One of the beauties of the internet was that someone who had previously not existed at all could suddenly burst into virtual existence like one in a series of big bangs. You didn’t have to be born there and deal with years of parental guidance. You didn’t need to go through school. You didn’t have the indignity of having to grow up on the internet. You could be ten years old in real life and pretend to be twenty. You could be fifty and pretend to be ten, though that was usually a fairly suspect thing to want to do. Nevertheless, you just needed a computer and a reasonable typing speed, and there you were.
Some people made more of a splash than others once they emerged in cyberspace. David liked to think he’d made an impression when he first came out of the lurking shadows and began to post on the various more incognito social media sites he would come to frequent. He knew, somewhere within, that at least part of that was that the presence of a male on these type of comedy boards was a bit of a novelty. There were a few of them, from time to time, but just as he imagined would be the case with movie star fandoms, the major demographic was young and female.
There were some more grown up and diversified comedy on-line cliques which he was a member of – and these were the best leads for actual gigs and publicity and for knowing what was really going on in the industry. But the phenomenon of comedy – the cult like followings and the bizarre interactions – these were best found on the female dominated sites. David didn’t fancy himself enough of a sociologist to really understand why, but he presumed it was just a need for sexual attention by girls who probably didn’t get much of that in the real world. Maybe boys who went to the net had more immediate and less complicated needs – they just wanted sex generally, and pornography would suffice. The girls, he thought, wanted more than that, they had an emotional drive. They wanted to be seen, to be chosen, to be desired. Hence the rabid competition for who was ’closest’ to comedians that in reality were distant from all of them.
It was entertaining. Their miseries and bitchfights reminded him that he was better than some others, that his life, while not yet what he imagined it could be, was at least above that level of pathetic need. He joined in sometimes, in the judgments and internet juries on the new people and so forth, not really because he actually cared or agreed with the prevailing trend, but to stay ‘in’ with those who might come and see him perform, and just to have a bit of vicarious pleasure through the battles between the girls.
Rather like being in a mudfight with them Voice commented.
Voice was right. But it did get a bit tedious from time to time. It did get very repetitive. That’s why the coming of Schaden was such a big splash. She moved quickly from just haunting the chat rooms to posting her condemnations and incisive and accurate analysis on the sites. Threats were made to ban her constantly, but they either never happened, or she continually circumvented the attempts. She always re-emerged, phoenix like. She set off a virtual frenzy amongst the ‘elite’. The main operator and ‘owner’ of the most popular board fancied himself a skilled part-time hacker. David heard he was sent on the hunt for her, but it seemed she was too clever for him. Or he secretly liked her and was in league with her, which, knowing him, was a distinct possibility.
(c) Helen M Valentina 2015, All Rights Reserved