Beware of black-and-white solutions to multi-hued problems.

A MySpace Safari

Date/Time Permalink: 10/18/07 10:54:40 pm
Category: Humor

G'Day, Mates! T'day, we're going to don our pith helmets and explore
one of the most obscure cultures of the Internet... the MySpace
community! These natives are self-contained, having little-to-no
contact with the outside world. Sort of like Yahoo in the 1990's. So,
I'm Bruce, your host, and we'll be accompanied by Bruce the guide and
our camera person, who is Bruce. Join us as we plumb... the Depths of
MySpace! (echo effect: space pace ace ace ace)

lynx http://www.myspace.com/
Allow cookies? "v"

Well, of course, we wouldn't dare venture in with anything but our
protective lynx browser. If you ever see a skeleton with spiderwebs on
it propped up 'pon a monitor, that's the remains of someone foolish
enough to access MySpace in a GUI browser. The bloody graphics could
give a wallaby a fair dinkum seizure.

Ignore the lynx warning "Bad HTML! Use -trace to diagnose". That's
just a head on a stake meant to scare away geeks.

Ah, here's a new user: Konvict. Probably a KDE reference. Got some
friends, here's the link for LadyPimp. This is how you navigate in
this dense jungle, you hop from friend to friend.

LadyPimp is 18 female, lives in Michigan, and took the HotBoy/HotGirl
survey. She says in it that her favorite position is standing up, her
favorite place to "do it" is "At school, on top of teacher's desk."
and answers "Have u ever had a 3 some?" with "Of course". Yep, every
father's dream is to raise a daughter like LadyPimp.

Note in a comment by Alexis:

  ";;;;;;.,_______________,;;;;;;;`
   ;;;;;;;;;;;:,_____________, :;;;;;;;;;`,
   `:;;;;;;;;;;;`;__________, :;;;;;;;;;;;`,
   _ `:;;;;;;;;;;;`, , _______, :;;;;;;;;;;;`,
   ___`:;;;;;;;;;;;;_______, ;;;;;;;;;;;;:
   ____.`,:;;;;;;;;;,_____,;;;;;;;;;;`
   _______`,:;;;;;;,_____,;;;;;;;:
   ___________`,:;;;;,., .,;;;;;;
   ______,.;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
   ____.;;;;;D`;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
   ____`;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
   _____`:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
   _______`.;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
   ___________.;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;.
   ____(`*., (`*., ,.*) ,.* )
   Ok This Is The Sex Bunny
   If You Recieve This Bunny
   That Means Your freakin Sexy
   If You Get This Back
   That Means Your Even Sexier
   Pass This Bunny On To 10
   Of Your Friends
   HAVE FUN"

See, the preoccupation with sex is one of the most ingrained tribal
customs of MySpace. Yet the prevalence of ASCII art hails all the way
back to their parent's BBS bulletin boards in the 80's. In this way,
they preserve their cultural heritage, while modifying it to their own
purposes. Yet this person is daringly counterculture: because they
spelled out "You" when the proper spelling is "u". Obviously an
outcast trying to fit in with the tribe. Crikey! Here comes another one!

   IF U WERE KILLED TOMORROW, I WOULDNT GO 2 UR FUNERAL CUZ ID B N
   JAIL 4
   KILLIN DA PERSON THAT KILLED U!
   ..._...|..____________________, ,
   ....../ `---___________----_____|]
   ...../_==o;;;;;;;;_______.:/
   .....), ---.(_(__) /
   ....// (..) ), ----"
   ...//___//
   ..//___//
   .//___//
   WE TRUE HOMIES
   WE RIDE TOGETHER
   WE DIE TOGETHER
   send this GUN to everyone you care about including me if you
   care. C
   how many times you get this, if you get a 13 your A
   TRUE HOMIE

Now, that's the native dialect. A bit of a falter on the "your" when
it should be "ur", but otherwise spoken like a true native. Note that
gangbanger culture also crosses over into Internet culture here. The
expression of "homies" indicates an offer of tribal bonding. The
number "13" is a clue to true authenticity, being an unlucky number
since Medieval times, it was adopted by the "Blood" gang cultures of
California in such gang names as "Sur 13".

A preoccupation with death is also a tribal custom, because it is used
to rationalize the "live for today" philosophy. You know, like "Tan me
hide when I'm dead, Fred." So we tanned his hide when he died, Clyde,
and that's it; hang 'im on the shed!

A comment from Anna:

My friend Ervin got a brand new FREE i.P.h.o.n.e. Seriously. He sent
me that picture of it the day he got it! Just enter your email
address into this site and he got one COMPLETELY FREE. Here's the
site, mine's already on the way!

The ceremonial offer of gifts hails back to the "potlatch" custom of
Native American Haida tribes, where you enhance your social status by
giving away items of material wealth. The iPhone has replaced the iPod
as the customary offered gift, but generally whatever the latest
gadget by Apple fits in here just the same. MySpace continues this
tradition by the offer alone; no iPods or iPhones trade hands, as none
of the natives have ever seen one. The important thing was that the
offer was made.

The spelling of "FREE i.P.h.o.n.e." is an attempt to dodge spam
filters, angry gods which the natives believe will punish them if they
say the name of the sacred object out loud.

Some user accounts are groups. Here's one: "Lesbian for Life ( Guys
will be Denyed )". The expression of gayness amongst females only is
considered acceptable, and the guys dig it, which is kind of a
paradox, but we don't think about it too much. There are 40,636 groups
in the "Gay, Lesbian & Bi" category, but actually it's a rum point as
none of these tribesmembers have had sex with anyone, ever, not even
themselves.

Education is a taboo amongst these savages. It is "witch magic" to
them, even though they will all claim to have six-figure salaries,
they wish it to be known that they make their income exclusively from
sales of Viagra or "poppin caps in tha POlice". Here, in the Computers
and Internet category:

Computer Nerd Central (Private Group)
For people who know what RAM stands for and has uses for the
computer other than checking email.

Even the MySpace definition of "intellectual" requires only that you
can utter the syllables to "random access memory" and that your
grammar must contain obvious errors such as the singular-form verb
indicating an action performed by a plural noun.

Here's a member of the CNC group: Anthony. He says he's making
"$250,000 and Higher" with nothing but a high school diploma. His
physical stats also assert "6' 2" / More to love!". This serves to
attract as many females (known as "hos") as possible. But the MySpace
tribe might still reject Anthony, because real MySpacers have a name
less proletariat that "Anthony".

If you attempt to join in this tribe, they will send their bots to
great you. These greetings arrive in the form of MySpace friend
requests. Being a social network, this tribe's only currency is
trading "friendship", though that term is stripped of the normal
warmness.

Here's a friend of Anthony's: "After All, I'm still a Rockstar!
LOL". No, do not be confused, that's this tribe member's name. The
usage of LOL is a kind of punctuation amongst this primitive
civilization. Originally meant to stand for "Laughing Out Loud" it has
been adopted as a sign that the speaker means you no harm; the
equivalent of handshaking in personal contact amongst other parts of
the world. Even in a declaration of hostility, MySpacers have been
known to utter to each other "I'm going to kill you LOL!"

Quite frequently, we encounter:

This profile is set to private. This user must add you as a friend to
see his/her profile.

...and this is the realization of the "friendship" currency. This
tribe member is demanding payment in exchange for being welcomed into
their hut.

Note that, like the Cargo Cults of the South Pacific, MySpacers like
to assume the trappings of more sophisticated cultures. Some of them
use "blogs", although the name is similar to our normal social
understanding of the term in name only. A "blog" on MySpace is simply
an extension of one's profile. Typical "blog" topics include:

Conspiracy 7: The Tupac Shakur Theory that will blow your mind
away!!!!!!!

Note the superfluous exclamation points. These, as opposed to
punctuation such as LOL, are used to indicate "coolness". Being a
quality of worthiness for friendship, coolness is in high demand.

We could go on exploring the culture, but the depths of it have
grotesque features that will be startling to our civilized eyes. Do
not fear that the natives will come after us; they cannot hear us
here, outside of MySpace Island. This culture will doubtless leave
many curious artifacts for a detached viewing by archaeologists
centuries from now, but they exist pretty much outside of our time
even today.

That concludes our tour. Mind the crocks stepping off the boat, now.

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