On the first of May, 2018, sometime about a half-hour before noon, a bar appeared underneath every post on the social networking site Facebook.
I had awakened earlier, in a panic attack, and been scrolling my “newsfeed” in a wrongheaded attempt to relieve my state of depressive shock. Believe it or not, sometimes it works. I find pictures of kitties, or baby hedgehogs, or pretty girls with their whatnots hanging out. Maybe an inspiring story or a naughty bit of humor. I feel better, and get on with the tasks of the day.
But this new snitch bar made things way, way worse.
It’s time for us, as a species, to make a healthy admission.
The world we knew and loved, just years ago, is dead. It’s gone. It’s never coming back. Not even as a side mission in a GTA game. Now we are left with the nagging sensation that things were once better. It’s too painful to consider the reasons why. Hold on to the memory, and carry on.
diaspora: a scattered population with a common origin in a smaller geographic locale. Diaspora can also refer to the movement of the population from its original homeland.
There’s a chance, being that you are using the Internet, that you are experiencing an intangible emptiness, a desire to fulfill a need you didn’t know you had.
You are far from alone. This is normal.
Spoiler: they hatefuck.
Many of us used the Internet around the year 2000 because it supplied things we couldn’t find elsewhere. Easy and plentiful pornography, hurtful humor, forums and blogs brimming with lolcows; all the schadenfreude one could stand.
How can you tell when someone doesn’t belong on the Internet?
They get emotional.
There is no place for emotions on the Internet. Emotions are a weakness here. They’re reduced to “emoticons”; literal badges that display the current weakness of the user. This makes it easy to spot people who struggle with manic depression, bipolarity, or hypochondria.
Whether you noticed it or not, true anonymity has been eradicated from social media. You cannot post anonymously. Remember when you could? Of course you do- it was less than ten fucking years ago.
Facebook and Twitter have a very appealing form of casual censorship; if you have a difference of opinion with another user, you can block them.
Did someone infer that Islam is dangerous? Make them disappear. Is “Black Lives Matter” not being treated with the utmost solemnity and reverence? Bye-bye. No need to empathize or try to understand a different point of view; it’s better to treat opposing ideas as annoyances, to be clinically expunged.
I’m not warning you against social media, I’m saying see it for what it is; a method of grouping people by their beliefs and predilections, so they can be monitored and controlled. By companies, government, and people who have more money. That’s all the Internet is anymore. It’s not about sharing information. It’s about controlling who sees it. Continue reading →
It may seem obvious, but when over a million people see your creation, it is quite a rush. When you make something that goes viral, I explained to a friend recently, it’s like surfing the inside of a tornado. It’s euphoric, but it taxes your emotional equilibrium, and if you aren’t careful it becomes an addiction. How would you handle the attention of a million people?
Sometime in 1999 (I think) I conjured up this piece, basing the shapes on the most common McNuggets. Nothing I have done since has elicited the same level of emotion and hysteria from readers, which I take great pride in. And despite my commitment to accuracy (for example, the crunch of the ‘eye’), I still enjoy eating the godforsaken things on occasion.
Before you ask, yes, there were t-shirts and posters. Grimace ate them all.