The Other Dilettante Army


Click here for background music brought to you by the 2003 Broadway Musical, Avenue Q.

Type “Dilettante Army” into your internet browser of choice. As of October 13, 2013, before this website went live, a search on Google revealed hits such as “dilettante Army bone at Ice Gay Tube,” “dilettante Army twinks Bust a Nut at Ice Gay Tube,” and the straight forward “dilettante Army pound”. As Trekkie Monster gleefully bellows in the clip from Avenue Q linked above, “The internet is for PORN!”

It could be said that porn and the internet exist in a symbiotic relationship. In July of this year, a Harvard affiliated blog, Internet Monitor, asks, “Is the internet for porn?” A few short months later Joseph Gordon-Levitt wrote, directed, and starred in Don Jon, a film about how internet porn affects a man’s relationship with reality. Back in 2011 when the porn affiliated website domain .XXX went on sale, Forbes asked the question, “How Much of the Internet is Actually for Porn?” Contradictory to all the hoopla associated with the internet and porn, according to that article, only about 4 per cent of websites were porn. In addition, in September of 2013, The Telegraph stated that, “It’s often presumed that the internet is porn’s best friend–and filth certainly accounts for about 12 per cent of all websites currently available. But while the internet has undoubtedly increased supply it hasn’t lifted the profits of production.”

After recovering from the initial surprise of what “Dilettante Army” means for the cyber world, I was immediately curious about why “Dilettante Army” was associated with porn and why specifically gay porn. Most importantly, how does Dilettante Army’s cyber cousin impact this up-and-coming website that is packed with imaginative, astute, and approachable thinking? The most important lesson to be learned from this searching experience is that even a seemingly innocuous term can bring you to spaces that are unexpected, unfamiliar, and possibly unwanted.

The Other is a loaded term tossed around in academic circles to reference groups that are somehow on the periphery due to inherent qualities such as race, class, gender, economic status, nationality, ethnicity, etc. According to a CUNY affiliated website, “The Other is an individual who is perceived by the group as not belonging, as being different in some fundamental way.” How does the Other function in the Internet world? Considering the plethora of content available, in the case of online material, what is the other?  Is “dilettante Army slam – Queer Boys Tube” the Other? Or, is this particular space in the cyber world, is this Dilettante Army the Other? Do these two spaces exist to serve the same purpose–providing sought, or possibly unsought, content to a person plopped on their couch clicking around the web? Or do they function as different tools, touching upon different types of satisfaction? As most spaces go–physical, temporal, sexual, technological–a rigid category doesn’t suffice to truly capture the essence. Like with the Other, rigid categorization is detrimental and even dangerous. With that in mind, I leave you with these spaces and the many others that may be the Dilettante Army.