The forwards of the electoral frenzy were not brief, but they somehow opened the way for the forwarding of vast attachments of immense articles about everything from foreign policy to densely reasoned philosophical tracts proving something or other. It was bad enough in this country, but it's the World Wide Web, God help us, and the forwards started originating in other countries as well, first a trickle, then a flood. From Romania alone there came into my groaning mailbox hundreds of brilliantly argued attacks and defenses, ad hominem and ad canem, ad hoc and ad absurdum, about issues felt passionately in Bucharest. Between the passions of forwarding Americans and the passions of forwarding Romanians I felt like a vast field on which demonstrators for every cause marched and erected barricades, made speeches, raised fists, and fluttered flags and hankerchiefs.
The infinite dumping ground for forwards that my computer had become soon reached a critical point and I hired two people to delete them as fast as they arrived. The folks who found their mission in life through the radical act of forwarding didn't stop. They were now addicted to this form of citizenship and they continued to forward, but the temperature of their passions and the obviousness of the rightness of their cause diminished considerably. From forwards calling for the heads of our leaders we are down now to calls for supporting people who talk their heads off in filibusters. It's been a long decline in forwards from revolutionary fervor to muted growling. Let's face it: forwarding protest isn't as satisfying as being arrested for it. Forwarding is not the same as bleeding.