Anyway, we got tired around dinner time and went back to my apartment. Not exactly the On the Road experience I'd been hoping for.
"Hey, Tobey," I shouted from my bedroom before passing out. "Not exactly the On the Road experience I was hoping for."
"Is that a movie?" he called from the couch.
"A book! Jack Kerouac."
There was a pause for a moment. Then: "Christ, how old are you?"
Day 27: RUMORS
We left the apartment early - even earlier than I used to stumble out of bed for work. I was determined that this not be another day wasted. Yesterday produced nothing but unsubstantiated rumors. Some claimed the government had shut off the internet to stop the groundswell of free speech and democracy. I didn't find that particularly compelling in a world where the Right was already kicking ass and taking names in the online public influence wars. Others laid blame on corporate America -- specifically, "fucking Corporate America, man." But none of the rhetoric was particularly compelling, because, let's face it, "the Man sucks," will only get you so far. But by 11 a.m., we found someone who could at least put forth a theory.
He was a former Redditor named Sean. Not an internet zombie. Just an agitated dude, holed up in a downtown Starbucks with a grande and stacks of papers. He must have opened the place because he'd managed to score the corner cushy couch for one. His tiny table was filled with mountains of notebooks stuffed with highlighted clippings. I bet he would have rocked the microfiche back in the day.
I asked Tobey to stand back as I approached Sean, considering that between the two of us, I was the one not wearing a T-Shirt for the failed start up, "vaginalbloodfart.com." (I can't remember what Tobes had planned for content, but he never made it past the T-shirt phase anyway.)
In a hyperdriven voice that shook like the loose flap of a car ash tray, Sean explained how corporate America had always preferred to own things before they destroyed them. Case in point? It was the car companies who bought up all the stock in trolley cars until they had the power to dismantle them, thereby forcing everyone to get a car. When comcast merged with NBC in 2010, that was just the start of the internet resting in the control of fewer hands. It just got worse until it only took a small cabal to shut it down.
Of course, there was only one problem with Sean's theory: it was stupid. Capitalists like to play with their toys and there was no compelling reason I could see for them taking their ball and going home. Not this ball that was wanted by millions willing to pay for it. I explained this all to Sean who continued to stare at his data while sipping coffee. After a moment, he wiped the foam from his goatee and said, "Well, fuck. I don't know. Terrorists then, maybe?"