American Values ... Santa Fe Style.
The Internet has made America a dismembered talking head. A place where there can be no truth. It is a bodiless place where real intelligence cannot thrive because intelligence needs the entire complete organism.
In America, this lost souls' room, people struggle for truth through contact with other bodiless minds in a futile attempt at communication. Desperate anonymous people in a desperate land.
Living in the virtual Santa Fe is like living in the "real" Santa Fe ... completely unreal. Disconnected.
Santa Fe, New Mexico has long history. In fact it lives in the past, a revisionist past. The virtual Santa Fe has a shorter history but it is also in complete denial.
Both online and physical Santa Fe, for all the fru-fru reputation and art hype, are reactionary small BIG government places. The other major influences on each are the Catholic Church and the Hispanic culture. The official City name translationed from Spanish not only contains "Holy Faith" (Santa Fe) but that of "St. Francis." But 'Keep the people meek and poor' really should be the City's motto. And in this high desert town J. Paul Getty famous quote is really true ... "The meek shall inherit the earth, but not the water."
Outside City Hall is a statue of St. Francis but inside is the ship's bell from the WWII navy warship the USS Santa Fe. Also inside the City Hall, in the trophy cases that line the corridors of power nestled next to sister city plagues and pictures of the visiting King of Spain are the mementos from the newer USS Santa Fe, a nuclear attack submarine equipped with nuke missiles.
Being the capital of the State, the golden rules in Santa Fe are not only it is more important "who you know rather than what you know" but also even more important "who you are you related to and if they work for the Highway Department."
Governor Bill Richardson chowing down on the Plaza.
Right down the street from City Hall around the corner from the Plaza is the office of the only daily newspapers in town, The Santa Fe New Mexican. Like all newspapers faced with declining readers and revenue the paper has gone online with a digital replica paid subscription version of their paper and a free web page shortened version. On the free site there is a chat room dubbed by the small group of user ... The Lost Souls' Room,. And I am one of the 'Living Dead' that inhabits that space. My name is Cove.
I have had a long history with the New Mexican; their neighbor newspaper on Marcy Street, the weekly yuppie rag The Santa Fe Reporter and the supliment to the right-right Albuquerque Journal published for Santa Fe, the old 'Journal North" now called "Journal Santa Fe". Being a small city, many Santa Fe journalists, reporters, and editors have also had history with all three paper,jumping employment from one to the other.
Reporter Tom Sharpe reads Cove's "Republic de Santa Fe" self-published news flyer.
The last time I saw Sharpe was almost a year ago. He, Stephan Dill and I were outside the offices of the New Mexican on a cool late February day. I had just been escorted out of the building by the City Editor Rob Dean for not only claiming on the paper's own web site that it was allowing Homeland Security cops to pose under assumed names on their chat room but that I had seen Editor Rod Dean's weewee and it was tiny.
"You're crazy" Sharpe screamed at me. "I'm not going to listen to this crap. You're NUTS!"
I watched Sharpe go running into the building as I repeated loudly my question to him for the tenth time "Who's the fat fuck?"
I knew Sharpe didn't know who the fat fuck was that actually followed me, that I believed then, because of a comment I made on the New Mexican's chatroom. But I was making a point to the Wed Editor Dill about the real life set-up and ramifications from a newspaper knowingly allowing some people to post under assumed names including, I was suggesting, employees of the paper and cops.
Until that time Sharpe and I had been pretty good friends ... as much as one can ever be friends with a reporter. We haven't spoken since.