This is the thrilling Wonderlandabus known throughout the world as:




You want to know what internetland is?

It is, it’s, it’s,

well, you know how Life is a Fountain is like a great, rambling, mysterious, and ramshackle house that may or may not be haunted, and where there’s a great party that no one has come to?

Internetland is the amusement park ride, in the house, on the third floor, through a trick door behind a bookcase.

And it’s usually broken.






On the other hand, Internetland is about  the world of the Internet, its inexplicable rules, and the way it exists as a separate place.


It’s both, at once!








They’re younger than me, something that has been steadily more true for me at the library I work at for 27 years, and they’d like a library card. That’s not really my ideal activity, but it’s in my bailiwick, and my moral code, and my job description, so I oblige. There are some questions, some data entry, and eventually we come to where I ask them their phone number.


They don’t know it.


They have to go scrambling in their pockets for their phone to find out their phone number!!!!


Young people!


I still know my phone number from 45 years ago! 346-5988. Go ahead and call it. Ghosts will answer. I could tell you the area code, 213 of course, because what else would it be? There were only a handful of area codes in the whole state, and it was a huge state. Most states back then you could know by their area code alone. Certainly any urban area.

But it’s not just my own childhood phone number I still have in my head. I continue to remember Todd’s phone number! Who is Todd you ask. I barely remember, but I remember his phone number. I remember the phone number 347-7472 and I don’t know who it even belongs to anymore! I remember the phone number of my wife and I’s old house. I remember the library’s number from two decades ago, and I can almost remember Larry’s phone number. I was close with him when I was ten, but I am mixing up his number with the Larry I was close to when I was 14, so that one is a bit of a muddle. 

I can remember so many phone numbers from so long ago that I cannot list them all here, and this youth, standing before me, to get a library card, cannot even remember his own… fucking… phone number!!!




That’s okay. I don’t know mine either.









8/12/21: Weird experiment day!

Today I am going through every page I have in Life is a Fountain and adding something hopefully relevant to it from the annals of Clerkmanifesto. It’s my desperate attempt to freshen up everything after being away for a couple weeks. So here you go:


While some of my readers know me on a personal basis, and so know who I am, there are others out there among you who know me only as a presence in Internetland. For all of you, and for all you know, I might be anything. I could be a cat, or a rock, or a river in France. But though I rarely make specific mention of it, being neither embarrassed nor unduly proud of the fact, I am, in fact, a human being. I am of the genus and species Homo Sapiens. I’m a person.

I bring this up now because I am going to talk favorably about trees. And I don’t want you to think “Of course he has a lot of great things to say about trees, he’s probably a tree!”

I’m not a tree.

Not that I would have any problem with being a tree. And not that, if I were a tree, my judgement concerning trees would somehow be suspect. And not that I’m saying that you would necessarily distrust trees in any way.


1. I like trees, and

2. I am not a tree.

Which is not me trying to show that I am some great, magnanimous guy who’s like this bigshot “Friend of Trees” person, or to imply somehow that you don’t like trees when so clearly you do, though of course, maybe you don’t, which would also be okay. I’m not judging you. I respect your feelings on this matter. And I’d like think I could do so even if I were a tree.

Which I’m not. I’m not a tree.

And if it seems like I sure am talking a lot about how I’m not a tree in this piece I assure you that it’s purely a coincidence and not a case of ‘he doth protest too much’. If I were a tree I would no more try to hide the fact from you than I would hide the fact that this blog is now 100 percent underwritten by The Arbor Day Foundation ( 


Oops. I didn’t mean to say that.








I couldn’t think where to put this, but then I thought: The Internetland Page will do:


I read a quote today by Nobel Prize Winner Ed Yong, speaking about vaccines, where he said:


 “It is very clear that misinformation circulates faster on social media platforms than accurate information. We have evidence to show that that is the case,”


And I thought “That is not what I read on Twitter!”


As Mark Twain said:


“The truth can travel halfway around the world while a lie is still getting its boots on.”



Addendum: 7/22:


The credit for this quote almost certainly belongs to belongs to Jonathan Swift and is definitely not attributable to Mark Twain. Nevertheless we stand by the general theme of our post here and are excited about how popular it has become on instagram.


Addendum 7/23:


We apologize for any confusion, but the quote by Jonathan Swift, (not Mark Twain) is more like:


“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still lacing its boots.”


This may change some of the meaning in my above post, but I think the gist of it remains sound.









Something I wrote before I made Life is a Fountain. And I thought I was kidding, although even I can’t tell, maybe I meant it all along…



Two Internets





I may have mentioned a few thousand times here that I don’t like the Internet. Oh, that doesn’t stop me from using the Internet, surfing the Internet, and reading the Internet. But perhaps, if it could, it should. What if every time I felt compelled to look at the Internet I just made some more Internet instead?
Here’s some Internet for you:
I think there should be two Internets. We can have this, the wildly inferior one, full of mega corporations, Russian bots, and people nattering on about Important Things that their paid betters have done, and we can call it The Professional Internet. You will still come to this Internet to buy things and do whatever it is you do now on the Internet.
What do you do on the Internet? Seriously. I mean, besides read this?
The second Internet, the new one, is going to be The Amateur Internet.
No one, but no one will be allowed to make any money on it. No host, no venue, no content provider, no one. It will just be people putting stuff together for the hell of it, like bloody anarchists.

It will be disorganized and crappy. 

It’s going to save the world.

As soon as I get a few free minutes I’ll go start it up.






And I woke up this morning, after a tireless month of building Life is a Fountain, announcing it to the world, festooning it with flowers, packing it with secrets, inviting in everyone I know, making it everything, or almost everything I dreamed it would be, and I realized:


Wow. this was not a success.


Which is what I suspected would happen.


So now I have this weird dream house, too rich and complicated and rambling and changing for the light interest of my tiny contingent of regular readers, I have a maze of “rooms” or pages, I have a place, and I hear the wind blowing outside. The wind of the world.

I think that I have always hated the World of people a little.

And this is the people’s world for sure.

But I have always liked you. 



And I’ve mostly liked the things that I’ve made. Life is a Fountain might be the first one that’s big enough.


In honor of all of this I created the Internetland page.


It’s where you are now.


If you visit it faithfully one day the ride will work, and then…