Radio Quarantine: ENA – a webcore/internetcore/enawave playlist (Jan 7 2021 YouTube playlist)

I might as well, at some point, start a series of music, art or internet phenomenon posts titled: Apparently, It’s A Thing. That’s where this business of webcore/internetcore/ENA fits in.

WEBCORE: Webcore, also referred to as Internetcore, Enacore and Old Web, is an aesthetic and a music genre defined by elements of 1990s and early 2000s Internet culture, with the era spanning roughly from introduction of Windows 95 in 1995 to introduction of Windows Vista in 2007. The aesthetic is inspired by system and application sounds, pixelized graphics and web design of the 1995-2005 era. Internetcore found its reflection in music and animation and shares certain similarities with Weirdcore and Vaporwave.

It’s undeniable really, that this music has a strange nostalgic, melancholic quality to it. It evokes something distant, though familiar, that I may have not been able to place without the explanation. It’s likely that I would have been sitting and wondering why exactly it all sounded so familiar… a deja vu experience. That’s where a lot of the vaporwave aesthetic seems to exist. You don’t sit fondly recalling any of it the way you would a song that was your favorite when you were at such and such age. It’s more a sense that you’ve been somewhere before but you can’t quite place when it was, because it only ever existed subliminally. There’s an uneasy disconnect in emotions when you’re trying to place something that never fully existed. It was there in the background but never fully present, hence it creates cognitive dissonance… a glitch in the matrix (wait until we get to glitchcore). I’m beginning to recognize that the entire field of vaporwave with each micro-niche is really kind of subversive in a sense. It’s like it was never meant to exist. It falls under “possible side effects.” It’s hard to turn off. It starts to play and you’re standing in the space that was only ever meant to be the backdrop to the simulation. You’re no longer following the rules of the game.

The kids out here in the web are re-writing culture and language, in a sense. They’re turning the secondary into the primary, and these are conscious actions. They’re running the algorithms, rather than passively playing along. It’s punk in a way. It’s a quiet rebellion. They’re re-coding the game. They’re cracking and hacking. To what end remains to be seen. Maybe it’s just about having a sense of autonomy or enlightenment within what’s accepted as the inevitability of the simulation. Like, we’re accepting that we are in The Matrix, but we’re not going to play along and pretend we don’t know.

But there’s this sort of sad vibe too… so…

I don’t know, but I’m going to throw up a second video entry from the same author. Yes, it’s caught my attention, for today anyway.

It’s only just really struck me that these represent new cultural shifts. I was fully grown by the time the internet subsumed Western culture and society. There are entire generations now behind me who are growing up immersed in it. Their whole sense of the world is going to be different. They have existed as digital avatars for the better part of their lives and the connection between online and offline life is going to be more fluid. There is going to be more commonality. Their identities between the two realms are going to be more connected, and maybe the possible downside is that offline life, or reality, is going to have less gravity than it did for previous generations. The sense that nothing at all is real and it’s all make believe may actually be greater… the awareness that they are in a simulation, or rather concentric circles of simulations. I hope I’m explaining this clearly and that this isn’t coming across as an insane screed or manifesto. I’m really just talking about the sense of identity and meaning, in a generational sense, and value. How do you assign value to anything, including your own identity, when it’s consciously manufactured? A costume… a role… etc.

So these are the generations that The Metaverse, however it turns out to be, is being built for. It’s for those who already straddle the physical and the digital more readily, however cynical some of them may already be already regarding authenticity. The crisis of meaning, after all, is very much about authenticity and value systems. But The Metaverse is not being built for me, or for my generation. We’ll be gone soon anyway. It’s being built for those who are used to navigating the world as avatars, despite that there are already small rebellions arising, so we shall see how that plays out.

Enough for this morning though. We’ll come back to this for sure, at some point. I go in and out of subjects like the tide and every so often reach a high water mark but then go back out again leaving random traces of how far up the beach I made it. It’s weird now though that it’s taken me this long to realize that the kids, even my own, are not on the same page as I am with all this stuff. They are not of the same culture and don’t even navigate by the same landmarks and rules (or tools). This isn’t a qualitative assessment. They are just different and why wouldn’t they be. They grew up differently and different skills and talents developed that are applicable to their daily lives, but not necessarily mine. Many of my own skills are obsolete in their age, and that may have a lot to do with my own sense of disconnectedness from it.

Okay… looking at things a bit differently now.

So yah, Apparently, it’s a thing.

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