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The House of Listerion

minotaur-theseus-2

And the internet gave birth to a child who was called Listerion.

I know they accuse me of vapidity, and perhaps emptiness, and perhaps of banality. Such accusations (for which I shall extract my CPM in due time) are FAIL. It is true that I never leave my office to report a story, but it is also true that its doors (whose numbers are infinite) [Related: Top 12 Doors in My Office] are open day and night to men and to [cute] animals as well. Anyone may click through. He will find here no gallant journalistic formality, but he will find fleeting mirth. And he will also find a Listicle like no other on the face of this earth. (There are those who declare there is a similar one being curated now elsewhere but they lie.)

Even my most ardent habitues admit there is not one single piece of dignified, lasting content in the Listicle.  Another ridiculous falsehood has it that I, Listerion, am a prisoner to a “Creative” career path of my own undertaking. Shall I repeat that there are no locked doors, shall I add that there are no locks? No Hope? No Jobs? No Cash? Besides, one afternoon I did step into the real world to file a freelance news story; If I returned before night to my gif-making software, I did so because of the fear that contributing something of value, reading, thinking of something new to say inspired in me, others’ #longform pieces as discolored and flat as the palm of one’s hand. The sun had already set, but the endless LOLing of children and the rude supplications of the RTs told me I had been recognized. The people Liked, Shared, prostrated themselves; some climbed onto the round-ups of the day’s most shared links. [Related: The Days Most Shared Links]. Not for nothing was my mother a helicopter mom; I cannot be confused with a writer, though my modesty might so desire.

The fact is that I am not unique. I am not interested in what one man may transmit to other men; like the Thought Cataloger I think that nothing is communicable by the art of writing. Bothersome and trivial details have their place in my spirit, which is prepared for nothing that is vast and grand; I have never retained the difference between a shared memory of a pop cultural event and an actual experience. A certain generous impatience has not permitted that I learn to think at length about troubling matters. Sometimes I deplore this, for the nights and days are long, but the page views bonus lucrative.

Of course, I am not without distractions. Like the ram about to charge, I click through the slideshow galleries until I fall dizzy to the floor. I crouch in the shadow of a laptop or around a corner and pretend I am being Followed.  At any time I can pretend to be asleep at my desk, with my eyes closed and my breathing heavy. (Sometimes I really sleep, sometimes the color of day has changed when I open my eyes.)

But of all the games, I prefer the one about the other Liserion, the writer. I pretend that he comes to visit me and that I show him my portfolio. With great obeisance I say to him “Now we shall return to our first published clip” or “Now we shall share critical perspective on our collective work” Or “I knew you would like my reporting” or “Now you will see an article that was filled with detail and specificity while relating to an overarching narrative about the human condition” or “You will soon see how the nut graf encapsulates my thesis”. Sometimes I make a mistake embedding a Tweet and the two of us laugh heartily.

Not only have I imagined these games, I have also meditated on the job I thought I’d have by now. All parts of the Listicle are repeated many times, any List is another List. There is no one reaction gif, 90s TV show reference, nostalgia-driven List, geographically specific lowest common denominator comfort post; the Listicles are fourteen [infinite] in number. [Related: Top 14 Listicles]. The Listicle is the same size as the world; or rather it is the world. However, by dint of exhausting the Listicles with WINs and FAILs, I have reached the other side of the media profession and seen what could be.  I did not understand this until a night vision revealed to me that the investigative pieces and strident, policy-changing op-eds are also fourteen [infinite] in number. Everything is repeated many times, fourteen times, but two things in the world seem to be repeated only once: above, the intricate sun; below Listerion. Perhaps I could have created the stars and the sun and this enormous Listicle, but I no longer remember.

Every nine seconds nine thousand men enter the Listicle so that I may deliver them from evil. I hear scrolling or their clicking in the depths of the WordPress back end, and I run joyfully to find them. The pre-bounce page visit lasts a few minutes. They fall one after another without my having to have raised a hand in trying thought. They remain where they linked-through and their data trail helps distinguish one liked Listicle from another. I do not know who they are, but I know that one of them prophesied, at the moment of media’s death, that some day my redeemer would come. Since then my loneliness does not pain me, because I know my redeemer lives and he will finally rise above the curation. If my ear could capture all the sounds of the world, I should hear his keyboard taps. I hope he will take me to a place with fewer Galleries, fewer Elsewheres on the Web. What will my redeemer be like? I ask myself. Will he be a Journalist or a Poet? Will he perhaps be a cute Llama with the face of a man? Or will he be like me?

The morning sun reverberated from the iPhone. There was no longer even a vestige of content. “Would you believe it, Ariadne?” said Theseus. “The Aggregator scarcely defended himself.”

 

@lukeoneil47


I write lots of things for internet and paper, some of them are less dumb than others. https://twitter.com/lukeoneil47

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