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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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it's far too late to be thinking so much. ed is such a drug
rabbit two
The thing is.

The thing is, I don't remember how it was before.

It's frustrating when Livejournal goes down. When YIM or AIM start hijinking--you see where I'm going with this. I started in fandom in usenet and mailinglists and went to chat halfway through Voyager and full time once I hit X-Men. I know--I know the universe of fandom wasn't always this fast. The speed of gossip's always beat the speed of light. The thing is gossip can precede the event to gossip about. There's nothing new in making what was fantasy a fact; science does it all the time. People do it, too.

From boji, two links:

matociquala fighting meme with meme (or) how to use narrative as a weapon and leahbobet The Medium. The Message.

I think they have the voice I've been searching for in what this felt like when I read about it the first time in startled fascination. I was excited, and I wasn't sure why or how to phrase it; I mean, what the hell could I say? I didn't know what I was looking for, why I kept searching it up, and dear God, no one sane should spend that much time on Encyclopedia Dramatica, that's asking for some kind of cognitive dissonance or getting way too fascinated with LOLCode. Getting on digg to sweep through and watch it manipulated, look at technorati and del.icio.us and ponder myspace and facebook and think yes. Yes. That's it.

I'm pulling a short thread to quote from here:

magistera: The thing is, though, Anonymous is more about internet drama than anything else. They're a bunch of '/b/tards' from 4chan/7chan, and this isn't their first 'raid' - the last one I remember coming to my attention was a series of coordinated attacks on feminist blogs. They're pretty indiscriminate in choosing their targets - all they really care about is the drama, and lowering the signal-to-noise ratio on the internet.

Reply 1: matociquala: Again, you're missing the point. Once the meme is of the leash, there's no telling what happens next.

It's just a meme.

But a religion is just a meme.

I'm not saying it *will* have any effect. I'm saying it could. And the manipulation interests the fuck out of me.

Reply 2: cristala: I'm not sure the intent matters at this point.

If people in the wider internets have this speak to them for whatever reason? It doesn't matter if they did it for drama. It will become what it claims to be.

It's the gossip that was before the fact. It was internetz serious business that turned into what it claimed to be because there were people that wanted it to be, so much that thousands stood around yesterday carrying signs, wearing masks, and chanting tl-fucking-dr because youtube said to (gross simplification). I mean, that blows my mind. It's not just the site crashing--everyone admit it, given google, ten minutes, and two keywords, most of us can figure out the mechanics (or you know, just go read 4chan).

And the debates about it being a joke or a weird social movement or 4chan having a huge laugh--well, yeah. And people out there took it seriously! Someone, several someones, a hundred someone's got in on the joke, and others didn't but liked the sentiment, and some of them, like me, like a lot of us, stood back and thought, this is familiar. Why is this familiar?

It's familiar, because we see it all the time, so much it's not even a surprise. It's the internet, and we cross-meme at the speed of light and it flickers across fandom like a firestorm when the conditions are just right. Strikethrough to fandom_counts. It's invisible to us, the background noise of the internet, what we keep and what we carry, what we discard with a quick scroll, all day, every day, and we never notice.

And it took me forever to finally click on why this just hit a internet kink--google, digg, technorati, the joint snark comms of livejournal and journalfen, some of the major newsites; the local news, seriously, so seriously discussing this Anonymous with these portentous words of wisdom on hackers and teenagers and terrorists startling speed across the internet out for anarchy or blood or lulz, and I shake my head and think, this is new to you? I was up at two in the morning with eleveninches and svmadelyn following along with the Britney suicide scare like, five seconds after the cops were called and wondering why on earth the paparazzi didn't have a livefeed already; I'm only surprised when it takes too long.

(I'm not proud of this. That's why I name the two people who were refreshing ontd just as frantically as I was.)

Four weeks ago, who honestly registered the existence of Scientology in conscious thought? Now it's at the top of my head; I wrote a freaking Tom Cruise joke into a fic and didn't even notice until I edited, and I started to giggle; it's just ridiculous and amazing and familiar. I feel like somehow, we've been waiting for this moment, like the first time a single story took over a single fandom, a story wiped over several fandoms, like strikethrough shot through livejournal like a fire on too-dry kindling. Not the stuff the media starts and hopes to God we'll take; this is something native, not us, not fannish, not livejournal, but we have to claim them too. They shared their language and their lolcats, we took their acronyms and made our own, we absorbed what we liked and forgot what we didn't.

There's a joy that comes with it, this kind of glee when we watch everyone fall before it, what we've known all along could do this and wondered, just a little, what it could become. We don't know where all of what we say, write, paste, acronym comes from, but once we take it, we make it ours, and we just don't care.

The Original Anonymous Declaration of War:
Views: 2,203,083
Comments: 21,357 Favorited: 11,557 times Honors: 16 Links: 5
Video Responses: 342

And two more I found deeply interesting:

A Message to Anonymous from the Voiceless

Video Responses:

Anonymous Answer to Voiceless

Message To the CO$ & RTC/CALLING ALL CHRISTIANS with a special shout-out to Judaism and Islam.

Seriously. I have no words.

I seriously have to stop watching youtube. I just--it's totally the wrong question, is it real. I think it's more, how real do you want it to be? I think it just made pretty fucking real.

I am going to have a brownie and write porn now.

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They aren't even *cuddling* yet. I have this horrible feeling John wants to take a social protest stance on homosexuality and the military while grieving for his dead father.

God, what am I becoming?


As long as he doesn't do in a V mask, you're still this side of the sanity horizon.

ahem. That would be the *good* side, ok?

I totally vote V mask. (Victory not vengeance...?)

I have disturbing thoughts about what would count as DDoS in a porn context ... they might be *hot* thoughts, too, which is the disturbing part.

It'd turn Rodney on. John mutters the acronym and goodbye ass virginity, hell blowjobs.

Every time you post now, I am completely lost.

To be fair, I am going through a weird phase with the concept of communication via meme as opposed to speeches in soundbytes. With elections and everything. This totally hits that fascination on how fast information can spread without intervention by major media (or minimal intervention).

Oh, okay.

*pretends to understand, goes back to hiding under a rock*

This is great! I've been watching it with the same kind of feeling, and I think you've just really helped me put it into words. Thanks!

(I've been reading and researching a lot lately on new media, convergence culture, user-generated content, and the internet as a tool, a process, and a set of interlinked communities lately, so I can totally understand your fascination with all this. Also, on re-reading that last sentence, I may possibly be thinking about this stuff too much. *cough*)

Man, I totally geeked out when I finally read the lj's I linked--I was all OH GOD THIS IS WHAT'S NEXT and it shouldn't be a surprise--I mean, fandom *lives* in memes, but it still is so. Damn. Awesome.

It's totally a game of telephone in text. With macros. Seriously. How is that not the coolest thing in history?

Definitely right about it being a war of memes... someone should've done up a motivational poster with L. Ron's face and the caption: "He did it for the lulz", to sum it all up. XD

In any case, back to the main point, looks like Anon's meme is gaining traction even within CoS:

*collapses* They *should* have.

And that is--wow. *blinks* I need to re-read that a few times.

Not relevant, but on a sidenote: when YIM or AIM or googlechat or any such nonsense, try http://www.meebo.com -- which I use to override my campus' anti-messaging protocols because if I am going to sit in a six-hour long class in a computer lab being bored out of my mind, I would like to at least talk to people with brains somewhere.

...I skipped words "when YIM or AIM or googlechat or any such nonsense freak out"

Okay, that I need to have ready to go.

Doesn't even need to be downloaded, can be operated from a browser! Which makes it great for Computers That Are Not Mine.

I'm both keeping an eye on the discussion and remaining a little skeptical, because memetics as a field has all but gone down the drain and the concept of meme has failed to gather analytical or empirical support (e.g for characteristics like self-replication or propagation as well as its very existence as a unit of imitation) since its formulation by Dawkins. The Journal of Memetics had to close up shop in 2005 because the field was going nowhere and no one had anything to say--that doesn't happen very often in academia. Mental models, cognitive schemas, behavioral scripts, diffusion theory, tipping points...there is probably something here, perhaps something the Internet will birth or make manifest. But I doubt memes are it.

And Scientology was always at the forefront of my mind, but that's due to my rabid distrust of religion, and the fact that their London HQ is across the street from my office. Each time they hand me a leaflet, I say, "I don't do aliens," with a smile, perchance they think I'm stressed. And each time we have the "Fiction doesn't change people's minds/behaviour" discussion in fandom, I remember a religion spawned by a hack Sci-Fi author.

And Scientology was always at the forefront of my mind, but that's due to my rabid distrust of religion, and the fact that their London HQ is across the street from my office.

A joy and a delight.

And each time we have the "Fiction doesn't change people's minds/behaviour" discussion in fandom, I remember a religion spawned by a hack Sci-Fi author.

I read Battlefield Earth in high school from books I picked up at a garage sale, blissfully unaware I was supposed to be having a religious experience. In retrospect, I keep thinking I want to go back and think more of the Psylockes (I have no idea how to spell that now) and the carnival people that I suspect now are supposed to be psychiatrists. Mostly, I'm not even sure where my copy is and don't feel that inspired to hunt it up.

Meme--you know, I honestly have no idea. Knowing the basic concept is different from actually being conversant in the field, so until someone has a better term, I don't know it's not the best available. Though.

This does remind me; I was going through iTunes billboard charts (2004 and back) for something to remember I'd loved once. Using that and my recent run-in with hair bands (what I like, what I like and would buy, what I like and would buy and already own, what I couldn't live without another second), I wondered if a Billboard Top 100 of the Internet in terms of trends would be all that inaccurate. The part that got to me is that the music I loved best, best best was rarely a top 100--my top ten percent, if you will. And not my next ten percent of preference. But the vast general goodwill music that I'd turn the radio up to listen to, or I wouldn't turn off becaue I didn't dislike it enough to get off the couch--assuming I wasn't forced to dance to it as a cheerleader, play it in band, or listened to while in a foreign country--that was more than fifty percent per year, and not always based on what I thought was my preferred genre. At least part of it was, creepily enough, familiarity, my white noise. What I liked made it through to be memorable enough to look for. The rest--I don't know why I know Britney Spears lyrics when I've never seen nor owned an album.

The thing is, 2003/2004 on, if I could ever work out how to really study it without overthinking myself, will be the first time that my music preferences will have a decided bend toward things with a strong beat because they're easier to vid to and not genre or mood.

I'm not sure what to call that, but for me, music's the easiest for me to notice since I have a credit card statement to remind me. With the internet, it's a constant low-grade hum of something and there's a very real part of me that wonders if the ten percent rule is kicking in and I just happen to be around a lot of people with a very well meshing ten percent rule.

And see, I was going to stop after the Battlefield Earth thing. Also, that is where I finally conceptualized base eleven math. There.

And each time we have the "Fiction doesn't change people's minds/behaviour" discussion in fandom, I remember a religion spawned by a hack Sci-Fi author.

::loves on your brain::

Not in a public thread, honey. :)

This is beyond brilliant. Anonymous is showing a finely honed use of psychology with the automatic credibility of the game controller and the use of the mechanized voice--*shivers*

It's like the most abstract of true terror terrorism (in the non-blowing-shit-up way) 'cause what's scarier than the nameless, faceless, and, now, voiceless menace?

It's ideology and the ideologue with snark and a sense of humor and that can only be created in the post-postmodern world. *is bouncy-squeeing-excited*

It's activism that people can get behind since it's not necessarily dependent upon travel to places because the internet is everywhere and nearly everyone becomes reliant on it for something.

It's Baudrillard's hyper-real, but the hyper-real isn't some abstract concept anymore. It's become real. There needs to be something to describe this new level of hyper-realness--maybe meta-real? I don't know, but it's completely exciting and thank you, thank you, thank you for putting this where I could find it. *leaves stakes of cookies and a huge pot of tea*

...ummm, that was supposed to be stacks. *waves vagues* It's early-ish here.

The voiceless one could have taken it to a much creepier, threateningly victimized place rather than just creepy and victimized. I can't tell if it was deliberate; some of those shots were angled for maximum discomfort.

Oh yeah. A little tweak here and there and the Voiceless-response could have been--I dunno--even more dynamic and capitalizing on the uncanniness that's created in losing someone to a cult: that they become different people that you don't know, don't recognize, who refuse to recognize you. The images started to create this alienated, alien construction of these people--the Voiceless are mute, disjointed mannicans lacking differentiation, selfhood, and subjecthood while, at the same, casting the people that have joined Scientology in the same light...maybe adding "zombie" to adjective list somewhere. I'm not quite getting to the place I want with this, but it's a pale reflection of the thought. If they made a few changes, they could be more effective than Anonymous.

...blah, it was supposed to mannequins. I forgot to spell-check. *smacks Safari for not having integrated spell-check*

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