inessential by Brent Simmons


Mini Frontier Tip: The Close/Hide Windows command in the Server menu is very useful when you have a bunch of windows open and you want to close them all.

Gray nose hairs? I don't think so. Where's the rewind button?

When I was a kid I thought we were winning the war against bugs. For a few golden moments I thought we almost had them. But now I see it was a holding action at best.

I mean actual bugs. Ants and spiders and whatnot.


There are no celebrities on Mars.

It's like we're in a fishbowl, all us Americans are fish, doing our fish work, having fish babies, and outside the bowl looking in are the giant faces of celebrities. We worship them. How could we not worship those giant faces?

The faces -- from Brad Pitt to Bill Gates -- they're watching us, trying to figure out what we like, so they can make more of it, so we can ship our fish money out of the bowl and into their hands. But what we really like, no, what we really love, is them, just them, give me more of the faces watching me so I may watch them.

It's a bargain we've made. We ignore certain things happening in the fishbowl, but in return -- well -- in return, the faces, the powers behind the faces, they don't let the water get too murky. So we like that too. Even if we can't hardly move or breathe, the lines of sight are clear, we can look outside at the celebrities, at the big faces watching us, and love them.

The Web, the great achievement of the Enlightenment values I hold most dear -- democracy, literacy, freedom of information -- even the Web, no surprise, is pressed into service. The saddest thing of all may be the celebrity porn sites, where they graft the head of a celebrity onto John and Jane Doe sex worker's bodies.

Watching people doin' it isn't enough -- oh no -- you can't get off unless you see the face of Britney Spears.

I wish to become a super-famous critic of celebrity culture.

I bet you clicked on the link to Britney Spears. (I would have.)

I'd like to say the problem of celebrities is urgent and that we all should mobilize immediately. But that would be a cruel lie, a mean joke. It's way way way too late.

Instead, let me be the first to welcome you to the New Middle Ages. Thanks for coming, and I hope you enjoy your stay.

Pun intended.

I'm going to watch Survivor tonight. I really like that show. I am most definitely not kidding.