Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Thank you, Norman Reedus
(Lost Corners of the Internet)

Note: I have updated the text of this post, but the images and embedded tweets cite my transgender son Ashar's deadname. I'm not sure of any obvious or ideal way around this but am very open to revising the post again in the future.

Norman Reedus, star of The Walking Dead, went out of his way this morning to do a really sweet thing for my son Ashar. Earlier this month, he had spinal fusion surgery to address severe scoliosis, and it's been rough recovery thus far, with precisely the ups and downs you might imagine would follow such a procedure. He's been a super trouper, courageous and hard-working, and has battled through the pain as the recovery has progressed.

But it's nice to get an extra boost here and there. And he got a huge one this morning when Reedus, his favorite actor by a country mile, gave him a shout-out on Twitter (shown above) and Instagram.

I bring this up not to crow, brag or engage in celebrity worship, but because — as I've mentioned often — I'm genuinely interested in how certain elements of our online culture, and specifically social media, will be preserved for the ages. This was A Moment for Ash. But it's not like he received an autograph in the mail or Davy Jones knocked on the front door to visit and pose for photographs with the whole bunch of us. Norman's nod to Ashar was an exchange that existed entirely in cyberspace.

I'm certain Ashar and other members of Generation Z will come up with their own preferred and innovative methods for preserving and "scrapbooking" the ephemeral digital moments that are important to them. This middle-aged guy, meanwhile, is just going to handle it as he always does, through blogging, screenshots and printouts.

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