Monday, June 21, 2010

Wireless Camp

During last Saturday evening’s broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion, Garrison Keillor presented a skit called “Wireless Camp.” This latter-day Erewhon for luddites proposed an end to the Internet, Facebook, and all forms of electronic networking. During the course of a stay at the camp, which is essentially a rehab clinic, those in recovery learn to write and spell and read books again, and actually participate in conversations with real people instead of avatars on Second Life or cybernetic faces created in digital fantasy land. The only problem with the skit, whose humor was too true to be good, is the title. “Wireless” sounds a little too close to “Wi-Fi,” syllables tantamount to “Bar” for an alcoholic. But when will people really start to go to islands where the Internet is embargoed, and those who wish to can be freed from the obligation to be Linked In?  If alcoholics go to detox to dry out, will there be places where the frazzled Internet surfer retires to be freed from the prison of connectivity? If "Macbeth does murder sleep," then MySpace murders solitude, giving the illusion that there’s no point in being alone. Keillor should find a more apt name for his “Wireless Camp” and advertise it as an actual event on Facebook.  Ironically, he might be able to fill enough beds in his camp to let him drop the Ketchup Advisory Board as a sponsor of A Prairie Home Companion, a latter day Grand Ole Opry, which is nothing short of revelation.

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