After the storm

Like the American military who killed all those kids at Waco, I think I’ve gone too far. In my haste to get the job done, I’ve metaphorically trapped all my old school friends—among many others—in a Texan-themed facebook compound and then set fire to it, leaving no survivors. And not a single David Koresh among them to ease the guilt. (Although there were at least two people I knew of who were members of the English Defense League, who I can use as stand-ins.)

But what can be done? Nothing, that’s what. It’s like an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm—any attempt at reparation can only make things worse. (A really bad episode, of course, where nothing of any significance happens, and all you see, for 30 minutes, is me clicking on a mouse and sweating.) Nobody’s going to re-befriend a spineless, belly-crawling wretch like me anyway. I’ve made my corpse-ridden bed, and now I’m going to have to play Scrabble in it.

All this really shows, of course, is the extent to which facebook has replaced our—or do I mean my?—ordinary socialisation. Although I’ve said much to the contrary, I haven’t actually killed these people—they’re still roaming about the planet quite happily … probably—so it’s odd that I should feel uneasy. I did tell a friend about a couple of the deceased, though, and he was genuinely shocked at my callousness, which shows that there is real significance accorded to these virtual friendships. (Baudrillard would have a field day.)

Maybe I’ll just see if they’re on Twitter instead.


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