Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Truth and Illusion

I hate blogs sometimes, especially when I stumble on one and it depresses me. Yet I can’t turn away. I read them the way morning commuters read the daily news. This is my confession.

As of late, I have been reading the bullshit confessions on even though I am well aware that a lot of it is, indeed, bullshit. Nonetheless, bullshit can be very entertaining. We need a little illusion in our lives, so long as we remain aware of the difference between the manufactured and the truth. Recalling, and paraphrasing, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf: Truth and Illusion, do we really know the difference? No, but we must act as though we do. Amen.

So I kill time by perusing the somewhat disgusting posts of fetishists and lying sons-of-bitches everywhere. What fun. Smith told me the other day about how he is registered on and I had to ask over and over, “But what’s the point?” Apparently most of the people I know on that site have few friendsters, all of whom are people that they have known for some time off line. I asked if it was basically an extension of e-mail, which I gather it is. Unless, of course, you are one of those tech savvy types who meets a lot of people on-line.

I suppose I am still rather amused at how the internet is used, at least the social aspect of it. I refer anyone who gives a rat’s ass to Xtop’s beautiful website, so they might search the archives and find my stint as guest blogger, at which time I wrote a half-assed piece about technology. It got lifted and reposted here: but I never got a royalty check.

I got into work this morning early and decided to use the internet for something more practical. I registered for the damn basic skills test I will have to take to become a teacher. The next domino is about to fall. In counteraction, I began to write this rambling post. The practical balanced with the frivolous. I also found a couple of interesting articles about how the Japanese celebrate Xmas eve, which is apparently the biggest dating night in the country—as big as our Valentine’s Day. And Kentucky Fried Chicken sees record sales on that night as well. Go here and here if this seems interesting.

I used to view the net as a source of disinformation flooded with smut and egomania. I suppose I still do only now I have learned to love it, depressing blogs not withstanding. As distraction, it reigns supreme. As entertainment, it buries its rivals. No amount of meticulously crafted courtroom dramas or soft-core reality TV can compete with personal blogs, confessional web sites and cute digital movies. Everyone has a voice, regardless of how inane (mine included).

Speaking of the internet, I really loved Winterson’s The Powerbook not just for the usual brand of fantastic writing but also because it used the web as an arena for much of the story. It made me think, as some of her books have, of Calvino. I have little doubt that he would have incorporated the web in his fabulist writings. Borges would have loved the internet for its labyrinthine aspect at least. As I have mentioned before, I love Winterson’s web site. So if my literary heroes can get behind this technology, why shouldn’t I?
I guess I am easing into the 21st century like an old man into a warm bath of Epsom salts. Slowly, crawling on my hands and knees, I shall come to embrace that which I once despised. Hast thou found me, mine enemy?