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August 28th, 2007

The scrolling images of personal destiny

I find google an amiable companion. It's a bit like the closing of the 1946 play "The Winslow Boy", which I read lately because I like the Donat movie and the Mamet movie which filmed the story.

At the end of The Winslow Boy, the lawyer says to the suffragette something like "perhaps I will see you someday in the gallery at the House of Commons", and she smiles, and shakes his hand, and says something to the effect that he'll see her--but because she'll be across the aisle in the chamber itself. It's a love story without surrender--a peace without subjugation.

Google is like that. Even when you're not feeling inclined to fall into line with its plans, it sometimes convinces you that rather than being a pretty hat in the balcony, it should be right there on your desktop.

I am not sure what google contraption is now perched on the right side of my computer screen, but it's a most intriguing mash-up of images. On top the world news shows.
On the bottom, websites I like, like the software synthesizer plug-in site KVR Audio scrolls up, feed-like.

In the middle, though, is the piece d'resistance. Every few seconds a photo I took or a drawing I made scrolls into a little window. It's like an endless gurdonark slideshow. "There's a picture of Manitoba!" "look! my wife and our infant niece!" "it's a sketch I made!". "Texas bluebonnets!".

They say that the best audience for a weblog is its writer, because, after all, only its writer understands most of the nuances anyway. I'm always slightly amused when people effulgently compliment rather flowery journals, filled with self-aggrandizing statements and odd hyperlinks, as "well written". It's not that I reject the notion of well-written journals. I love them. It's that so often what's real and crucial and alive in journals arises from the sense of "someone at home", or, not infrequently "lights are on, nobody's home, but what a warm fire". Overwrought imagery rarely enters into it, and we're none of us so cool that "look at me, I'm so cool" really floats many kayaks in dry land.

Well, google is not like the flowers, but more like the "somene's at home/no one's at home". Show me images of sunflowers. Tell me about the best sampler for live performance. Feed me business articles about the census. Google knows me better than I know myself, and probably never runs out of gasoline by mistake on the freeway.

When I google myself, I pull up tons of times, but no more than tons of other people.
I like the idea thar reference number 24,348 is fresh and new, if only I could find it, but in fact, I am not sure what my current google count is,really.

But I see Lake Winnipeg's beaches on the side of my screen now, and I'm going for a swim.