Magical Realism, Writing, Fiction, Politics, Haiku, Books

lunes, agosto 20, 2012

No Fun

Just in case you may have thought that Facebook wasn't all about commerce, I offer you this very brief anecdote.

Yesterday, I was struck by this stanza in Allen Ginsberg's epic poem Howl:

who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a trail of ambiguous postcards of Atlantic City Hall

I thought, "Oh. Nowhere Zen, New Jersey," inserting a comma. "Sounds like my home town." Actually, I was born in Newark and went to HS in Westfield. But Nowhere Zen, New Jersey captured me and it touched me the way nighttime, grimy, deserted downtown streets and their shuttered warehouses and rusted doors and yellow street lamp light and peeling graffiti hearken me back to old Newark. Yes, my spiritual hometown. The roots.

Unfortunately, M Zuckerberg and his army of coders have made it impossible for me to make Nowhere Zen New Jersey my home town on FB. Unless, of course, there is a trick about which I am unaware that could fortuitously produce this result. Instead, when you begin to type it in, you are prompted to "Nowhere, Oklahoma," which I assume actually and/or unfortunately exists, and then the void if you don't put in that comma before the state presently suffering deepest drought.

Why is this? Let me offer a guess: it's all about commerce on FB. And if you live in the Dream Antilles or Nowhere Zen New Jersey or Oz (not the Country nicknamed that) or Narnia or [fill in this stream with many more lovely, evocative places], you and your location cannot be sold because your location is, well, fictitious. And not to be found. At least in the material world. And this, I opine with a shudder, is what FB is all about.

And so we all lose out on the fun. You can't make your home town LaLaLand, and I can't make mine Nowhere Zen New Jersey. We're all poorer for that. I spare you my inevitable excesses by refusing to expand here in my usual way on how very much poorer and surplus capital, etc.

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