SCREW YOU: Stickin’ it to The (New) Man.

I recently chose to deactivate my personal Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media because I’ve come to the conclusion I’ve been selling out my brand. SCREW has always been at the forefront of counterculture, and today, the only counterculture left is to be anti-social media.

MY FINAL POST TO FACEBBOOK: LET’S TALK ABOUT SHEEP…

Look at us running to Facebook (or other social media) a million times a day to get the daily dirt and/or to fiend attention/validation/etc… For the past year we’ve read posts from Conservatives and Liberals calling each other “sheep,” but really, who are the REAL sheep? All of us addicted to social media, that’s who. While politics and protests and all the news of the day had us distracted, social media platforms reached up and grabbed us by the balls and our hearts and minds followed

Social media is now the mainstream. And we’re ALL suckers to it.
I’ve come to the conclusion that, as the owner of a 52-year old brand who’s name is synonymous with two things: obscenity and counterculture, that I’m selling out simply being here.

For years I’ve battled with the question, “what is still sacred?” Since the advent of the Internet, it seems nothing is sacred any longer. Nothing is “taboo.” I grew up amid the counterculture of the 80s. Kids today have no idea what that even means. They immediately think, “alternative,” but alas, alternative is mainstream, too. Shit, they even named a genre of music after it.

Today, anything and everything is on the Internet, at our immediate disposal, available to anyone. Sure, we get to pick and choose what we want to read (or so we think) like it’s some big All-You-Can-Eat buffet of knowledge and wisdom. But unfortunately, it’s corrupted. Someone somewhere once said, “too much of a good thing is bad,” or something like that. There’s too much online. And that’s bad. Because picking and choosing what we read (or what we’re fed) means we miss out on a lot of things that truly matter. We’re duped (or better yet, subjugated into duping ourselves) into believing we have this freedom to choose what we intellectually ingest, but in reality we are now slaves to something much bigger that we, individually, have no control over, but has all the control over us and what we see, what we read, what we hear, and what we believe (or are easily led to believe). Anything and everything is talked about and argued about on social media. Everyone finds their littles cliques that welcome them with open arms and make them feel wanted and accepted and sticks to them, completely sheltered from opposing views, new ideas, broadened intellect, expanded mindfulness, etc. At the same time, anything and everything can be propagandized and ultimately, monetized by the social media powers-that-be. We are their sheep. And if they choose to lead us to slaughter, we’ll likely follow without question — just to get another friend or follower, or heart, or thumbs up, or like, or share.

Every post you read, every click you make, every swipe, every scroll, are all tracked and analyzed because every one of them is more money in their pocket. As you scroll your timeline reading and liking and hearting and sharing your friends’ posts, every ad you pass, is another dollar they earn. Whether you stop and read that ad or not, doesn’t even matter, because to them, it made an impression, therefore it made a profit. We’re not sheep providing wool, we’re sheep providing something far more valuable — time.

Every minute we spend on social media counts as demand, which makes their more valuable. We simply provide the supply. You and me could be traded on a futures exchange just like any other commodity. That’s all we are. That’s what we’ve become because that’s what we’ve given in to.

Talk about a “coup,” the real coup was the day social media became more powerful than our elected government. It happened right before our eyes. And we didn’t see it coming. No guns, no shots fired, it’s what every general of every army aspires to — taking over the people without ever having to fight. It’s what the Chinese call “achieving the highest level of chi.” Social media did in a few short years what governments and militaries have aspired to do for thousands of years. Shit, we just surrendered ourselves. Social media is the NEW “man.”

In the words of The Beatles, “You say you want a revolution, well you know, we all want to change the world…”

There are no revolutions left to be had because the internet and social media have a way of turning everything into it’s own revolution, amid all the other revolutions, which devalues the whole concept of a revolution to zilch. Again, too much of a good thing. But that’s exactly what they want — they want you to FEEL like you have the freedom to go out and revolt against everything bad that’s wrong in the world, but really, they don’t want you to go out and do anything, anywhere, unless of course, you bring them with you. Your eyeballs and fingers mean money to them. They don’t want you holding a sign in protest, they want you POSTING in protest, so your friends scroll and see it, and that scroll earns them a profit. And you’re more than happy to POST because it’s far safer than getting hit with a rock or sprayed with pepper spray.

The only real revolution that matters right now has nothing to do with Republicans and Democrats, or Liberals and Conservatives, or election fraud, or Qanon, or witch hunts, or laptops, or yellowcake uranium, or whatever bullshit they fuck our minds with, but rather, it has everything to do with social media. Imagine what would happen tomorrow if everyone just turned on, tuned in and dropped out of social media. That’s how you “stick it to the (new) man.”

Counterculture has always been the place of true freedom. It’s the place all the cool kids hang out. It’s the place where creativity and ideas flow unencumbered, though not without controversy from the mainstream opposition. Our nation was founded by counterculture. From pilgrims and colonists to rock ‘n roll, hippies and hip hop, we are who we are today in large part due to the counterculture that defined us. We are a nation built on revolutions.

The innate purpose of counterculture is acceptance; to turn what is currently socially “unacceptable” into something mainstream. Whether we like it or not. And when that happens, more often than not, what was once “cool” is cool no longer. Remember when you were into a band or a certain type of music everyone else hated, then suddenly one day that band or music broke out and everyone liked them? The band or music was now “acceptable,” and for a minute you almost felt betrayed. “They sold out!”

The goal of counterculture has always been to influence the mainstream. That’s good and bad. The internet was once counterculture. When I started hacking away back in the late 80s and early 90s, no one even knew what an internet was. By the time it started to go mainstream, most people thought it was merely a place for porn. They thought that’s all it was good for. They may have been right at the time, too, but we kept plugging away, eventually creating the monster that runs all of our lives today. All of those same people are now the first to open up Facebook every morning to see what’s going on in the world; to see what matters (to them, anyway.)

Over the past thirty years we’ve taken the internet from counterculture to mainstream, creating this huge Frankenstein social media monster in the process. What we have today is the culmination of all of us — of all of our own selfish desires to be seen and heard, to feel accepted or validated or wanted or loved or whatever else we want from it.

We have become sheep to this digital shepherd we ourselves have created. And every day, it prods us, reminding us to be and act like sheep.
Is nothing sacred anymore? The only thing left sacred is TIME. My time is more valuable to me than yours is to me. And your time should be more valuable to you than mine is to you. This social media monster, however, wants us to believe our time only has value to it. Like a vampire, it sucks your time, like blood, stealing your life away in the process.

I’ve come to the conclusion the only “counter-” left to the current culture is to not participate at all. If I leave social media behind, I gain approximately 3-4 hours a day of new life. There’s nothing left to do or say here. There’s nothing unique or creative left to do here — certainly nothing unique or creative left to do that would be deemed “acceptable” anyway.

The time has come for me to say goodbye to social media. I’m a pornographer, and my brand is SCREW, and for 52 years we’ve bled the red, white and blue of counterculture, fighting for freedom of speech and artistic expression, setting precedents along the way that paved the way for everything you see around you online. We basically, and almost singlehandedly, took pornography mainstream — a huge contribution to the Frankenstein monster that now rules our lives. But again, that was our purpose at the time — to counter the current culture and make it acceptable.

And today, as acceptable as pornography is (which is about acceptable as it can be), you could say our mission was accomplished. The only countering left to be done is to drive a stake into the heart of this vampire monster we helped create. We need a new mission.

The new counterculture revolution exists in defeating social media, in taking back our time, our lives. This is my last post to Facebook. I hope someone will copy and paste and share this message so it lives on because in 3 days, my Facebook profile will self-destruct. My Instagram and Twitter profiles have been deactivated. All of it gone. All that will remain is a SCREW Twitter for promoting stuff (because we have to) but no longer will it (or I) share anything personal, no longer will it seek acceptance or validation. It’s just a robot that promotes shit automatically and impersonally. No longer will I allow the social media monster to earn profits from my words or photos.

Turn on, tune in, and drop out of the sheep costume.

How do you counter the social media culture? Simply don’t participate. Turn on, tune in and drop out. Maybe pick up a phone and call or text someone directly. Turn on a TV or radio instead of Facebook. Go to a restaurant or a bar and see people in person, meet someone new, reach out to people in real life. Go to the beach. Go to a show. Experience some live music on a stage. Get out. Experience nature. (Yeah that’s still a thing.) Watch some porn, jerk off, get laid. Be a human. Not a sheep. Spend time with other humans in real life. THAT, my friend, is the new counterculture revolution — turn on, tune in and drop out of the sheep’s wool and take back your uniqueness, your creativity, your individuality, your humanity, your life, your soul.

Wouldn’t you rather hear it from me in person that your dress is pretty or your new haircut looks great or that dinner you cooked is fabulous?

I, we (SCREW as a brand) can only continue to thrive amid counterculture — that’s where we belong. Not here.

I’ve said everything I need to say here. I might add a few edits in the next day or two. But for the most part, my work here is done. I’m over it. I refuse to be a sheep any longer.

Fuck you Zuck, and Jack, too.

— P.

About Phil Italiano 114 Articles
Phil Italiano is the Publisher of SCREW. You can reach him anytime via email at phil@screw.wtf.

Be the first to comment

Your email address will not be published.


*