Editor’s Note: Standard disclaimer. Marlow is a real and distinguished human being.
Added Thoughts About Net People
When writers grow old, their thoughts sometimes dwell upon legacy. A desire for same almost always is destined to failure. Most scribblers never realize that they are penning stories atop bakery cakes with icing on a hot day instead of carving them in marble.
What follows in my next few posts are word pictures of the mundane from my past. Much like my Hollywood Famous post several days ago, their wellsprings are recovered memories sparked by things like old photos, a press clipping or a scrap of the past in a journal, a keepsake or other items long stashed in shoe boxes, preserved and flattened between book pages and other hiding places.
There is not much in them in terms of striking metaphor, mostly just bits of youthful foolishness, forks in the road, as well as obscure details long forgotten but recently remembered with clarity.
I have been having trouble writing about these things since they were so long ago and my understanding of them is only so-so. I can’t recall exactly how I came to the end of them as experiences. What I can say is that I am trying to recapture whatever ism that laid underneath my feelings at that time, and not just pen some formless recapitulation of events.
Some of these memories might take a year or two or three to emerge into words suitable for sharing. For instance, my piece on Net People took countless attempts, and it still wasn’t a finished piece when I booted it out of the draft folder. I must confess to troubles conceptualizing what digital bubbles really are. The thought came to me today that perhaps the ultimate consequence of these self-directed apartnesses is ironically the concentration camp. The concentration camp is the final expression of human separateness and man’s organized abandonment of those things he finds unpleasant or disturbing. Yet this topic still needs work . . .
Another thought regarding the Net People piece appeared to me the day after I sent it out . . . it seems that an irrational terror is spreading wide across the land from the far right to the far left. It seems that this equally felt fear on both sides of unpleasant and evil outsiders has taken to itself a fiat of moral goodness. In these instances in the past, oftentimes somebody had to die when panic emerged. Panic buttons when pressed by the clean hands of moral duty set loose murderous trains.
Then I saw the much ballyhooed, recent Pepsi commercial and the ensuing net-fueled indignation. I did not feel sorry for the sugar water seller or its ad agency. Millennial hipness is a tough battlefield to play on, let alone seek street cred on.
Pepsi probably should have had a male African American offer the soda to imitate and pay homage to a 50-year-old photo icon from my youth. They should have also clad an older cop in full riot gear instead of the short-sleeved hunky one they went with for verisimilitude.
Seriously, most of us Americans can’t surrender our belief that politics should somehow make sense. We think that the state has lost its mind and is unfairly punishing “innocent” people. We find this intolerable. Both the left and right see this at the same time of the same government of each other’s treasured things. Any evidence to the contrary must be internally denied. That requires work. So the easy way out is to wall ourselves off from the contrary in favor of our beloved evidence streams.
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