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|‘Wicked,’ youth and pop culture, and life online: Introducing GA Voice intern Sage Nenyue|
|by Sage Nenyue|
|July 07, 2011 14:55|
What’s gay, moves progressively forward at the speed of light, and is sometimes a little bit crazy? If your answer is “a pride parade,” you’d only be partially correct, but I suppose I can be that also.
My name is Sage, and I’ve been in Atlanta for eight years now. I like reading, writing, and a great Saturday night for me is watching History International channel. You would think that after spending all of my teenage and young adult years writing in the “about me” section of every social networking site from MySpace to Facebook and now GooglePlus (that’s right—Google me, baby!) that introducing one’s self online would be easier. Or, at least, that you would have a solid handle on how others would perceive you based on your words.
We like to think we don’t care what others think about us, but as Gregory Maguire taught us, even the most seemingly wicked have their insecurities. And while Wicked may just be an adult coming-of-age story—odd, yes, but stay with me here—it touches me in ways that if I made any one of the multiple jokes that just sprang to mind, you wouldn’t be reading this column. Think about it: We use our words to affirm our existence to those who hear them, we take titles that perpetuate the lifestyles we want to achieve, and we distance ourselves from people who threaten that sense of existence. Do you see now why the “About Me” is so fundamental to one’s online existence?
And that’s the kind of stuff I think about. When you ride with me—propelling yourself aboard the Sage Train, as it were—you’re relinquishing yourself to 600 to 1,000 words of string-theory level madness that only makes sense when you look at it in the big scheme of things. I bring you fire from the far reaches of the uncharted World Wide Web as well as our own political system’s badlands. The relevance of Pop and Youth culture don’t escape my pen either. I’m an undergrad; hear me elaborate with absolute certainty on every topic that crosses my path!
In fact, I venture upon a leopard’s limb (his tree limb, not his arm—for he would maim me, I’m sure) to say that my passions lie in a mixture of activism and culture. I believe in the forward progression of youth rights, the analysis of pop culture and I’m very interested in cross-cultural communication.
But the point remains: This is an online column and for it to be anything worth reading, it can’t just be my personal voice ranting and going on for 600 or 700 words. I think it ought to be collective in a sense. I would need your feedback to really know who is reading GA Voice online and what you would want to read.
I could go on about the state of the LGBT community in Atlanta and how lucky/unfortunate/amazing/etc. we are, based on some set of criteria and point of view, or I could go on about my view of one or many aspects of our community. But alas, that is the nature of our digital existence these days.
The main currency of one’s presence of the web is not necessarily dollars, but popularity and brand recognition. A good cultural product receives the stamp of approval from what James Surowiecki refers to as “the wisdom of crowds,” or judgments that are better than what any one individual could come up with. I see myself as being in a position to produce something good, but if I’m going to do right by readers, I would have to know what people want.
So let’s recap: I’m Sage, I’ll be writing an online column, and I’m more collaborative in my approach to writing than the average individual. That said, I find it only fitting to end with a tried-and-true line from what I’m sure many Netizens will instantly recognize from comedian Angelah Johnson’s Bon Qui Qui: “Welcome to King Burger, where we can do it your way… But don’t get crazy!” Atlanta, it’s so good to see you; you’re looking divine, darling, divine.
Editor’s note: Sage Nenyue is joining the GA Voice as our editorial intern for the summer; an ongoing online column will be one of his projects. You can reach him at [email protected].
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