Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Authentication failure and I

Have I kept secret my relation-
ship with social media? I don't
mean D&B or Dilatory Domiciles,
much less alumni publications.
I mean, as you'd suppose, the
darling upstart industries with
GPS impertinence, which captured
friends I knew once, whom I nev-
er hear from anymore, because I
refuse authentication. Every day,
it's the same distraught message
from the leading app du jour, ex-
claiming that my authentication
has failed, in the belief (I'm 
only guessing) that I should be
sufficiently alarmed to leap in-
to corrective engulfment, to be
ratified as real, as if one's
surgeons, themselves, could not
be trusted to find a heartbeat
without this evidentiary trail.

Not to be pompous about it, it
suits me to dissatisfy entreat-
ies for absorption in this new
standard of trust. I remember
methods that work well enough
for that; and for recognition,
too. I do wish my telephones
would accept this reassurance,
but they persist in urging me,
disturbing me, distracting me
and worse, to immerse myself 
in a daisy chain illusion of
sustaining my relationships.
Not extremely likely, anyway,
that I'd be a fit for any-
one's corsage of intimates.
Who would forget Forster -

It would require a botanist
to do justice to these flow-
ers, but fortunately there
is no occasion to do justice
to flowers.

Oh, yes, indeed. I'm aware of
how much leverage I'm refus-
ing, how much linkage I am
squandering, for the projec-
tion of one's face into the
grand tier - or was it, upon
the stage, my cap's supposed
to be set? O, mirror, mirror,
marry me, at least my merry
effigy, today, lest all of
my society despair of improp-
riety in play. One does feel
somewhat Waldenish at times,
while others seem genuinely 
to thrill to this mindlessly
acquisitive, exhibitionist 
structuring of friendships. 
It lacks the requisite dignity
even for abstention to imply 
characteristic of life, or any 
remark one could intend. 

                  Then the camel will shuffle 
                  up and down, dragging after 
                  him a wooden plough, and the 
                  Bedouin, guiding it, will sing 
                  tunes to the camel that he can 
                  only sing to the camel, because 
                  in his mind the tune and the 
                  camel are the same thing.

E.M. Forster
Pharos and Pharillon
Creative Arts Book
  Company, Berkeley, 1980©

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