When this blog was created underneath the title “Zero’s World” was the tag line: “RL & IL in Parody”. As with many things I do, this had multiple meanings. The initials themselves could stand for a couple of different things (I wonder if anyone caught that). For the most part they stood for “Real Life” and “Internet Life”. “In Parody” was part joke, part precaution. At the time people used the word “parody” to cover themselves from anyone wanting to sue them for their internet content. I almost used the tagline “RL & IL For Educational Purposes Only” because this was used in lots of YouTube and other videos to escape copy-write infringements. I kind of thought that was funnier than “In Parody”, but “In Parody” seemed to fit better for what I had planned. Plus if anyone was serious about trying to sue me (and at least a few people were, I think), I could use the joke as a defense. If someone said I wasn’t allowed to post something I could just point out the tag line. This made it almost impossible to determine if I meant it as a joke or an actual legit, internet defense. This made even more convoluted by the fact that some of the blog was complete parody. Exaggeration was used quite a bit. There were skits and song dedications… yes everything was real… but it was real parody as well. The best parody sticks closely to reality, and that’s what I tried to do.
When the blog came back earlier this year some of you noticed the tag line had changed:
I don’t think I have to explain this… but I will.
All the shit we have been creating in our internet reality has crashed over into real life. So much so, that it is getting very difficult to tell them apart. The very idea that the bully tactics of Twitter is now mixed in with actual policy should scare the hell out of everyone.
It does me.
I have never been a fan of world’s colliding, something I am sure I blogged about, but the internet world and the real world colliding has been one of my biggest fears for a while (other than the epidemic of crazy that we have all been going through the past few years, though that too was helped spread by the internet so…). It has left me with levels of lack of understanding that I am not really comfortable with. It has also left this blog with a lack of posts. With no new posts to put up on the ZW FB I started posting songs and lyrics from the band Twenty One Pilots… some of you might have noticed them. There are multiple reasons I chose this band and those songs… they do represent this fear I have of the lines being blurred and those two massive worlds colliding. Some of them were put up for certain people… some for everyone. Some were deeply rooted personal songs representing that exact moment in my life. Don’t read too much into them… the main reason I posted them was to countdown seeing them live for the first time. I posted the last one a couple days ago (the night of the show)… what a show!
Not the time or place for that… it was a great show though.
Alright, where were we?
People have blurred the lines so much no one knows what is true anymore.
Let’s just get straight to it without metaphors, going off track, or complex tag lines… We have always had a problem separating truth from lie. It is not new, but the internet was used as a place to really let lies take over and surpass any common sense the truth needed to stay on top.
Yes. LIES became easier and sometimes more fun online. No consequences. For some at least. But it caught up with us, didn’t it?
Some of you were lucky enough to see my old YouTube Vlog about lies (lucky might not be the word, that thing is not good, I had some good ideas, some of those ideas followed me into my WordPress Blogs, but like with most things I do, I jumped ship early on, I have a very hard time not staring new things before finishing old stuff, or even giving them a fair chance to grow into something, I think that is a known thing about me, right?). Well if you did catch any of that Vlog you can see that early on I felt as a whole, people let our lies get in the way of understanding and finding true happiness (Red & Black stuff). This is something that goes back a long way with me, early on the lies of other people affected me and I also saw how it affected themselves. I started being almost too honest and started wiping out those I knew had issues with the truth (I need to admit this goes with the drug scenes I sometimes found myself in during my younger years, drugs and lies go hand and hand). It was my distaste of lies that kept me from becoming an addict myself. When you give into addiction you give into all the lies. You believe them, especially the ones you tell yourself.
This was not easy for me… plus it came more across as a righteous asshole. In a way it just got people close to me to become better liars. I really don’t want to get into all that now, that was a long time ago, I have come to terms with the fact people lie. I get it and include myself in it. People lie, but in all honesty they also have a hard time accepting the truth (one of life’s vicious circles that keeps every thing spinning ’round).
The point I am making here (or trying to at least) is that the internet took our already troubled relationship with the truth and busted it wide open.
On the internet people can be what they want, believe what they want, and lie about all of it. I am old so I was online before Prodigy even came about. Though that was more like a connected thing and you knew who you were talking to. My very first time on Prodigy someone asked to DM (this was back in early 90’s so I don’t think it was called DM) and immediately they started in with sexting (again not called that yet). I was in a room full of friends at the time and my 19 year old self was like Wow Bob Wow! (alright Twin Peaks was not out yet so I did not say such a phrase back then, I was probably more like just “WOW!”). I was yelling to my friends, “This chick is a freak”. (cool freak, though I think most freaks are cool). I was instantly surrounded by everyone telling me what to type and everyone’s mind blown at what she was writing. This was a new world for us all. Then my dad walked into the room and brought us all back down to earth. “You know it’s a guy, right?”.
Everyone broke out laughing (some at me, you can imagine the hazing I received). As soon as my dad said it, I was like “duh”. I can’t remember what the screen name was, it was a female name, but I am still not sure why that was enough to have me not even thinking about the obvious. It happened so fast but it was my first lesson in the internet and the idea of Sock-Puppets (though that wasn’t really a sock-puppet just some horny old dude and not to sound like a broken record, but sock-puppet wasn’t a phrase back then). It was my first real internet experience and it highlighted the anonymous monster it would become one day.
A few years later I was using Sega to get online and I got into the whole “group” experience as I became close to quite a few people in an internet group we all would meet in. It was a clicky group of freaks that fucked with all who dared enter it (life is circles and repetition, don’t ever forget that). That group was fun. We even had a online wedding where I was the best man. I wonder what happened to that group of internet “friends”, we are talking well over 20 years ago. I had fun and remember them fondly. Except for the bill, back then you got so much “free time”online and then you paid by each extra hour. I built them hours up.
After that I (like the rest of the internet world) was collecting AOL free discs. Man those early days of AOL were like the wild, wild, west. So many groups to get into. Most people hiding behind a cool screen name and total anonymity. It was a fun time online. Everyone downloading free music (you know I loved that) and interacting with each other like never before. This is where the internet troll was really born and everyone boned up on their ability to tell lies.
On and on it went… MySpace, Facebook, and the devil himself… Mr. Twitter. There was a line though, for most there was the internet and there was real life… get me now. Somewhere it changed. It changed enough for us to elect someone like Donald Trump into the highest responsibility in America, maybe the world. Say what you want about Donald Trump but he is an internet troll, maybe not the anonymous type but an internet troll none the less. In fact this could be what did it. The world learned we don’t have to keep it in internet animosity… Trump let everyone know it was O.K. to troll right on out in real life. Be proud to be a troll, no need for it to hide online. Take it to the streets!
I don’t know about you… but I don’t like it. “Alternate facts”… WTF is that? It’s a real thing now. It seems nobody really knows what is “really” real anymore… we’ve blurred the lines so much… so well… that we can’t tell them apart anymore. The things we read on the internet are real things no matter who might be making them up.
Don’t answer that. If your answer is no… just wait.
The real question is:
How long before the blurred lines become one?