When I open my email, I feel if I'm shouting into a deeeep canyon, "Hello?" and I don't even get the echo back to keep me company. I get the feeling it's SOBIG.F, the mother of all bandwidth-hogging viruses. Where'd everybody go? Even the spammers are going easy on me. Have the FBI and Rumsfeld disconnected everyone but me?
Has everyone been knocked back into the real world? If so, where are we meeting and what are we supposed to bring with us?
Imagine being one of the so-called 20 computers that the virus sought out as its host. Personal computers, supposedly in people's homes here in the U.S., in Canada, and in Korea.
Imagine the knock at your door.
If you think they'd bother to knock.
"We're taking you down, missus."
"Your PC--please show us where it is. We know it's here."
"YOUR PC--SHOW US WHERE YOUR PC IS AND NOW! JENNA BUSH CAN'T GET TO MTV.COM! BESIDES, THE GLOBAL ECONOMY DEPENDS ON IT!"
"oh. well. um. you mean I'm one of the 20? No. That can't be. All my life I've wanted to win the lottery, but this isn't the right one."
"I'm afriad we got your ticket right here Ms. Sessum."
"Oh. Dear. Well, can I back up some files--I have to get my work files off or I can't send the stuff I have due. It will only take me a couple of minutes. I have a CD burner. Look, you can watch me do it. I have to--my clients are waiting for it."
"I'm afraid not. This computer is now the property of the U.S. Government. You've been infected, and we must quarantine you to ensure this SARS, errrr, I mean SOBIG.F doesn't spread to other unsuspecting victims like yourself or to President Bush's friends in Texas... I mean, global enterprises."
"But I'm an unsuspecting victim. And I have years' worth of work files on this machine--NO PLEASE--don't GRAB it like that!!"
"Woof Woof GRRRRR!" [[ed note: plainted wail of Bando the mutt.]]
"GERRY, GRAB THE WOMAN. TAKE HER DOWN!"
"No, please, I was in the middle of a post. Please just let me finish!"
"Listen, little lady--you may think we're fooling around here, but you got the A-Rabs trying to kill us and those damn Rusians who never got over the cold war--and don't get me started on them 'AfrikanAmerikans' -- don't you see, WE HAVE ENEMIES, and THEY are knocking!"
"But I swear, I'm not the enemy. Please don't take me down--not yet--give me two more minutes! I haven't posted yet! I haven't pressed publi...."
So here we are.
As the uni-directional flood of email conversation crashes into serious roadblocks this week, the voice of blogging becomes even more important. Our words haven't slowed. We don't need no stinkin' cootie shots. The Web's heart is still beating. We're its pulse. We'll keep posting.
Unless, of course, there are more than 20.
Like, say, 20,000,000.