I used to write a website about movies and television with the occasional Think Piece on Gwyneth Paltrow’s spending power. It is a website that just happens to be closing up shop for good tomorrow, unfortunately. Ours was a love the world could not understand. R.I.P.
By the end of my tenure at the soon (so soon) to be defunct pop culture website, it genuinely felt like I was reading the Entire Internet every day, and the only takeaway one can have from reading the Entire Internet every day is that the Internet is 100% Horrible. There’s a common sense that the Internet is just a collection of sad adolescent trolls hiding in their parents’ basements throwing digital feces through the proverbial bars, but the truth is much worse. Everyone is throwing the digital feces. The trolls just enjoy it a little more.
So, one of the most wonderful aspects of stopping writing for that website on a daily basis was that I also stopped reading other websites on a daily basis. With rare exception, I haven’t LOOKED at a blog in six months, much less read one. I still look at Tumblr most days, but Tumblr might as well be Instagram. It hardly counts.
And yet, I somehow have not managed to escape Blog Culture, because Blog Culture has become so pervasive that we are all doomed to a wasteland future of ad hominem non-jokes, knee-jerk unreflective judgements punched out on iPads during commercial breaks, and a Smithsonian’s worth of #selfies.
What I value about the improv community is that it’s a community. It’s certainly competitive. Everybody is ambitious and wants to get ahead and succeed, but the nature of the scene is predicated on not singular exceptionalism but ensemble. I feel that ethos is what makes the improv world a very collaborative world.
It’s no mistake that I get a lot more jobs now that my friends are in positions to run their own shows. Everybody in our world is always looking out for each other. There are certainly those people for whom it’s all about them, but those are few and far between in the improv world. It’s more about teams, whether it’s a sketch group or an improv team, everything is based on the ensemble. That began then and continues now.”
Jason Mantzoukas (in an interview with Splitsider)