survival kit tells it to do so. It is the obedient slave. This activity of ‘censorship’- of endless scrutiny over ‘what people are doing’, thus cripples both parties.”

I pause, and reflect, and look into the green of my lawn through the socketed visual portals attached handsomely to my face.

“I think it’s terrific Benito.”

Benito asks, “Is this going to be in your blog?”

Alexander Rai