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Do-It-Yourself Reality

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It is with both amusement and no little surprise that I see my colleague, friend, and fellow technophobe David Mamet has actually posted on this blog (I notice Mike Nichols posted, too, but since I know David, I am more comfortable in cyberschmooze mode with him – please don’t be offended, Mike. I liked your work on “Angels In America” very much and hear good things about “Spamalot”).

So allow me to respond to my fellow WGA member: Dave, if the issue is the relative verisimilitude of information one gleans while perusing the internet, let me assure you, that metaphorical horse left the barn eons ago. To wax ontological for a moment, it is my belief that the most salient quality of our era, the one future historians will hang around our collective necks, is that reality has become do-it-yourself. Witness the popularity of Tim LaHaye’s “Left Behind” books. Tens of millions of Americans have come to accept the received wisdom that with the Rapture imminent, fires will swirl through even the best neighborhoods, infidels will burn, and the saved will ascend to the heavenly seat. Okay, fine. Not my reality.

How does this relate to the internet? Among the countless websites administered by a panoply of charlatans, saints, and sports fans, there are those whose worldview we (by which, of course, I mean “I”) can accept as reasonable and so absorb the content of their sites with slightly more credulity than we can that of, say, Matt Drudge. So, while perambulating through cyberspace it is important to have an internal spam filter apart from the one in your computer.