Too Needy By Far

Now playing: “Hollow As a Bone,” by Cowboy Junkies.
“If I lost you now,
I would feel as hollow as a bone.”

Google plans to build an ultra-high-speed-broadband system somewhere in the U.S. But the California-based search engine wants some love first. And cities across the country have been lining up to declare their undying devotion. In North Carolina, I’ve read about efforts in Greensboro, Lenoir, Asheville, the Triangle and Hickory.
Everyone craves love and affection. Heck, I wouldn’t be writing this blog if I weren’t needy, too.
But its kind of weird of Google to do this. This is the same secrecy-obsessed outfit that until recently wouldn’t even identify its data centers. (I know, I co-wrote and edited an article, “An Engine for Change,” on Google’s data center in Lenoir for the North Carolina Economic Development Guide published by my old magazine, Business North Carolina.) As Herbert Greene, former chairman of the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners (Lenoir’s home county), once told me: “We were a lot prouder of Google than Google is of us.” Google was happy, however, to take all kinds of tax credits and rebates from the state and local authorities, and it later relented and allowed the city and county to publicize the location.
The North Carolina cities competing for the ultra-high-speed network are going crazy preparing Facebook fan pages and other declarations of fealty to Google. But at least none of them is whoring themselves out like Topeka, Kan., which has renamed itself Google, Kan., for the month. Because when Google says Love Me Tender, it usually means legal tender.
My question: Is it really worth it? Will Google be proud of you? Will you be proud of yourself?

“Turn, turn any corner.
Hear, you must hear what the people say.
You know there’s something that’s goin’ on around here,
the surely, surely, surely won’t stand the light of day.”

David Crosby, “Long Time Gone,” performed by Crosby, Stills and Nash


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