Friday, January 06, 2006
From Paolo du Flippi, a vision of life after the collapse of the Internet:
Backed into an embrasure by the advancing apparition who had been cleverly lying in wait for prey, I was startled to recognize — beneath the grime, elf-locked hair, tattered clothing, and unkempt beard — a man I had known from his earlier life . . . .
"Welcome to a directory of wonderful things, my friend! Get ready to be amazed, thrilled and astounded! I'm going to show you stuff you never believed existed, stuff that will brighten your life, enhance your senses and enlighten your consciousness! For instance — "
Doctorow reached into his satchel and withdrew a square of bristol board on which was pasted a page cut from a magazine.
"Check this out! The Sony Xbox 490! Not only plays CDs, Blu-ray DVDs, vinyl 45s and View-Master cardboard discs, but also comes with a pet-washing attachment!"
I tried to let the mad blogger down gently as my eyes furtively sought an escape route.
"I know all about it, thanks. I read about it in last month's Wired magazine. I believe that's where you clipped your image from."
Doctorow deflated visibly, but was unwilling to give up. "Okay, but I bet you haven't seen this!" He displayed another flashcard, to which was taped a campy old Polaroid photo of some average people wearing 1970s fashions. "Over in the Tenderloin, there's a whole store full of groovy junk like this!" . . . .
Patting his back, I said, "There, there, Cory, surely you didn't expect anyone to be truly astonished by this old ragbag assortment of clippings and ephemera. It's not like the old days, when you could effortlessly ride the bleeding digital edge of culture, shining your spotlight on weird niches before anyone else could get there."
Doctorow gulped down his tears and said, "I know, I know, this realworld trip is absolutely lame. So slow and clunky. Nothing to click on, no links. We never knew how good we had it when the Internet was still alive!"