A 21st Century Howl
“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by…”
~ opening line of Howl by Allen Ginsberg
What sphinx of algorithms and data bashed open their skulls?
Moloch! Facebook! Moloch! Twitter! Moloch!
Moloch who promised an egalitarian utopia!
Moloch who makes our friends! Moloch who gives us followers!
Moloch who demands likes and shares!
Moloch who whispers FOMO!
Moloch whose eyes are cellphone cameras! Moloch whose ears are smart speakers!
Moloch whose blood is intimate information!
Moloch whose heart is advertising!
Moloch the deceiver! Moloch the marketer of outrage!
Moloch who prods lambs to electric anger!
Moloch who herds sheep to capitol riot!
We’re tracked by Moloch! We’re tagged by Moloch!
We’re fed into a cold database by Moloch!
We’re shredded to statistics by Moloch!
We gave Moloch our rapt attention! We gave Moloch our waking lives!
We broke our backs lifting Moloch to Heaven!
Time to let go.
I’m not sure if one needs to know Allen Ginsberg’s masterpiece, Howl, to enjoy this poem. I intend to pay homage and to update, specifically to the second section, where I steal some lines outright.
If you haven’t read Howl before, let me know if this work on it’s own and then go read Howl!
If you have read Howl before, is this just a cheap knock-off?