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August 12, 2003
"Call me late if you want," I typed. "I'm right by the phone."

"How late is 'late?" Matt typed back. "'Late' for me is 3am."

Oh. I had forgotten the difference in our ages. "Call me at eleven."

Matt and I have never met face to face. He has just finished several months of work creating the Geranium Farm's website. He has walked me patiently through the process, answering the same question again and again with admirable forbearance.

"I think everybody got six eMos!" I write in a panic. "Make sure you only press 'send' once," he writes back kindly. "Send the next one to me and I'll send it out for you, just to be sure everything's okay."

"Why do I have Webmail again? What am I supposed to do with it?" Matt has told me before, but I keep forgetting.

"It's more professional," Matt writes. "Your eMo comes from the Geranium Farm, rather than just from your personal account. It builds brand recognition."

Cool. The Geranium Farm is a brand, like Drano. Matt has a brand, too -- Matt and I have brands. His web design company is called "Big Huge Productions." I think Matt is about my daughter's age -- she used to work for a publicity firm called "Big Hassle Media."

I like this generation. I like their sense of humor: their friendly mockery of the commercial universe in which they were raised, their poetic approach to speech and its rhythms, their bold mingling of visual images. Aside from my fears for the future of punctuation, I think the language is in good hands.

And their mastery of these machines. They seem to have been born knowing how to use them. I think we have a different kind of human being in them, a new kind of person -- almost a new species. So fast, so indifferent to boundaries of geography, language and even of time that we always thought immutable. They can go anywhere.

And they are not nearly as concerned to reject the past as their parents were in the 1960's. They are not imprisoned by it -- neither by the past nor by the present. They move through everything with interest. Interest in each other, in the world, in what they can do. Interest in love. Interest in family. Interest in God. Interest in God does not seem to them to rule out any of these other interests -- they are hospitable to them all.

I like them more and more all the time.
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