As you know our collection of Dorn material includes reminiscences, poems written for Dorn, audio files, and an image gallery. Although Dorn died in 1999 at the age of 70, I sometimes like to imagine how he would view the vast technology changes that have taken place in the last 15 years. Imagine his amazement with the internet of today.
People have easy access to many of his works by a quick search on the web. Would he be teaching classes online? Would he be Skyping with other poets and scholar collaborators and editors.
I think he would embrace all the new technology and what it allows to transpire from the private space of one’s home. From the practical to the frivolous, everything is at your beck and call via the web.
For instance: shopping for janitorial supplies+ that are eco friendly. I shop online at a wholesale / retail e commerce site called Clean It Supply. Originally established to provide discount cleaning products for commercial use, this website now also services many residential customers in search of quality “green” and non green cleaning products to keep their homes clean and sanitized while spending less money. Where I live it’s nearly impossible to find the type of earth friendly cleaning products and paper goods that many people in metropolitan areas take for granted. I would like to think that Dorn would endorse “green” cleaning supplies and the use of the internet to research and purchase them.
Or if he had a granddaughter, perhaps he would have bought her princess costumes for her birthday. I would like to imagine him selecting a particularly pretty princess dress, plus the necessary accessories such as a tiara, gloves, and a wand. And then be able to enjoy his grand daughter’s delight via Skype , watching her dance and twirl in her princess gown sent from Poppa. We sometimes forget the private side of people when we write about their political philosophies and treaties.
Nevertheless since Dorn’s writing was almost always socially and politically oriented, I am sure he would have lots to say on our present stalemated government, changing views towards the gay community, and gambling online, especially harmless fun like slots for US players. The resistance to allowing gambling online in the US is slowly evolving as is evidence from US land based casinos and the monied people behind them racing to get in on the action by pushing state governments to ease restrictions and open up this lucrative market place. The flip flop of legislation or let’s say the “evolving” attitudes that now make online gambling easier for US players is just one example of US politics and money.
As Dorn once remarked: “I take democracy very seriously, but on the other hand, it’s a form of government that you have to change your mind about a lot because its form is protean, and its instinct, essentially, comes from a mob psychology.”