For the second time in a short period I have occasion to love my country. The first was when I was leaving Bali, and was stopped at the airport because I didn't have "an exit permit," something I didn't know I had to have. I understood it was an attempt to financially strong-arm me, and realized for the first time what it meant to be an American-- that I had never before been unable to leave where I was. It all worked out(with all I had of cash) but for that moment, at least, I rejoiced in who we are, and what real Freedom means.
The second time was today, when Facebook was up for an IPO. As the bartender at the Mosaic where I am staying, a sweet young man who wants to be a fireman, but they are cutting back on such hirings because California is running out of money like everywhere else, for unimportant things, like education, public safety and health, had no knowledge of the Emperor's New Clothes, I will assume there are those of you out there who could use a refresher course in that great tale-- an emperor has a bullshit tailor who garbs him royally in nonexistent regalia. As he parades the populace oohs and ahhs at its magnificence, till a little boy chirps that the emperor is naked. So it is with Mark Zuckerberg.
As those of you know who know me-- it doesn't take much, you have but to ask, and my truths tumble out-- there are few on the planet, here or gone, with the exception of historical figures without compassion or conscience, that I loathe. But in recent moons my craw(do you have one?) has been stuck with Mark Zuckerberg. The fact that this empty(I am sure he is)putz became a billionaire by trading on people's loneliness, with nothing really to offer, has enraged me, a rage intensified by the fact that I actually know someone of whom I am genuinely fond, who wastes hours of their otherwise clever and touching life seeking connection on that idiotic -- what is it? a page? a layout? a hype?, well, yeah--to no real advantage. My latest trip onto the empty turf that can be this burg(Hollywood) has introduced me to a woman who makes many claims of (professional) connection but I can find nothing out about her. She says she is on Facebook, but under a pseudonym. Huh?
Anyway, I have had this loathing for Zuckerberg since Whitney Huston died and they went to him for a statement, as if he were Walt Whitman on the death of Abraham Lincoln. Just because he'd made billions out of nothing. And it is nothing, and as Walt's favorite, Abe said, "You can fool some of the people some of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time," at least I think that's what he said. As with Benjamin Franklin, the other most towering figure in our great history, I am glad he is not here to see what has become of of our country. The post offices and the libraries he founded (not to mention swim fins) are going out of business. But Zuckerberg prevails.
Not as much as he might have, though. God Bless America.