Maybe nobody likes show and tell more than a critic. Writing about art, music, books, theater--anything--is a way of pointing, of saying "here, look at this." Dave Hickey compared the act to playing air guitar: "flurries of silent, sympathetic gestures with nothing at their heart but the memory of the music. It produces no knowledge, states no facts, and never stands alone." Village Voice art critic Jerry Saltz described a critic's mentality as narcissistically sociopathic--for the critic, it's not enough to love a piece of art or a certain band--the critic has to make sure that everybody else loves it, too.

del.icio.us is the current epicenter where internet junkies get to do their own cyber-pointing, curating the web into their own roadmaps, which are amassed and cross-referenced with tens of thousands of other, similar roadmaps. Essentially, del.icio.us allows you to browse other people's bookmarks (not every bookmark stored in their web browser, but only those that they choose to enter on their personal del.icio.us page. This selectiveness allows people to put their hippest face forward, while pretending not to have singles chat rooms and how-to-recognize-your-STD sites front and center).

When you add a site to your del.icio.us page, you are able to tag it with keywords, like "midget," "Clackamas," or "jedi." It's then just one click to see every other page that someone tagged with the word "midget," and even more voyeuristically fascinating, to see who else has linked to your favorite Quotable Bobcat Goldthwaite page. (Note: I just made the last example up for an easy laugh, but then Google quickly showed me that there is in fact a Quotable Bobcat Goldthwaite page. I del.icio.used the page, and to my great disappointment, discovered that nobody else had included it on their personal bookmarks). del.icio.us returns some of the manic, springboard navigational excitement that the internet once propelled.

The phenomenon of del.icio.us is spreading like head lice at an Arkansas preschool (and I predict that with the publication of this column, it's going to get HUGE!), so it follows that before long, del.icio.us will be a nerve center for almost every semi-relevant site out there. When you search for a topic with del.icio.us, you not only get all the sites that users like you deem relevant, but you also get access to all the sites that users like you deem interesting. It can't be long until Google will be as obsolete as Lycos or Ask Jeeves. Until then, get your favorite sites onto del.icio.us and play that air guitar as loud as it gets.