Friday, May 4, 2018

Lauren Scharhag writes


My finger is sore from clicking the refresh button.
So far, I’ve gotten zero page views. I’m shouting my dreams
in a crowded room, but I forgot to include an eye-catching image

such as leaked tit-shots of a famous actress or a three-toed sloth
that can play the guitar, and my number of downloads
is also sitting at zero. Blue light waves permeate and convey

my dreams across airports, hotel lobbies, museums, coffee shops,
where they will slip unnoticed as the sign politely requesting
no cell phone usage in the area. The world

has become a glass house we all throw stones in. The world has donned
a tight-laced girdle of glimmering fiber optics, determined to be small enough
to span with your hands. The squeeze

has permanently altered the placement of its organs, and our
desires have been altered with it, scrambled and shrunk
to the minimalism of thumbs-upping and smileys,

starring and hearting, pinning infinite wish lists, praying for free shipping.
This is the place where we come to hawk our dreams
like old-timey hucksters on street corners,

touting their authenticity, since they are, after all,
locally-owned. Because this is the Internet and the Internet
is the world. So that makes everything you manufacture,

by definition, local. My finger is bloody and raw
from hitting the refresh button. So far, I’ve counted no followers,
elicited no comments. It wouldn’t matter if it was someone I’ve never met,

or someone I have met and haven’t seen in fifteen years. When the world gets small enough
we can dispense with the temporal. You can tell because yesterday
I took tea with Carl Jung and discussed the significance

of the steampunker archetype and our OKCupid results.
We invited Caligula to ogle Rockabilly girls in June Cleaver pearls with us,
then we all got drunk and went to get matching tats with Tesla.

That never happened though, because
pics or it didn’t happen, and I left my camera in the car.
Is it any wonder that my number of hits is still zero,

that all my digits are zero, even though these dreams are artisanal,
these dreams are organic, these dreams are non-GMO. These dreams are
whatever the buzzword of the moment is, and they’re filled with words and buzzings,

like this phone, where no messages await me, but I’ve stored
over five hundred pictures of my broken and abused fingers on it, because
it’s impossible to exhaust these devices. I might pass out

from the pain of it and hallucinate myself
into a photo, perfectly composed, touched-up and filtered,
in a city tableau at dawn, so my virtual friends can see

how perfect my life is. I can convince them of it. Apparently,
my dreams aren’t worth pirating though, because
they’re the same as everyone else’s. And yet,

this is the place where we vie, hiding behind screen names
and avatars, snug and smug in our anonymity.
We elbow each other out of the way to lean over a pool of pixels

and fall in love with our selfies, except there are no
passionate nymphs to mourn our single-mindedness, no daffodils
to mythologize our ardor. And yes,

we can buy this original Lalique fish fountain
for nearly a quarter of a million dollars, or autographed memorabilia
from our favorite dead people, like Joe DiMaggio and John Lennon

and Princess Di. We can have a vendor in Japan overnight us
this rare case of Crystal Pepsi, or purchase a genuine Rolex replica.
I’m sure your shopping account will have better suggestions

based on your browsing history, or else
you can just click the random button. Meanwhile,
my newsfeed tells me there are 800 million people who belong

to the nation of the unfed, that melting death
is creeping out of West Africa, and I think, for stories like that,
it’s worth hitting the share button, don’t you?

And if it were possible to have a lower number than zero,
that’s how many page views I’d have at this point,
a record of the world’s supreme indifference. My voice sounds

just like a million others, confiding everything to our dauntless confessor,
making inquiries of the Oracle whose name means a hundred zeroes,
rolling our messages into little cyber bottles

to chuck into the cyber sea. Our raised voices are
a blank check the universe has no interest in cashing,
since not every life is worth the world-wide witnessing

and it’s the spam filter for your dreams,
and mine.

Image result for zsooofija sloth

 -- zsooofija


  1. Beginning in 1919 Carl Jung posited archetypes as the psychic counterpart of instinct: universal, archaic patterns and images that derive from the collective unconscious, inherited potentials which are actualized when they enter consciousness as images or manifest themselves as behavior. They are autonomous, hidden forms which are transformed once they enter consciousness and are given particular expression by individuals and their cultures. History, culture, and personal context shape these manifest representations, giving them their specific content. In Jung's words, "the archetype is the introspectively recognizable form of a priori psychic orderedness." In Greek "arche" signifies beginning, origin, cause, primal source principle, but also the position of a leader, supreme rule, and government; "type" means blow and what is produced by a blow, the imprint of a coin, form, image, prototype, model, order, norm.
    In 1987 K. W. Jeter coined "steam-punks" to describe the kind of science fiction he wrote that incorporated technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. As a genre, steampunk focuses on an alternative history of the 19th century or a future in which steam power has continued to be the dominant technology. From science fiction "steampunk" has expanded as a term to describe the artistic styles, clothing fashions, or subcultures that have developed from the aesthetics of Victorian-era fiction, art nouveau design, and films from the mid-20th century.

  2. In 1999 Harvard University students Chris Coyne, Christian Rudder, Sam Yagan, and Max Krohn created TheSpark website, which included various humorous self-quizzes and personality tests, including the Match Test based on the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator, developed in 1944 by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers, based on Jung's conceptual theory of 1921 which identified 4 personality types. Within a few months TheSpark also included SparkNotes study guides for various subjects, which soon became a separate website. Then the 4 Harvardians developed SparkMatch, allowing registered users who had taken the Match Test to search for and contact each other based on their scores. They sold TheSpark to iTurf Inc in 2000, and Barnes & Noble bought SparkNotes in 2001 to replace its traditional "CliffsNotes" series. In 2002 they renamed SparkMatch "OkCupid," which became one of the world's top dating sites and was sold to InterActiveCorp's division in 2011.
    Caligula ("little soldier's boot") was the nickname of Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus acquired when, at 2 or 3, he accompanied his father's military campaigns. As Roman emperor he acquired a reputation for cruelty, sadism, extravagance, and sexual perversion before his assassination in 41.

  3. June Cleaver was the idealized suburban mother portrayed by Barbara Billingsley in "It's a Small World" episode of "Studio '57" and the resultant American TV series "Leave It to Beaver" (1957-1963), the 1983 telemovie reunion "Still the Beaver," and "The New Leave It to Beaver" (1985-1989). She wore a pearl necklace in almost every scene, even if engaged in gardening or doing housework. The series never reached the top 30 in the Nielsen television ratings or won any awards but is regarded as among the best TV shows of all time.
    In 1973 Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen took a gene from a bacterium that provided resistance to the antibiotic kanamycin, inserted it into a plasmid and induced another bacteria to uptake the plasmid, thus enabling the bacteria to survive in the presence of kanamycin. This was the 1st genetetically modified organism (GMO). Boyer founded Genentech, the 1st genetic engineering company, 2 years later. In 1974 Rudolf Jaenisch introduced foreign DNA into a mouse embryo, creating the 1st transgenetic animal. Michael W. Bevan, Richard B. Flavell and Mary-Dell Chilton made the 1st genetically engineered plant (antibiotic resistant tobacco), and Calgene became the 1st company to commercially produce a genetically modified food (the Flavr Savr tomato). The 1st synthetic life form, the Synthia bacteria) was created by the non-profit J. Craig Venter Institute in 2010.
    René Lalique founded a jewelry firm in 1888 in Paris and began featuring glass works in 1905. Already famous for its Art Nouveau jewelry, the firm became renowned for its glass art, including perfume bottles, vases, and hood ornaments. Lalique also created glass-themed interiors for the "SS Paris," France's largest liner when it was launched in 1921, the "SS Île de France" in 1926 (the 1st completely Art Deco designed ship), and the 1935 "SS Normandie," the most powerful steam turbo-electric-propelled passenger ship ever built, as well as various buildings in Shanghai and Los Angeles, and the Glass Church" in Millbrook, Jersey. When René died in 1945 his son Marc transitioned to the production of lead glass ("crystal").

  4. "Joltin' Joe" DiMaggio was one of the greatest baseball players. He spent his entire major league career (1936-1951) playing center field with the New York Yankees; he made the All Stars every year. His 56-game hitting streak in 1941 is still the longest in history and was frequently referenced in Ernest hemingway's novel "The Old Man and the Sea." After his retirement he was married for 9 months to film icon Marilyn Monroe in 1954 and was ready to remarry her before her death in 1962; for the next 20 years he had a 1/2 dozen red roses delivered to her crypt 3 three times a week, and in 1999 his dying words were "I'll finally get to see Marilyn."
    In 1956, 16-year-old John Lennon founded the Quarrymen in Liverpool, England. In 1957 Paul McCartney saw their 2nd performance and joined the band, followed a few months later by 14-year-old George Harrison. They frequently changed the band's name before settling on the Beatles in 1960. As they were making their 1st record they were joined by Ringo Starr in 1962, and the quartet became the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music. In 1966 he met Yoko Ono at her avant garde conceptual art exhibit in London and became lovers by 1968. In 1969 they married and began recording together, staging public protests against the American war in Vietnam (such as a week-long Bed-In for Peace during their honeymoon, and combined political activism with performance art and free jazz. He also added Ono as his middle name. The Beatles finally disbanded in 1970, although they had mostly stopped performing in 1966 and recording together in 1969. All 4 Beatles continued with successful solo careers, though "Whatever Gets You thru the Night" (1974) was Lennon's only American #1 solo record during his lifetime. He was murdered in New York in 1980.

  5. Diana Spencer, the daughter of the earl of Spencer and distantly related to prime minister Winston Churchill, married Charles, the heir to the British throne, in 1981. They divorced in 1996. One of the world's most celebrated women due to her charity work and charm, she became universally known as "Princess Di." However, only women born into the royal family can carry the "princess" title with their name. She died in a controversial car crash in Paris in 1997.
    North Carolina pharmacist Caleb Bradham developed a soft drink recipe in the 1880s and named it Pepsi-Cola in 1898. He created the Pepsi-Cola Company in 1902, but the firm went bankrupt in 1931. Charles Guth of the Loft candy company bought the recipe and trademark and reformulated the syrup and revived the product by selling it in the soda fountains at his candy stores and restaurants. In 1941 he rebranded his Loft entity as the Pepsi-Cola company, and in 1965 it was rebranded as PepsiCo. The firm developed a clear caffeine-free cola in 1992. Alarmed, its chief competitor Coca-Cola introduced Tab Clear at the end of the year and billed it as "sugar-free" in order to confuse customers into thinking that Crystal Pepsi was also a "medicinal" diet drink; unlike Crystal Pepsi, it contained caffeine, and it was sold only in cans rather than clear bottles. Coke's chief marketing officer Sergio Zyman later bragged that Tab Clear was an intentionally "suicidal kamikaze" campaign to create an unpopular beverage that would destroy the rival product's popularity. "Pepsi spent an enormous amount of money on the brand and, regardless, we killed it. Both of them were dead within six months."
    Rolex is the world's largest luxury watch brand, making 2,000 per day. Alfred Davis and his brother-in-law Hans Wilsdorf started the watchmaking firm in London in 1905. They imported Swiss movements, put them in expensive cases, and marketed them to jewelers who put their own brands on the dial. In 1908 Wilsdorf registered the "Rolex" trademark, derived from the French "horlogerie exquise" (exquisite clockwork); he thought the name sounded like a watch being wound, was easily pronounceable in many languages, and its name could be written symmetrically since all its upper-case letters are the same size and short enough to fit on a watch face. In 1914 Kew Observatory awarded a Class A precision certificate, a distinction normally granted exclusively to marine chronometers, to a Rolex watch. In 1919 the company moved to Switzerland due to high wartime taxes on luxury imports and export duties on silver and gold. The company introduced the 1st waterproof wristwatch in 1926 and began selling self-winding watches in 1931. During World War II, Royal Air Force pilots bought Rolex watches to replace their inferior standard-issue items, but if they were captured their guards confiscated their watches; Wilsdorf promised to replace them without cost until the end of the war. The Explorer model was developed in 1953 for use on rough terrain, including that year's 1st summitting of Mt. Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.Pan Am Airways commissioned the company in 1954 to provide dual-time watches to facilitate astronavigation during long flights. In 1960 Rolex made a water resistant watch that was attached to the side of the bathyscaphe "Trieste," which was the 1st manned vessel to reach the bottom of the Challenger Deep in the Mariana trench, at 11,000 m (36,0000 ft) the deepest place in the ocean. Wilsdorf died later that year, his shares passing to the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation to donate a share of the company's profits to charity.

  6. In 1920 Milton Sirotta, the 9-year-old nephew of Columbia University mathematics professor Edward Kasner coined the word "googol" to describe 1 followed by 100 zeros. Sirotta also suggested "googolplex" as "one, followed by writing zeroes until you get tired." In 1940 Kasner and James R. Newman popularized the terms in "Mathematics and the Imagination" (1940). In 1998 Stanford University doctoral students Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded the search engine company Google. They had theorized that a search engine that analyzed the relationships among websites would be a better system than those that merely ranked results by counting how many times the search items appeared. In 2004 the firm moved to Mountain View, California, and nicknamed its new headquarters the Googleplex.


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