The other internet

Where Life is a Fountain

The best of the more than 3,000 essays I have written in eight years? Try these:



Life is a Fountain springs from all the real and imagined libraries of the World, including one I work in.


Just want to look at the pictures? No shame.  Click below for an endless gallery.



Confused? Lost? Head down to the crossroads to find your way around here.



What’s new here!


I have updated our annual Life is a Fountain Feedback Form. If you scroll down to the bottom of this page  you will find it waiting for you in all its resplendent glory.


It now offers sumptuous prizes and cash gifts even!


I’ve also been getting a lot of famous people at the front desk of my library, like in this picture to the left. There will be a few more posted on the Library Page below, so stamp on it with your mouse thingy if interested.




some new library life pieces, new pictures!

The Library is everywhere in Life is a Fountain, but it has its own specific page too. A few comically leaning pieces have been added recently.


A few new Pages are now signposted!

Over at the crossroads we have now broken ground on several new paths. In non metaphorical terms it means that there are more places to go now from the Crossroads Page.


An actually brand new page!

The Life is a Fountain Food Page is starting out talking about gelato, because I have occasionally been obsessed with it.




A Brief Guide to Life is a Fountain

This is Life is a Fountain’s early period, and as such things may change structurally a bit more often than after they’ve settled down more.  But the basic concept comes down to this:

Think of this page as the grand entry hall, leading off to a variety of other rooms, spaces, or, more technically, pages. There are some shiny things to look at here in the entry hall, but as they become more familiar, and if you have the inclination, you might want to find the parts of the house that appeal to you specifically.

If navigating all this still seems like it’s a bit much, might I suggest heading over to the Life is a Fountain Crossroads. There you will find all the ways clearly labeled, and can make your choice. 

This way, if you like then, to the crossroads.

the crossroads

this week’s book

Or album, art, or movie recommendation

Okay, whatsit?

Hijinks funtime!

Something usually brief and allegedly funny

Oblique sense of humor


More cocktail hours with our irritated friend

Yes, that Dylan

About Us

Life is a Fountain isn’t just a website. It’s, it’s, well, it’s just a website.

But it has higher aspirations!

Do other websites have higher aspirations? No! They don’t. They are content with themselves, and whole, and at peace. This is why the Internet is an almost holy, sacred space where one comes in order to return to oneself and to harmonize with the Universe.

But if you’re not into that, you can try Life is a Fountain. There’s a lot of stuff in here. Look around. No, seriously, there is a lot of stuff here. Stolen, borrowed, rare, dangerous, underachieving, rebellious, ridiculous stuff.




In 2013 we started writing the blog Clerkmanifesto, or, The Clerk Manifesto. We posted to it a shortish essay every day for about eight years.  So there are over 3,000 essays on a wide variety of topics; the library I work at, Bob Dylan, books, music, nature, food, whatever ailment I happen to be suffering from, you know, that sort of thing. It was, as you might naturally imagine, enormously unsuccessful.

So I decided: I can’t be hemmed in by all this smallness. It is time for something

greater. Something wilder, something less successful, more time consuming,

with a bigger, madder, more hopeless dream. 

I needed a Clerkmanifesto 2.0. And that’s Life is a Fountain.


But Clerkmanifesto still exists. Life is a Fountain is made out of it and carries

on its mission.

What is its mission?

I dare you to read enough here to find out!!!!!!!!!!!


No, just kidding. I’ll tell you here. The mission of Life is a Fountain is to replace

the Internet and to vanquish


I hate evil!

And I have a few issues with the Internet as well.

Can I see the original clerkmanifesto?

LIfe is a fountain

There is a man with all the trappings of worldly success. He has much wealth, is accomplished in his field, and happily married. He himself thinks he is happy, until one day he hears a story about the wisest sage, a person of infinite wisdom, who lives far from civilization and is reputed to have all the answers. Learning of this sage causes this man to start wondering about the meaning of his life, indeed about the meaning of life in general. He eventually becomes so restless and unhappy that he resolves to track down this great sage and find out the meaning of life. His quest takes him to every continent. Disasters befall him. He loses everyone he held dear, but still he seeks. With his money nearly gone, his health shot, and the remnants of his youth becoming a distant glimmer, the man hears rumor of the sage he seeks living on top of a mountain in an obscure area of the Himalayas. He travels all over the Himalayas until, a mere shell of his former self, he finds the mountain the sage lives on top of. With his last strength he manages to climb the mountain and, sure enough, at the top, he finds an ancient sage sitting calmly on top of the wind blown peak.

“Oh great sage!” The man says “I have come across many oceans and searched every continent for you. I beg you, will you answer my one question? What, what is the meaning of life?”

“Life is a fountain.” The sage replies.

The man considers. The man is flabbergasted. “I have given up great riches, a happy life, my health, my youth, my family, everything! I have suffered untold hardships and years of privation to find you, and you tell me “Life is a fountain”!!!

The sage looks at him, slightly startled, “It’s not a fountain?”

Experimental button to click


All of writing is a lens.

Most of writing endeavors to be so clear and flawless as to become unnoticeable.

In focus.

Bringing no attention to itself.

Not to be seen, but to be seen through.

That’s not my school of writing.

My school involves a lot of scratching the lens, getting fingerprints all over it, and abruptly shifting the focus so that you’ll say

“Hey, wait a second!”

I apologize.

But if you stick around you might find it’s better than you thought at first.








everything is personal

I was working on the Automated Check In Machine at the library I work at when two of the bins on the machine filled up at once, a major annoyance. I cried out in anger. I took it personally.

There is an all too famous and brilliant bit in The Godfather where Michael says “It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.”

Of course it’s a brilliant bit of cinema because it’s a lie.

Everything is personal.

Everything that touches you, everything you see, everything that ever happens to you your whole life through, it’s all personal.

It’s just not all against you.











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Life is a Fountain Customer Feedback Survey, 2021

Our annual feedback survey for Life is a Fountain. Now featuring elaborate cash prizes and sumptuous gifts!

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Israel Zangwill
Israel Zangwill
2 years ago

Nice place you got here.

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