Welcome to On Small Screens -or- Why a fracking blog?

Well, the short answer is we’d like to connect and communicate with you but we’re growing increasingly burnt out, bored with, and suspicious of social media.

The longer version: we’re all old enough to remember the early days of the internet, even the boring days of the internet when there wasn’t much there and everything was slow. There were chat rooms and blogs and new ways to find music and of course, porn. There has always been porn. In the early days it was exciting to be able to talk to people far away that you would never meet in regular, daily life. It was exciting to find bands that you might never discover in your local record store bins and to read exciting new writers who weren’t in the bookstores. There was once a website that catalogued and identified every sample used in Meat Beat Manifesto songs, because some of us really needed that information! Even at its slowest and most minimal state the internet was exciting because it was truly decentralized. It was wild and free and “surfing” the internet felt a bit like exploration.

In the last decade or so the internet has become increasingly centralized - this is not new information. I don’t think this is some deep insight that you’ve never heard before. I’m not trying to blow your minds, just explain why we’re starting a fracking blog. Major sites like Facebook, YouTube, Google, and Amazon have become the metropolises of the internet; they are major city centers where almost everyone lives, and they are congested and loud and some would say increasingly toxic environments. Outside of those major cities you have the suburbs, maybe news websites you visit or specialty stores where you buy your cat food or synthesizers, or the websites of our banking overlords. I personally spend an oddly large amount of time on the Propellerhead website. I hear other people still read Pitchfork! OK, back to the point. Outside of the suburbs, just like in life, the internet has rural areas, forests, hidden trails. Those website are basically like this one, a small website about a band. Even more popular bands than us fall into this category. Also, boutique plug-in websites, the pub on the corner’s website, photographers, writers, massage therapists, you get the point, right?

All of those rural websites have a real hard time being found unless they attach themselves to one of the city centers, not because nobody is interested but because people don’t go exploring anymore. People hang out with their friends on Facebook and if the almighty algorithm doesn’t place a post or a link or an idea in their feed then they never fracking find it. Oh, we’ll talk about Spotify later, I promise!

We are not good at working the algorithms. We don’t take photos with sunflowers or make music that follows the patterns required to make it easily categorized and filed into the appropriate playlist. We aren’t very good with hashtags. We also try really hard not to let our lives or the information we have access to or the entertainment we digest be dictated by algorithms. Some of us still read books, a lot. We still go to actual video stores to rent movie when we can, when they manage to stay in business. We listen to the actual radio. Don’t get me wrong, we fail a lot. We are nowhere near as disconnected as we’d like. I just spent half of my time last night, while hanging out with an old friend who was visiting from out of town, on my fracking phone, in Facebook Messenger, scheduling and planning with four other people, something that could very well have waited till this morning.

Ugh, so why are we starting a fracking blog? We hope you’ll come here to interact with us when you want to. We hope our website is interesting. We try to update it enough to hold your interest. We’d like to hear from you. What are you thinking? What are you making? Do you think our new remix is awful or that our new band photos are great. Wanna show us yours? We don’t want to have to rely on the Facebook algorithms to put our posts in front of your eyes. If you wanna read our thoughts they will all be living over here, admittedly in the middle of nowhere on the internet. And hey, we fully understand and expect that nobody is actually reading this. It might be an exercise in futility, but really, what isn’t? (Probably plenty more on that subject to come too!)

Also, we will be pushing all of our posts to Facebook and probably even Twitter. Why? Because it’s like putting up an advertisement in the big city to get folks to come visit us way out here. Also, they have all the damn power right now. Let’s hope someday that changes.

— J