Losing Faith    

I've been working on the Internet for the past three years, and I feel like a grizzled veteran already. I've outlasted one company already, as Word collapsed shortly after I left. They will be sorely missed; they innovated methods of content delivery that others are just now catching up to. But there wasn't any money in art, as has been proven over and over again, and despite producing an awesome multiplayer game and an amazing, beautiful book, they were closed down by their parent company.

There have been a number of parallels drawn to the early days of cable television, radio, and nearly any other entertainment medium that you can think of, but what those parallels fail to take into consideration is the utter moral degradation of the human race in the last twenty years. The grand ideals of the first wave of webworkers seems to have been swept away in that first stock market furor, as better men than I sold themselves to the highest bidder for a fistful of soap, mortgaging their future on the vicissitudes of the economy. There's no future in ideals, no future in standards.

The Internet is not a brave new frontier for pioneers to innovate fantastic new art forms anymore; it's a callous, greedy cash-flow source where the only people who come out on top are greedy hucksters and corporate whores. Have I become one of them? I don't know. I like to think not; if I had, there'd be one of those UGO banners up above here. But I'm still in the thick of it, still taking what meager scraps of money I can from it. Do I feel bad? I don't know. Portal of Evil is maintaining the exact same vision Chet and I had for it a year and change ago when we started; we haven't slowed down or pulled back in any way, but it remains to be seen if that will be enough in this new world of tightening belts and hanging nooses.

I wonder if people in the early days of television maintained artistic pretentions as to the future of that medium? When watching programming from the early days of network television, I've found writing and performances that far outclassed anything that's on the box today; so when did the paradigm shift from well-created entertainment to tits and violence? When did it happen for the Internet? When did it happen to humanity? And what now?