November 16, 2012

“‘What’s it going to be then, eh?” asked Luke O’Neil, handsome, clever, and not so rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad, who awoke one morning from uneasy dreams on a bright cold day in November when the clocks were striking thirteen, and decided that he would compose the blog himself today, saying, “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is that it’s a truth universally acknowledged that all good listicles are alike; each bad listicle is bad in its own way,” — as in, for example, this post on The Best 100 Openings Lines From Books in StylistUK, a magazine far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the West — “Internet, light of my life, fire of my loins, if I am out of my mind, it’s all right with me,” he thought, scrolling through the list, as it was dark by the time he had signed onto the internet, the screen brightness and the image of the screen’s brightness caught in the pierglass twisted and righted when he entered his office, and again when he shut the door, and he forced himself not to succumb to the series of mechanical actions which had taken hold of him in five years of generating content back and forth: down the Twitter feed, up the Twitter feed, put down his laptop, take his smart phone out of his coat pocket, pick up his tablet, punch in his Word Press password, cross over to the Google reader, scan the morning headlines, open a new window and start reacting to the things other people had written, and soon he came upon a quote that brought it all together:  “If content be the food of the internet, blog on, give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, the appetite may sicken, and so die.”

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