The Internet Is Dead© THE INTERNET IS DEAD DIGITAL LIT AND BEYOND // ThrombosisInThePixelatedHeart | theinternetisdead.com
Double humped round in roses I
Charm some vision in a paper cup.
Like Orestes in a diamond moon
Rising from stained glass to find
No meaning beyond my movement.
But only when worlds collide
Will the silence of my Trojan Seas
Protect me from his desert sands.
I am now an O-as-is only
But dare drink my deeper waters
You last king in a sandman’s dust.
It was no accident my coming here,
They must have known long before
I wandered to their farmhouse near
That I would soon knock upon their door.
Call it more than a good neighbor’s sense
In snow to leave the porch lamp lighted
Or post the sign on their picket fence,
For all those lost are all always invited.
Each year the light is less.
We can barely see it now,
The faint necklace of
The Milky Way.
The old ones were wrong,
You know with their waxed fingers
Pointing up like abandoned adobe.
Yet you know better in your cubical gardens
And half moth-eaten moons,
You have arrived in
Prof. Henry Madera and his friend Gene Donnelley sat on the “cool-down” bench adjacent the clay court on which they had just completed their weekly tennis match. Their socks and sneakers were caked a dusty red. The professor munched on a Bartlett pear while his opponent sucked on a smooth plastic bottle of Smart water.
“Ideal conditions today,” huffed the professor. “Good light, dry air, no shadow, little breeze.” He sounded like the five o’clock weatherman.
“Yeah. High Noon. And you remember what happened in that confrontation,” joked his challenger. “I might be getting too old for singles,” Donnelley added in a belated show of good sportsmanship, in that he consistently won the majority of their sets. This didn’t seem to bother the professor who needed the outlet and enjoyed their bull sessions at the conclusion of each game. The professor carefully removed and examined the tiny blue, oval label stuck on what remained of his snack.
“Hmm. Imported from Argentina. Interesting. Beautiful piece of fruit, come all the way to Tucson just for my pleasure. More importantly, a perfect example of the power of global trade as influenced by market conditions.”
“Spoken like a true teacher of World Economics.”
“Never underestimate the lure and elegance of supply and demand.”
“Uh oh. This is not going to be another lecture extolling Reaganomics is it?”
“If you mean arguing in favor of the advantages of ‘laissez-faire’ and the free market over flawed governmental intervention, well, I believe the way I couched that gives away my position.”
“And there is sure to be a view contra, supported by equally compelling evidence I’m sure.”
‘What did you just say?”
“A view contra…?”
“Funny you said that. Here. I want to show you something I’ve been messing around with.” The professor withdrew his iPad from his tennis duffel. He scrolled around for a moment and then handed the iPad to Donnelley.
“It’s a new program I’ve been playing with. The code is almost finished.”
Donnelley was used to being his friend’s test subject or “focus group” on new apps and inventions. Many of them involved rare principles of actuarial or financial science, sometimes including human factors, behavioral psychology or stock market trends. Most of the explanations were far out of reach of his comprehension, but he had learned to listen very carefully and glean the salient points to his own great benefit. Over time, this had meant achieving some real prosperity on the recommendations of his friend, specifically with regard to technology stocks. In the course of a modest three decades he had made a killing in only as many categories. The first was silicon chip research, development and manufacture. When Prof. Madera made the off handed remark sometime in the 80’s that his latest IBM annual report happened to mention it was starting a joint venture with a little known startup company called Intel, and that if he had any disposable cash, he’d throw in with the start up instead of sticking with Big Blue, Donnelley read up on everything he could find about the chip maker, and bought a thousand of its shares on the cheap. Then watched it expand exponentially and independent of its early giant champion. With stock splits and participation in the dividend reinvestment plan, Donnelley soon accumulated a nice cushion.
The next tip came on the heels of the p.c. craze of the 90’s during the battle between Microsoft and Apple. The underdog would have its day, cautioned the professor, noting his students’ favoring of the Mac with its synthesis of both ergonomic hardware and software, on a rough scale of about 2 to 1. Donnelley made note of it and held tight even when Jobs was pushed out of the company and then later rehired. The ultimate gains were well worth the wait.
The final and most resounding tip came after the dot com bubble burst and everyone was skittish about internet stocks. Prof. Madera was tickled about the choice of name by one search engine company about to make its initial public offering. Thinking aloud one day he remarked that if the program could do everything it claimed, the sky was the limit on how much it might accomplish. He was right about Google, but wrong about the part of the sky being the limit.
Donnelley had well learned over the years that although his friend was not a 4.0 caliber tennis player, there was much more to him than met the eye.
Contrary to the academic quality of most bloggers, self-appointed talking heads or cranky consultants of the day, Professor Madera was authoritative and reliable, if eccentric.
Thus, he took his friend’s hobbies seriously, whether or not this particular item would become a success (most did). “What does it do?” he asked.
“What doesn’t it do!” gloated his friend. “Makes order out of chaos. Takes an almost infinite volume of disparate data and turns it into the most likely outcome scenario.”
“For example, weather prediction?”
“A walk in the park.”
“What about geologic changes such as earthquake, volcano, shifting magnetic poles, tsunami?”
“All depends on your search parameters.”
“So if I had asked it what was the probability of the Washington Monument nearly being toppled by a 5.0, it would have warned me?”
“Of course. But that isn’t a good example, because it’s no longer merely hypothetical.”
“You mean, therefore the answer would be based on real information.”
“Exactly. Keep it theoretical and then test your results against a real event in the future.”
“Will it choose a winning lottery ticket?”
“Cute. It can’t foretell matters left to chance. It will give you the odds, though.”
“So will Jimmy the Greek. Big deal. Suppose I’m an angel investor. What’s your strongest pitch for this program. How does it differ from others not already in the works.”
“National Security Agency already trying out a beta version.”
“Impressive. That gives me an idea. Is there a limit to the subject string I can enter into the search pattern?”
“Does male pattern baldness manifest itself in a finite number of ways?”
“I take that as a ‘no.’ Alright, here goes.” Donnelley cobbled together all the nightmare crises he could conceive of in the space of sixty seconds and tapped them into the search line one by one.
IRAN-CONTRA/DIRTY NUKES/RUSSIAN BLACK MARKET/ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS/IRAQI FREEDOM
Then he cursored to the Enter button.
You thought you would be
Spinning in circles
Under the gymnasium lights
Forever, or at least fifty years,
But now the TV tells you
What you tell it
You want to hear,
The color of your SUV
Is the color
Of your high school
Football team’s uniform
And the color
Of your conscience
Is the color of money
Though like a piece
Of cheap jewelry
After it has been worn
For a week. Yeah,
It is easy to be offended,
When the radio tells you
A squid was found
Washed up on the Gulf,
Drenched in oil,
And some whiny dolphin trainer
Or marine biologist
Who studies this stuff for a living
Says we need to do something,
You turn the dial over
To the golden oldies
The host with his cigar-scrabbly voice
Run through a reverb machine
Reminds you of a time
When all that mattered
Were women’s eyes
And sipping strawberry punch
At the sock-hop
And the quiet girls were sent away
To have their secret abortions
In toilet stalls, border cities, or Mexico,
And everybody knew
But pretended otherwise
And the music stopped
And everybody moaned
And you came out
Cutting it close to curfew
Airing out your button-up shirt
But while you were in there
Coiling and dipping
And eying the cheer-captain
From the rafters
Everybody who did not
Look like you, who was not
Admitted to the dance
Gathered in the lot
And they were holding makeshift signs
And shouting about war,
And you thought: War? His war?
Who’s war? There’s a war?
Then, you changed the channel
But they came through the windows
You plugged your ears,
But it was too late
For preventative measures.
In my mind are the words to solve the most complex riddles,
the most perplexing questions.
If only I could find a way to arrange them in some legible sense.
but nonetheless I struggle.
Bumbling fool with my words.
It’s absurd how I manage to mangle the simplest terms.
Fumbling round and about in a daze,
as if seeking an exit to a literal maze.
I am not a writer.
Nor am I a muse.
My mind full of knowledge and words I can’t use.
How I long to inspire the poet in you,
and prove to you writing is just something I do.
But I struggle and ponder just why is it that I
feel that using that title would be kin to a lie?
I seek and I scramble for words that aren’t there,
till I’m blue in the face and I’m pulling out hair.
I know there’s a word that I wanted to use,
and I think that I thought it but after review,
to decide to seduce you with words you can’t see
would be rather disdainful and callous of me.
I desire to arm you in a literal sense.
at my wisdom’s expense.
My vast recollections and grammatical airs,
ineffectually futile like falling upstairs.
Ironically helping is all that I wish.
Yet I can’t seem to exclude these thoughts and dismiss
the fact that I am not a writer,
nor am I a muse.
The words simply taunt me,
and end up misused.
Duotrope has hosted an interview with The Internet Is Dead which can be found here:
ON THE ROOFTOP, AT NIGHT, I SMOKE A CIGARETTE.
BENSON & HEDGES 100′s.
THERE IS A DOG BARKING ON AN ADJACENT ROOFTOP.
I DISLIKE DOGS; DOGS ARE “STUPID”.
I LIKE CATS; CATS ARE INTUITIVE & RELATIVELY SMART.
I CAN SEE THE DOG’S SILHOUETTE IN THE DARK.
THE DOG IS STARING & BARKING AT ME.
THE DOG BARKS LOUDER WHEN I MOVE.
I WALK TOWARDS THE DIRECTION OF THE DOG.
I PUT MY HAND OVER MY FOREHEAD, WITH THE CIGARETTE POINTING TOWARDS THE DOG, AND I STARE BACK AT IT.
THE DOG STOPS BARKING, AND STARES AT ME DUMBFOUNDED.
“’STUPID DOG”, I THINK.
I POSE LIKE THAT FOR APPROXIMATELY FORTY SECONDS.
THE DOG WALKS AWAY.
I CONFUSED THE DOG’S LOGIC, AND MAYBE SCARED IT
WITH THE RED EYE.
THERE ARE NO CLOUDS.
BETELGUESE SWIFTLY SCINTILLATES.
S I R I U S
CURRENTLY CLOSER TO THE HORIZON.
I SENSE A TELEVISION TURNED ON SOMEWHERE.
SSSSSS Z SSSSSS Z SSSSSS Z
I turn back,
to think about
to think about.
Only moments ago,
light on fire.
its hooked beak
Full text 28: explanation
Prop. 10: Without God, nothing can be brought into being by the positive qualities in things. Neglected? But all things are not asleep. The human mind has regard only to the general advantage.
Prop. 15: Imagine God himself pleasing to all only by means of contingency, who at last comes out victorious, but less than death. We control our lusts, but, contrariwise,
the order of nature is love and high-mindedness. We must gather them both by something
eternal, a passion for eloquence?
Prop. 28: Love passes into love: and love, it is not religion.
Prop. 30: Note with the greatest anxiety that fear cannot be without hope.
Prop. 44: Whatsoever is death is a virtue of conceiving all day about less body, and the virtue of conceiving the emotions.
Proof. Each combatant is seized with part of nature, eternity, to be defined after death before our body is worthy of absolute acquiescence to anything. To refuse them for ways of life is very rare. Conceive another greater body, a body forever.
Prop. 51: To give aid, always conceive another greater body completely vanquished as soon as we form a clear away. Nature is delirious or mad, capable of the greatest number of minds in danger. Ideas are so absurd they think we must rejoice therein, because we cannot distinguish between true and false.
Prop. 64: Explanation: our new therapy has greater power over the order of nature, the fame of others anxiously strives as far as their feeble and infirm spirit allows. They think if salvation be absolutely destroyed with the body, modification is a substitute for meditation, not on death, but possibility.
Prop. 67: Save to that which is being estimated as the greatest, their piety and religion, is his wisdom and a meditation.
Appendix: Nothing but glory whatsoever is eternal.