We, the editors of Wag’s Revue, have been feeling nomadic of late. One of us left Manhattan for a cabin in the woods in Canada; another just moved from a bookish part of Iowa to a bookish part of Brooklyn; yet another finds himself transplanted from Mississippi to the slushy cobblestones of New England. Our contributors to this issue reside in the Midwest, Kentucky, Colorado and beyond, and our featured artist is Chilean. Each issue, our team creates this little magazine across incredible distances, like kite strings converging over some megalopolitan sprawl.
If the Internet is to thank for that convergence (and it is), then we also can’t ignore the paradox inherent in our tethered screens. Franzenian skeptics argue that the Web gives us a simulacrum of connection while actually leaving us alone, half-naked in dim, milkily lit rooms. That virtual drift has also allowed us — both personally and professionally — an ever-widening physical and geographic displacement. We could move anywhere, so long as there is Wifi and a decent coffee shop.
One of our interviewees this issue, John Hodgman, is currently roaming the country on tour, but every time he tweets to his million-fold followers, he is back in familiar territory, telling jokes to friends. Another of our interviewees, the award-winning author Charles Baxter, says he turns his computer screen away when he’s writing. “The big stupid face of the screen staring at you…” he says, “I don’t like that.”
If we’re to be honest, we do. It makes us feel at home. And home sometimes can be a hard thing to find.