O whatever God or whatever ancestor that wins in the next life

i pray let me be an artifact of use.

If you have been on the internet for a long time—say 25+ years—and even if you started being on the internet from the relative distance of a tiny island in the Caribbean with a 14.4 modem and Windows 3.1, you will have been exposed to certain names. Lessig. Ito. Le Meur. Cerf. Mullenweg. Swartz (rest in peace, Aaron). spez. kn0thing. Dash. Brown. Uber.nu (“better than you, daily”). reddit. CreativeCommons. WordPress. Blogger. Odeo. LiveJournal. DiaryLand. Pitas.

Later, much later, you will realize that you grew up wanting to be like those men and build products and companies and services and brands like those men and later than that perhaps you might pause and wonder why there were no women among those names, and you will wonder what happened to those women, what was happening to those women, what those women might have built, what those brands and services and companies and products might have been if women had been at their helms.

Even later, as more and more of those names resurface, you will realize what happened to those women, what was happening to those women, what is happening to those women. You will realize who happened to those women.

And it begins to dawn on you that the stories were all myths and the epics were all narrated by the villains and the history books were written to rewrite the histories and that so much of what you thought defined excellence merely concealed grift.

So then you find yourself asking: what is worth saving?

Perhaps you even begin to realize that is the wrong question. Who is worth saving? And what graven images do we need to burn down to get there?

And so, as ever, onward into the now.

Attribution:

O whatever God or whatever ancestor that wins in the next life
i pray let me be an artifact of use. let all my poems be
bowls or thrones or hairpieces or marriages.
let everything i make, if it should survive, tell the next world
mine were a people of faculty & faith. let them know
we were a race who prayed with our legs & sweat.
let them know that even when we are just art
we were here
& we still are.

— from "which art? what fact?" by Nate Marshall


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