The Web's Random Logic
A simple Google query leads a Web wanderer to discover an unexpected narrative in the Internet’s cascades of information.
When I heard that Leon Redbone had recently played at the Tralfamadore Café in Buffalo, my old hometown, I went online for details. I hadn’t seen the Panama hat–wearing, string-tie-strung, bantering blues performer in years. I wondered if he still looked like Frank Zappa on diazepam. Googling the name and place produced an inventory that ran for several pages. Redbone’s show in Buffalo was buried deep down the list. At the top was a YouTube video of a herd of Cape buffalo facing off against a pride of lions. This was the “Battle at Kruger” video that a tourist filmed at South Africa’s Kruger National Park in 2004, which went viral when it was posted online and became so well known that the National Geographic Channel picked it up for broadcast a couple of years ago.
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Jeff Porter is the author of Oppenheimer Is Watching Me (2007) and his essays have appeared in Antioch Review, Shenandoah, Missouri Review, Hotel Amerika, and elsewhere. He teaches English at the University of Iowa.more from this author >>