Back in Tonga there used to be a phenomenon (I suppose there still is) we called the "coconut wireless" which meant basically that news could travel fast by word of mouth through the bush. The immediacy of person-to-person transmission was interesting, amusing and somewhat mysterious -- how did something travel so fast, if not always accurately, and certainly not in a straight line? It was more like a complicated dominos design dropping tidbits across the whole island of Tongatapu, spreading simultaneously in a dozen, a hundred, directions, vividly representative of the human impulse to "tell."
I'm thinking about the Coconut Wireless this morning as I sign in and realize I'm creating here my own little network of friends whose writing I can see through the new Blogger feature I just added, at right, the "Blog List" including blogs from former Flintoid Gillian Swart, Grand Rapids poet Greg Rappleye, my colleagues Cathy Akers-Jordan, Jim Anderson, tech role model Krista Heiser, and fellow "communards" Teddy Robertson and Dennis "Sporeman" Brown -- people whose lively observations and wit -- whose lives, really, however they write about and depict them -- I find intriguing, stimulating and entertaining.
Last week, feeling lachrymose, I offered a eulogy of sorts for newspapers, but this morning I'm leaning toward a brighter perspective. Some of the channels evolving to replace newspapers are pretty damn terrific, offering intricate and complex ways to say who we are and what it's like to be human at This Moment. We're all in the game, paying attention, reacting, writing poems, taking pictures, venting, griping, celebrating, solving problems, wisecracking, bemoaning, remembering, arguing -- it's amazingly energetic and idiosyncratic. Technology has not led us to the loss of humanity we feared, at least as it's playing out on the Internet. It has proliferated our humanity, opening up a zazillion channels for the individual voice. Is anybody listening to anybody else? Well, I'm at least listening to the folks on that blog roll at the right, and I think they're listening to me. Here's to the human voice -- voices.
Hmm..this Monday morning seems to find me uncharacteristically optimistic. No marine layer here.