Monday, November 14
Like usual I’m at the bar; I brought a laptop this time. Some football is happening on TV. Old guys bullshitting, etc. I waited too long to eat and I’ve been reading the internet all day, so my head hurts and I can’t think straight enough to program. I guess that leaves writing.
The part of the internet I know how to see is a wall of text right now. It feels like you could scroll for a hundred years. It’s nearly all got a kind of hallucinatory, half-drugged quality to it. I scan through take after take and my eyes glaze across most of the sentences. There is a kind of systemic shock on display. People are trying to order the world by reading and writing, and the new arrangement of the world resists ordering.
In other views on the network, I imagine you can see a kind of deranged elation. If there’s coherence anywhere, I don’t know how to find it.
At the bar the old guy on my left shouts GOD BLESS AMERICA TODAY across me to the guy on my right and tries to draw me into an argument about whether God exists. The guy on my right and the bartender engage in some friendly dialog about how upset the people in his office were the other morning when he brought in donuts to celebrate. They’re status quo people, he explains. Afraid of change. The bartender expresses contempt for people who say they don’t know what’s happened to this country on the internet.
Several feet down another old guy is hassling a woman who voted for Trump about how Trump will be convicted under RICO any day now. He must say “RICO” twenty or thirty times. People are talking about demonstrations and how once upon a time they got arrested for protesting after Kent State. I can’t really read what they think about the current state of affairs. After a while I stop trying so I can focus on finishing my beer and leave without looking too much like I’m in a hurry.
There are no conversations that don’t seem to be at least implicitly about the election.