UPenn Offers A Class Called ‘Wasting Time On The Internet’ And Porn Watching Is Completely Acceptable
The easiest course I ever took in college was called something like “Beatnik Culture” and covered the writings of Jack Kerouac and that entire culture. Maybe it was easy for me because I enjoyed the reading. It’s probably one of the only classes I really paid attention in.
Now, if I were going to school today, I’d probably crush at a course called Wasting Time On The Internet. It’s offered at UPenn. Considering my job is essentially eight hours of wasting time on the Internet, it would be hard to fail. I get PAID to do it now. Even though I excel at internet worm hole surfing, I still might not do so well in this class. It’s some serious screwing around.
Come January, fifteen University of Pennsylvania creative-writing students and I will sit silently in a room with nothing more than our devices and a Wi-Fi connection, for three hours a week, in a course called “Wasting Time on the Internet.” Although we’ll all be in the same room, our communication will happen exclusively through chat rooms and listservs, or over social media.
Distraction and split attention will be mandatory. So will aimless drifting and intuitive surfing. The students will be encouraged to get lost on the Web, disappearing for three hours in a Situationist-inspired dérive, drowsily emerging from the digital haze only when class is over. We will enter a collective dreamspace, an experience out of which the students will be expected to render works of literature. To bolster their practice, they’ll explore the long history of the recuperation of boredom and time-wasting, through critical texts by thinkers such as Guy Debord, Mary Kelly, Erving Goffman, Raymond Williams, and John Cage.
“Distraction and split attention will be mandatory” and damn I’d KILL at this class. I’m distracted right now and I’m writing this damn piece.
Now, on to the reason you clicked on this headline, for the porn stuff.
Nothing is off limits: if it is on the Internet, it is fair play. Students watching three hours of porn can use it as the basis for compelling erotica; they can troll nefarious right-wing sites, scraping hate-filled language for spy thrillers; they can render celebrity Twitter feeds into epic Dadaist poetry; they can recast Facebook feeds as novellas; or they can simply hand in their browser history at the end of a session and present it as a memoir.
I want to read the final dissertation of the kid who spends all semester looking at smut. It would be LEGENDARY.
H/T New Yorker