Dear John [someone wrote me],
It seems like everywhere I turn these days, someone is talking or writing about their "tribe." I'm never quite sure what exactly that means. Do you know what it means when people today use that word?"---Baffled in Ohio
As a matter of fact, I do. It means they're idiots. The primary relationship people who use that word have with other people is through the Internet. People who daily e-communicate with a great many more people than they ever talk to in real life have grown enthralled with that word, because instead of socially retarded affirmation junkies it allows them to feel like lean, mean, jungle-dwelling, loincloth-wearing, rainstick-wielding shamans just one animal call away from being instantly surrounded by resolute yet unnervingly calm members of their "tribe." It lets them imagine that through shared values and ideals they're primordially linked with a network of people who in real life have a panic attack if their network server blinks out for a nanosecond.
Last of the Mogeekans. Text Messages with Wolves. Warriors of the "I'll Sue!" tribe.
All hail Chief Starbucks, stalwart leader of the ferocious Blackberry tribe!
Oh, no. I just had a revelation.
I'm jealous because no one's ever asked me to join their tribe.
Help rescue a tribal orphan here.