Lana & Me: Our Dark, Abusive, Co-Dependent Relationship on the Content Farm
I have a blog called HIPSTER RUNOFF. Every day, I wake up, open my laptop, and type words that are stored in the internet as ‘content.’ My goal is to ‘get as many hits’ as possible because I metaphorically ‘have mouths to feed.’ I realize that at this point, it doesn’t matter if my content is ‘premium’, pseudo-brilliantly written web_prose or just ‘link-bait-wave,’ I was fortunate enough to not have gotten lost in the ‘long tail’ of indie music + Gen-Y-opinion-driven coverage blogs. Every day, I prey upon different buzz topics, exploiting my voice, but more importantly, my position as a ‘recognized outlet 4 buzz’ to try to trick people into thinking I am ‘relevant’, which basically just means that I am trying to make ppl talk abt my blog and get them addicted to my web brand even if they hate it because even when they are like ‘OMG THAT’S TOTAL BULLSHIT’ it is just some sort of post-grassroots-h8-wave-warketing.
My goal as a website is to ‘be the ass hole who pointlessly interjects himself into the conversation’ without being as overtly annoying as ‘the ass hole who always pointless interjects himself into the conversation.’
Lana Del Rey is the perfect buzz topic, and I’ll never forget the times we shared in late 2k11 and early 2k12. I honestly do wish the best for her career, not because I have a rooting interest in her/care about her as a person, but because Lana Del Rey is an important search term to refer viewers to my website.
Sometimes I wonder, when it’s all said and done, and the internet is deleted, will I only be remembered as “The Guy Who Invented Chillwave?”
It feels like Lana Del Rey was sent down from the buzz heavens, God’s way to save us from the well-documented buzz drought that has plagued us since early 2k10. Some blamed the buzzbands for not putting out solid mp3s. They said that there were not enough buzzworthy bands 2 authentically buzz and that buzz was being misappropriated unfairly due to blogosphere favors and the fear of hurting the feelings of legacy, past-their-prime buzzbands. In the post-LDR bubble burst world, we are finally able to see what caused the buzz drought: it was the bloggers, the writers, the content farmers, and the implosion of the sub-prime buzzing crisis that has been the expanding crack in the foundation the indie blogging and content farming infrastructure since as far back as 2k8.5.
LanaBB officially redefined the core competencies of the ‘indie blogosphere.’
We used to be tastemakers. We used to be regulators. We used to be trustworthy. We used to be a valuable resource. Lana made it okay for us to post magazine covers. Lana Del Rey was pretty enough to post even the most irrelevant performance video. For the first time, Lana Del Rey took indie blogs over ‘the edge’, and made it okay for us to speculate about her physical appearance, which is way more interesting than trying to figure out if her artistic ambitions are ‘relevant’/pure. Basically, Lana Del Rey finally marginalized ‘the decently-enough-thought-out opinion piece’ into a worthless meme that any one could poop out.
#LDRSNL marked another maturation/retardation milestone for ‘online indie journalism’, bringing the indie blogosphere from a humble place that posted MP3s with generally positive/neutral commentary, and flung us right into the generalist meme-blurb content farm spotlight. We scrambled like enslaved content farmers, minutes after the performance to preserve our Google rank with a perfectly placed headline. We were ready to chew up and spit out memes, finally ‘graduating to the big leagues’ with a ‘big boy meme’, not just some other over-written ‘spotlight’ on a group of poor dudes from Brooklyn who were ToTtaLLY wErTh ChEcKiNg OuT and/or the typical ‘no one cares--what happened to REAL music?’ reaction pieces to said buzzband.
Buzz experts truly believe that Lana Del Rey is the last artist/band that the network of indie blog buzz will have a role in ‘hyping.’ The happy days of the AnCo 2k9 buzzosphere are long gone, and we all cannot just get along. After Lana Del Rey, we live in a hypeless world where we trust no outlet, now that we have finally seen the hype apocalypse because the LDR snake-eating-its-own-tail cycle has finally ended, and the sum is “-0” [via undefined]. Readers who once thought that they were reading organic, farm-grown content will feel misled, angry, and betrayed by the warped context of blogs.
I’ll admit that as a blog, I am obsessed, and probably over-estimate the impact of ‘modern web media’ on ‘reality.’ But it seems like LDR was a blogosphere ‘passion project’ that we incubated, and got to ‘tear down’ for the sake of generating, controlling, and commenting our own content. We enjoyed it, sorta like while u r stroking ur peen, but then u finally ‘effing blow’, and you are not sure whether you should admit ‘how good’ it felt. After #LDRSNL, no one is sure who has control of the #LDR meme any more. It was her viking meme funeral, even if she goes on to achieve mad sales in Europe/decent sales in America.
“Where r u Lizzy Grant? R u okay? I swear, I care about you. Blogs r mean. :-(”
-some blog with female readers
LDR should probably make other alt famous humans and upcoming buzz humans incredibly nervous, because the silent agreement of ‘pandering’ to indie celebs is over. The concept Indie celebrity may or may not exist, but a successful blog now must realize that the way indie blogs ‘baby’ the ‘alt famous’ in order to preserve relationships can no longer exist. Mudslinging will be beneficial to both parties. Maybe after LDR, it will no longer be a good idea to be ‘an anonymous’ project because then dumb blogs will just use Google to construct an unfair narrative for you.
I think the most interesting/most-covered story to come out of the #LDRSNL tank job was the ‘widely read and covered’ story about the guy who invented Gawker and revolutionized modern content farming, Nick Denton, publishing a private email from famous NBC newsanchor Brian Williams for the sake of ‘winning hits’ and introducing the Gawker web-brand to non-readers. In the email, NBC Nightly news anchor Brian Wiliams basically just says LDR is a disgrace, but I guess it is ‘interesting’ because he works for NBC, or something. His commentary on ‘her’ as a ‘person’ is as arbitrary & worthless as yours or mine, but the keyword synergy behind the story is ‘so money’ and it ‘doesn’t even know it’, except Gawker’s genius content farm editor has a sixth sense for virality that most crappy bloggers will never have. A.J. Daulerio will always be remembered as one of the Founding Fathers of Modern Content Farming.
As I struggle to deal with my own periodic content farm existential crises, I wish I could have just invented Gawker. We could’ve had it all. Rolling in the deep pool of unique visitors.
In no way is the ‘conversion of blogs to content farms’ and ‘the secret corporate nature of indie blogs’ a fresh, relevant, or innovative ‘take’. I am just trying to share my view from inside the meme prison with you. Lana Del Rey and I are on this content farm together sort of like we are the last and only two humans left on Earth. We hate eachother, but at the same time we need eachother to stay alive. There will never be any sort of cathartic epiphany where we admit wrong-doing, nor will there ever be a genuine reconciliation. We will never have what feels like a ‘real’ relationship with Lana Del Rey.
Where does ‘the modern media’s relationship’ with Lana Del Rey go from here?
Unfortunately for indie bloggers, it is back to posting dumb MP3s and serving as a well-crafted PR blast for bands that every1 already knows about. As ‘writers’/people who publish text to webpages on the internet, can we be so sure that another meme comet like Lana Del Rey will come again in our lifetime? Will we sit on our porch, every day looking up at the sky, wondering if another Lana will come by... Or this this our final chance to ‘commit suicide’ with other members of our stupid cult in an effort to be transported into the buzz spaceship that is trailing in the tail of the comet [via Heaven’s Gate/Marshall Applewhite vibes]?
Why do we keep going?
Why do we keep farming in the name of blogging in the name of writing?
In the name of authentic music journalism? What more in the name of authentic music journalism.
-Bono [via U2]
Online publishing is ‘relatively new’ [via long-term historical contexts]. I guess this is just a natural part of the maturation process of the beloved idea of the indie blogosphere. But who even wants to be a part of indie blog farming any more?
Even the most ‘talented’ people who ‘write things on the internet that are actually worth reading’ and/or are reduced to farm fodder. Every character of a writer, blog, or content farm’s 140 character or less tweet is cringe-worthy, 100% worth resenting. Part of me feels ‘confused’ as to why any one would even want to ‘be a music writer’, or write about bands/humans/music on the internet. It takes a warped personality to believe that any one ‘gives a damn about what you and ur crappy website’ thinks, unless you are being paid handsomely for it, then you can sort of approach it like a desk job. It will dehumanize you every day, but at least it pays the bills.
Who is ‘actually passionate’ about ‘how they feel about Lana Del Rey’? It doesn’t matter if you are writing an ‘IN DEFENSE OF LANA DEL REY’ or if you are writing a hilarious and/or insightful web culture + societal takedown piece that accurately deconstructs #LDRgate with an original angle. We all have the same motive. Can 1 voice really shift an entire conversation? What the eff do u think ur gonna tastemake? Do u think u can really make another LDR? Those days are gone, child. We’ve peaked. It’s over. The machine’s broken. Somebody call the Geek Squad.
I am on the edge. I no longer believe in blog evolution. I no longer believe in buzz creationism. I am a believer in buzz intelligent design.
It is interesting to think that there is a generation who even finds these memes to be ‘interesting’ enough to think that they want to be a part of the indiesphere discussion. Do they think the can ‘save’ it by showing us cool, new bands? Do they think they can save us from the content farming doom? Do they think that they can reverse the impact of social media on the speedy, link-baiting nature of all websites, designed to ‘get a good jump on’ SEO?
The indie blogosphere is over the hill. Our opinions are old, tired, uninspired. The next generation will follow our lead, continuing to turn things into poo, inspired by the biased outlook on indie celebrity and relevance that we portrayed to them for years. There is nothing worth saving. Everything is COMPLETELY EFFED, but it will keep going, and we will keep writing that it is COMPLETELY EFFED, but no1 really cares and there isn’t really anything to fix so I guess maybe we should act like it is a beautiful indie film and find ‘happiness and peace’ with that truth.
It is all just sort of just ‘funnie’ but also ‘sad.’ Are the dreams in which Lana Del Rey is dying on the stage of SNL = the best we’ve ever had?
Lana Del Rey saw it coming. We all saw it coming.
In the post-LDR blogging era, I feel free to openly admit that I don’t care about honoring ‘bands that sound good’. The opinions that I have on bands are not actually my own, and my goal is not to preserve a relationship with readers or bands/artists based on editorial pandering. All I can do is ‘go down in flames’ with my sweet, Princess LanaBB. My demented online personality that motivates me to type these words in order to accumulate hits, empathy, praise, and controversy does not have much time left.
Wag The Blog.
Cultural criticism on the internet is dying because we finally realized that the voices behind blogs, twitter feeds, and authentic writing outlets are as fat, bored, uninspired, and jealous as the fat, bored, uninspired, and jealous voices that we thought we had escaped from.
I am not a writer. I am not a blogger. I am a content farmer. These words mean more to the Google robot than they do 2 u. There is nothing exciting about writing, tweeting, or sharing opinions. I do not want to inspire any one to follow me into this dark prison, surrounded by a pile of memes, while I must sort thru them and spin them as ‘meaningful’, ‘interesting’, or whatever else will generate a pageview.
Lana & Me had it all. I’ll look back and think about what I could have done differently. But I'll also think about how beautiful our effed up relationship was and how it some how 'just worked.'
To music and indie purists, Lizzy Grant is the AntiChrist.
To indie modernists and loveslaves of internet content, Lana Del Rey is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Having said that, Lana Del Rey hit a GRAND SLAM on SNL. U did it, BB! I am proud of u. U took 1 for ‘the team’, and now we’re all gonna go to Pizza Hut after the game to celebrate. C U THERE. Let’s share a pitcher of Pepsi. We deserve it. We worked hard.
Is Lana Del Rey indie’s ‘Rebecca Black moment’?
Is LDR ‘not even a big deal’?
Do all buzz humans die?
What’s ur fave content farm?
What’s the future of indie blogosphere?
Do u generally feel ‘who cares’ abt it all?
Do u mainly load webpages ‘out of habit’ not rlly because the site emotionally resonates with u?
If u thought LDR album cycle #1 was fun, are you PUMPED for album cycle #2 in 2-3 years?
Does LDR 'have it all' or 'have nothing'?
Do u <3 LDR for emancipating us from being farm slaves?
Can the farm become self-ware [via skynet]?
Where is Lana Del Rey right now?
"The Great Lana Del Rey Meme Harvest" by Carles
Set to the tune of Garth Brooks' "The Dance"
Looking back on the memory of
The Lana Del Rey meme harvest we shared on all the content farms
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known you'd ever say goodbye?
And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance
U could have missed the pain, cyberbullying and slutshaming
But I'd of had to miss the great Lana Del Rey meme harvest
Memeing you, I memed everything
For a moment, wasn't I the king?
But if I'd only known how the king would fall
Hey who's to say you know... I might have changed it all...
And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go [via SNL]
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the Lana Del Rey meme harvest
Yes my bloglife is better left to chance
I could have missed the pain but I'd of had to miss the Great Lana Del Rey meme harvest
Luv u Lana. Mean it. <3 :-*