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The Internet as a Dilemma

(whereby I explain, after all, the title or Dilemma as a discussion list)

Secondly, Dilemma’s way of setting-up, with its weekly topics, with a certain opening towards the world that we are getting far from – and I refer to the occidental one – by personal sufficiency and by the anathema put on us, with the possibility it offers to one for free expression of one’s opinions, even the non-orthodox ones, well, this way of setting-up reminds me of a famous discussion list called, for the initiated, "romanians". A discussion list is practically  unlimited, as it is not subject to the issue folds or to a perishing support like paper. Likewise, Dilemma rediscovers the pleasure of the topic analyzed from all points of view, a sort of agora where people are to give us their opinions instead of throwing stones.

From the traditional sausages to Patapievici, any subject will turn into passion, the texts are varying between the doctoral tone of some people and diatribes and may come to urges and incitements such as "I agree" or the extremely profound "Yes". I could recollect memories from those years I have spent on "romanians" and only those who suffer from gutenbergian snobbism might sniff at e-mail. He who is not afraid of insults, bad language and whims, of people in general, may subscribe to listproc@sep.stanford.edu (message text: subscribe<name>). I recommend it especially to those who feel they can write as they like, ignoring grammar and allowing themselves any stupidity and getting away with it.

(whereby I revert to the obsession of the trowel)

Let me return to Dilemma’s issue about the Internet. I enjoyed reading a magazine wherein, for the first time, the Internet is not the Western Satan who is "alienating" our few brain left over from the communist era, a magazine wherein the criticism is more to the point and is written by someone who deals with the Internet in all its glory. I have one objection only to this criticism: are we not offering objectiveness with far too much easiness as if we were in equals (we, from here, and the normal world)? Do not misunderstand me. I do not object to criticism. As any global phenomenon, the Internet is and will be colored in all nuances not only pink, but it is essential to explain, so that we would not be part of the parade of those who utter, with an easy mind, the truism: it is easier to hold a book (or more pleasant). This loosely truism is very much alike the wonderful "we are working, we have no time to think", which could be interpreted as "we, the Romanians, are such intellectuals!"

The effort to facilitate Romanians the access to Internet now seems to me vital important for the understanding the rules of democracy. Otherwise, considering how things happen (see the deposal of ball-pens in front of PNTCD’s premises by the journalists from "Catavencu" magazine), the pessimistically estimated term of 20 more years, is now of an outrageous optimism. The joke about Hyde Park seemed to me a bit too much in this context. To transform a hyperlibrary in a park corner dedicated to touristic curiosities is risking especially when you do not know what it is all about. Total liberty, the laws seemingly transformed into netiquette-like indications, the possible transformation of the individual’s uniqueness into multiplication, all these could be double-edge weapons whose result may sometimes be the extinction of some human beings, but we cannot stop looking for solutions just because (here you find a sum of arguments that you may discover in the Romanian mass-media about Internet). I pathetically come to ask: "Why couldn’t you regard the Internet as, for instance, a simple tool?"

(whereby we return to our main topic)

There is something more. I do not know if you happened to notice how many messages express the joy of having the opportunity to read a Romanian newspaper on the Internet, even before our folks from back home did it. Romania Libera, Catavencu, Romania Literara and, of course, Dilema, are sites automatically added to "favorites" by most of the Romanians that are "on the other side of the fog". The enthusiasm often excuses the small imperfections that are intolerable elsewhere in the world. I think the fact that "Romania Literara" does not publish on the Internet the works of our writers and poets but only literary criticism and articles, is frustrating for the readers ("agora ON line" tries to fill this lacuna with a literary supplement: http://www.aol.ro/Supliment, directed by Geo Vasile. Still, in Romania Literara there is a list of web pages of the literary newspapers. Only that this is just a poor enumeration of addresses, as long as the respective web pages are not presenting anything. Not to mention the updating yet to be done. For instance, have anyone heard about "The Foundation for Poetry Mircea Dinescu"? It could have, but there has been a year since I know this page and it is still "under construction". We may endlessly discuss about the lack of resources but it would not help.

(fireworks ending)

To stop complaining, I shall end thanking you for mentioning us (mistakes and all) in the pages of Dilema, but we would like to point out that in our world, the "virtual" (what an inappropriate word!) politeness would require to also give the address in order to account for what you said:)

And, to go along with the unfair title (the INTERNETionale) I "wish" you: READ agora On line and PASS IT ON !!!

Freindly yours,

Dan Iancu,

Editor in chief of agora ON line

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