Age of the New Flesh

While surfing through YouTube and discovering both legitimate and pirated concert footage, I realized that never before has a generation grown up seeing celebrity lifespans in such a vividly compressed manner. In an age where generation gaps are no longer punctuated by differences in musical tastes – as they had been in the past – any teenage kid, who today discovers Roxy Music circa 1972 on YouTube and enjoys their music, can immediately pull up a video of the band and see them not as people in the prime of life but as they are 30 years later. The result of this time compression is that kids today are given an amazingly powerful lesson in mortality; a lesson the likes of which no other generation has ever experienced. Is it any wonder kids are driven to upload videos of themselves in the prime of life? I suspect this is an indication that we’re slipping into what might be called the Age of the “New Flesh“.

Here are some bullet points to go along with that observation.

  • A couple of years ago I saw for the first time a virtual world avatar cited in the mainstream media as if that identity were a real person. Subsequently the same thing happened to me; my Second Life avatar identity was credited in an entry on WorldChanging (Link). And it’s happened again only this time GigaGamez has hybridized me (Link) into “Sven Concord”, part real person and part virtual avatar.
  • Associated Press is reporting that American citizens are selling their own identities. From “U.S. fights against ID sales to illegals” carried on Yahoo! News (Link):

    The federal government’s attention has been on stolen or fabricated identity documents, and officials say they know little about people who sell their own legitimate documents.

    Defense attorneys said prosecution for selling an ID may be something new.

    However, Jones said his client told him that document selling was a well-known way to earn a quick buck.

    In June, a man pleaded guilty in Concord, N.H., to selling five genuine Texas birth certificates and six Social Security cards to informants.

  • The issue of real world celebrity being appropriated for use and/or for sale inside Second Life has once again surfaced (Link). Recall my earlier observations regarding the “U2 in SL” group (reLink). At least there was only one Bono inside SL… I think.
  • Reading some old posts on this topic, especially “A Santa Claus Reality” (reLink), helps me to keep everything in completely whacked out perspective.

    I’m going to have to synthesize all this into something digestable. Maybe after I buy ZBrush and design the vessel for my new synthetic identity.