Monday, February 10, 1997
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24 Whores in Cyberspace

Geez. Only 24 Whores in Cyberspace?? Coulda' sworn I saw more than that, just at the Wired Ventures site, alone.

Oh well, maybe with only 1 Salami1999 in Cyberspace, you don't need more than 24 whores.

Anyway, the Smiths Institute, or the Smith Brothers Cough Drop Institute, or the Smith Barney Brooks Brothers Institute of Technology, today (or was it yesterday? or maybe even last month? -- hard to say, what with things moving so fast in cyberspace an' all, not to mention all the drugs it takes just to be here), opened their public exhibit based on the coffee table book "24 Whores In Cyberspace" which is about a bunch of photographers running around trying to take pictures of the 24 whores of cyberspace, but when they can't find them, taking pictures, instead, of all the other people looking for the 24 whores of cyberspace.

But this smarmy and meta-antidisestablishmentarianistic exhibit has the same problem as the book it's loosely based on: When you get to the end, you still don't know who the 24 Whores are. In fact, they still might be you or me. Then what?

Ranging from obsequious sanctimony to sanctimonious obsequiousness, these full color photos of various people staring into various computer monitors at various whores, aren't about, like, bits and bytes and Apache servers and HTTP 1.1 and Perl 5.003 scripts. No. They're, like, about the guts and mucus and sinews and pus of the, like, living, breathing, throbbing human condition out there.

These are, like, real people -- not bits and bytes and Apache servers and routers and global variables. Well, OK, maybe these are the real global variables out there.

Cause, by accident somehow, or by design somehow, these are photos of people teetering at the edge of some kinda about-to-be-fucked-up behaviors, but, still, you know, keeping it all bottled up in one big pressure cooker of the soul, staring into monitors, trying to let the 24 whores of cyberspace hypnotize them into not getting shit-faced and hijacking a city bus and driving it around in circles for two hours between the home of their ex-wife and dead baby who committed suicide when they shot her sister thinking it was an intruder or whatever, and the home of their parents where they live now, directionless and permanently unemployed, till the police, who've been playing it cool and following in a long blue line at a respectful distance, finally cut off the bus or wait till it runs out of gas, then wrestle all 250 pounds of them to the ground and hand-cuff their arms, despite their high-pitched screams of violent non-sequiturs to the contrary.

These photographs show that cyberspace is like a bodily function gone awry, spewing out elements that never existed in nature till now.

These are photos of people yearning for a future that will better enable them to live somewhere in the distant past.

People who have the questions to life's wrong answers.

People who own birds that once lived out of the nostrils of buffaloes.

People who deploy personal air bags in crowded theaters just because they "feel like it."

People who haven't seen a possum in months and are now suffering from post-possum depression.

People who must offer a superior value proposition to each of their targeted customers.

People struggling to thread flaccid needles at the bottom of a toilet tank.

People who are only appreciated by their bitterest enemies.

People practising establishment-sanctioned heresies and AMA-sanctioned lunacies and Bill Bennett-sanctioned hypocrisies.

People already writing anonymous, eponymous, romans a clef about the coming HMO bailout scandal.

People whose business objective is to be the strategic choice for network solutions.

People trying to send mission critical applications in the Vertical Blanking Interval.

People who forgot to set their bullshit detectors on stun.

People only peripherally involved in a train crash.

People executing a business model ripped-off from jackals.

People who are sick of trying to convince their former friends and ex-wives that the evolution of a network is achieved in just the same old endless boring struggle between local and global forces -- between massive amounts of money-connectivity and the home turd advantage.

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