Going Viral

Perhaps, it is fitting, that going viral

is considered a worthy accomplishment,

a signal of value, a demonstration

of marketing know-how,

evidence of tapping

into the zeitgeist

of a sought after


We live in or regularly visit

a digitally orchestrated kismet where we

consume a snackable feast of imagery, Ted Talks,

and videos of baby rescued raccoons.

Coded mathematical formulae distill our curiosity,  

our pursuit of distraction, our actual or aspirational

consumption, etching them into “unique” fingerprints,

better known as the algorithms

capable of predicting our daily


In Vienna, surrounded by columnar edifice

Freud identified early childhood tension

and pleasure as foundations of who we

might become. Become, that is, if we

can find emotional comfort.

Become, that is, if we do not fall
into one or more psychosexual


Who do you want to be?

Steve Jobs?

Do you want to wear a black turtleneck?
Do you want to think different?

Do you want to join a club that copies difference?

Do our Sunday-go-to-meeting, corporate, and blue collar

uniforms reveal or camouflage our differences?
Do they help us


If wanting springs from being,

we are all Oedipal – wanting what Daddy has.

Dreaming of our own Mar-a-Lago,
a gilded tub, the freshest and finest,

Accompanied by the most exquisite spouse

money can buy. Isn’t having

easier than


Vigilant citizens, does your Hawaiian shirt
derive from your own tropical ancestry?

trigger colonial reminiscences and

boog-a-loo fantasies?

Does it whisper

Bahamas branded bourgeois reassurances?
Or, simply invoke a vacationer’s whimsy

and a bit of élan

after a lifetime

of dreary


Thanks to Madison Avenue

We dropped the Cartesian dichotomy

From Cogito Ergo Sum.

Our preference now

Cogito Ergo


It is easier today, not to think.

Rid of nagging thoughts,

The thinking middleman, woman and child

is free

to act on impulse.

Even better, when we are bored,

“New” Identities are available daily

to the lowest


But, while browsing for brands

and snuggling into our echo chambers

A pathogen was recombining to form

a 125-nanometer

spiky protein

with a unit called a receptor-binding domain

aka…the ability to enter


Whether a zoonotic transfer

from a pangolin, civet, or bat

Or not

COVID binds to us

Irrespective of what we think

Ignoring even that we


How did a face covering of cloth

become the Trojan horse of id and I.D.?

Dividing red from blue

In a false conceit that

guarantees pyrrhic victory

unequal destruction, and



Reed MacMillan, November 28 20
All Rights Reserved.