Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Real Life in the age of the Interweb

Tom Tomorrow's clever commentary on decorum distinctions between so-called "Real Life" and the Internet, published at Salon. Anonymity makes it so easy to be rude, our attention spans are short, and empathy can be an elusive commodity.

On the other hand, it's also a place where you may just experience the kindness of strangers or distant friends, as I have so frequently here. Thanks for clicking over to elenabella!


Daughter Number Three said...

Thanks for the multiple big laughs. I've been a fair-weather friend of Tom T. for decades and haven't been keeping up with him.

I hope Salon pays him handsomely, and not just by telling their neighbors what a good job he does!

Daughter Number Three said...

I forgot to say, the last panel reminds me of the scenario in Lyda Morehouse's science fiction novels, which take place in about 30 years. People are all wired with "the feed" in our heads, and spammers are constantly assaulting you as you walk through the world...

elena said...

Oh dear, it could perhaps happen! DN3, you'll get me reading sci fi yet.

Yes, I hope Tom Tomorrow gets more than just our "attention" for his work, as significant as that may be. I've always appreciated his take on the world...I guess I'm overdue to buy a t-shirt!

Lyle Daggett said...

Poet Tom McGrath wrote a (shortish) novel during the 1950's called The Gates of Ivory, the Gates of Horn. It takes place in the United States in the not very distant future, where the east and west coasts are gigantic megacities, and the vast area in between is a vague "untamed country."

The story (very generally) concerns a police investigator who is trying to ferret out the leader of a subversive underground movement, and the further he digs, the more the evidence trail keeps leading him back to himself.

The book has much raucous humor in it -- at one point, when a couple of police agents go to the giant police computer to ask it some questions about the enemy underground, the computer begins answering them with lines from T.S. Eliot.

Guessing the book is out of print -- it was originally published by Masses & Mainstream, and was reissued sometime in the 1980's or thereabouts by Another Chicago Press. It makes lively brisk reading.

Anyway the Tom Tomorrow strip here reminded me of moments in McGrath's novel. That weird borderland area where it's not quite clear if it's science fiction or real or both.

On a totally unrelated topic, I went to the AWP conference in Denver this past week -- among other things, I had a chance to talk briefly with someone we both know from the distant past. My blogpost about the conference is here, if you care to take a look.

elena said...

Thanks for the AWP report, Lyle: wonderful! I remember hearing about that McGrath book...looks like someone needs to update the Wikipedia page on "Gates of Ivory, Gates of Horn" to include his novel. It sounds very intriguing..love the loopiness of it: "the further he digs, the more the evidence trail keeps leading him back to himself."