Futility, Loneliness, and Death, Oh My!

You have to give Morris Paynch credit. Way back in 1989, well before the Internet was a household word, the Canadian playwright had the foresight to imagine Friendster. Witness this exchange, taken directly from the text of 7 Stories, Paynch's 1989 one-act play currently being staged by Rocketship Productions at 78th Street Theatre Lab: Percy: "I wouldn't have a single friend. As it is now, I have nine hundred and forty."

Man: "Friends?"

Percy: "Yes."

Man: "You have that many friends?"

Percy: "Yes. Isn't it fabulous? People are always saying, 'I can't COUNT the number of friends I have!' When what they actually mean is that they only have a handful. Maybe two, three hundred. But I can, and I've got nine hundred and forty."

Man: "I didn't think it was possible to be intimate with that many people."

Percy: "Who said anything about being intimate? I couldn't care less about most of them."

Sadly, this prescient view of a socially networked future is the deepest insight the play has to offer. The inability to communicate, ennui, alienation

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