(Web) Reality Check
Who knew that a visit to an association’s Web site could result in such an existential conundrum?
I recently received an e-mail from one of the many fundraising blogs I subscribe to, alerting me to the fact that a new post had just been published. Looked interesting, so I clicked on the link. The little beach ball on my monitor spun for a while, and I started to suspect something was awry. When the page finally opened, the navigation tools on the perimeters were there, but the middle of the page, where the blog post should have been, was a big, white pool of nothing.
Then I got it, the message: We’re sorry. You are looking for something that isn’t here.
Damn, that’s harsh — even if they did apologize. I looked at the words for a second, and, as though I was tied to the tracks in the path of an oncoming train, my life passed before my eyes. In a split second, I minced painfully through all of the bad relationships, all of the fad diets, the go-nowhere jobs, the rarely used gym memberships, the how-to books and self-help guides, numerous spiritual and social experimentations, and one ill-conceived attempt at selling makeup door to door.
Then I got all Jimi Hendrix-meets-Virginia Woolf and really started to drift: Oh, like, wow, man … isn’t that how so many people spend their lives? Looking for something that isn’t there? Searching, looking without instead of within? If only we could all be more in-the-moment. Everything would be so much cooler. And really, what is so funny about peace, love and understanding? What an amazing shade of red that new rose in my garden is … dude, when was the last time I ate? And what if the hokey-pokey really is what it’s all about?
By the time I came back to the here and now, I had chucked it all and was running a villa on some Greek island à la Meryl Streep in “Mamma Mia!” (Yeah, I saw it — and I liked it. So what?)
Point being … are all the links on your Web site working properly? They should be.
Intrigue in D.C.
I’m writing this column from the Hilton Washington, between sessions on the last day of the 2008 Bridge Conference in D.C. Lots of cool stuff going on here, as usual. And while I thought that this year’s spy theme was fun, I have to admit that some of the crime-scene décor is a little … well … unsettling. There’s yellow-and-black police tape everywhere, along with some occasional “chalk” body outlines on the carpet. A colleague said to me last night, “I’m from New York … I just look right past that stuff.” Me … I’m from Philadelphia. And I’m sorry — but add a crowd of people eating water ice from little paper cups, and that could be any summer Saturday night in my neighborhood. I’m just sayin’.
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