Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Networked Socialist

The Colonel felt like an old, tired wildebeest, standing a little ways off the migration route, watching the rest of the herd stream past towards the river crossing and wondering "why?". I was standing in a nice patch of grass. This side of the river looked just as good as the other side. Besides, there were beastly dangers and horrors lurking just below the surface of the swollen river. Members of the herd were disappearing in frothy, toothy swirls; but the rest continued to plunge ahead toward the promise of something better. And as they went, their frantic communications became more and more unintelligible. I had been at the forefront of other migratory rushes in years past, but the light of desire to plunge headlong into the unknown was dimming. Still, the light wasn't completely extinguished--there was still a flicker of need for adventure. The Colonel might be as old as dirt, but he hasn't become worm food just yet. So, I took the plunge...

I joined Facebook.

A friend of Number 1 Son summed up the incredulity that most of those who know me must be feeling at this point when he wrote the following on my wall (oh, there is a whole new lingo replacing the acronym-spiced speech of the cold warrior turned money-grubbing capitalist turned blogging farmer): "Facebook and a blog? What happened to the Colonel I used to hear stories about? The angry Marine lecturing a bunch of tech happy Air Force guys on how to use a pencil and paper..."

I replied with the lame "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" excuse. Truth is I've always been a closet techie. The internet sucked me in the first time I typed in a search. That first search--my first plunge into the swollen, crocodile-infested watercourse, some 15 of 16 years ago--returned just three hits. The hits to the same search today, unfiltered, would take a month of Sundays to peruse. But, once I got that first mainline hit of information on demand, I was hooked like no other junkie. Instead of going to the library, the library came to me.

So, now I'm on Facebook. Like a good Marine, I still follow directions to the letter and when the sign-up instructions said to enter my full name, I did: Thomas Edward Gregory. Mistake. Nobody knows Thomas.

If this Facebook thing takes off with me, I might just have to break with five generations of family tradition and start going by my first name.

But, you can still call me The Colonel.
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