Tuesday, August 21, 2007


This picture by Mr. Irish shows you exactly the sort of wry humor that he is capable of. To see some more of his work, go to Honeychunks. I've got hanging in my own art hallway, one of Dann's works myself.


The following is a letter I sent off to Newsweek magazine which was generated by an extended piece they did on Facebook:

“One of the saddest most incomprehensible claims to arise out of your Facebook article was the statement by one of your respondents that he has 1,042 “closest friends.” How does anyone make time to personally get to know a thousand people on the one on one basis required for real friendship? I’m a 69 year old blogger myself, and I’ve poked around in some of these social networking sites. I’m astounded by the long lists of friends that participants claim to have. Many bloggers are obviously performing to attract attention rather than to develop close personal ties. A lot of what appears on Facebook and elsewhere seems to be the, "hey look at me I need attention" sort of relationship that one finds hollow and unrewarding in real life.

“I think one’s close friends are people who are physically close, people who one actually talks to face to face or has known personally for extended times in the past. I admit to emailing and phoning old friends who are now physically distant, who I haven’t seen in many years, but our friendships are still based on close past personal experiences, and we try from time to time to actually get together. Somewhere in the past, I came across the statement by a social commentator that one is lucky if he can claim one or two really true friendships in his whole life. I think I can count, perhaps, five close friends myself, maybe a few more. People I really trust with the facts rather than my performance piece, and the older I get, the less range my performances have.

“I’m honestly puzzled by this internet friendship phenomena. I wish someone would explain to me the huge psychological shift by which someone can imagine he or she has thousands of personal friends. Making friends face to face, as I know it, is such a daunting risky enterprise. Is the fact that website friendships don’t have to risk personal encounters that allows people to imagine they have more friends than they do? Is it social naivetĂ© on their part or have I missed something along the way? Has the definition of “close friend” radically changed?”


Because I happen to be reading, as I told you, On The Road for the many such time, I came across this passage. Cassady has showed up from California at Kerouac’s brother’s house in Virginia at Christmas 1948. They are involved in moving furniture and Jack’s mom from Virginia to New York. Kerouac says as they bop into New York, “He [Cassady] said we were a band of Arabs coming in to blow up New York.”

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