The idea of taking a bearing on a moral compass seems as antique an idea as aspiring to having a wife, 2.3 kids and a lifelong job with a pension at the end of it.
by Pariah McCree
“MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMM!!! DAD’S ON IRC AGAIN!!!!”
“Funny, you don’t sound like you’re Jewish. Could you wear this yarmulka? Just for me? Please?”
“Shitpost with me, mommy.”
“I’m sorry, I only fuck transmen who are only fans of the Original Star Trek, have IQs in excess of 160, and speak four languages.”
“Let me tell you about Homestuck…”
It’s been said that on the Internet, everybody is somebody else’s fetish. In the heart of the Bible belt it’s next to impossible to find a holy roller that doesn’t have a flash drive full of tranny porn (which I may or may not star in) or a cheerleader who can’t have her ass fisted without needing to warm up first. I blame the Internet for this.
Before Eternal September, there was the alt.sex hierarchy and a small group of anonymous remailers that specialized in letting lonely kinky people find one another and occasionally hook up. As much as hooking up with somebody is fun (and it is) there is a more subtle beneficial effect: By finding someone who is willing to join you in some nonstandard kind of fun you have found somebody like you in some way. You have, as Leary put it, Found (one of) The Others. It’s immensely reassuring to find someone like you, it lets you know that on some level You’re Okay and Validated and all of that touchy-feely bullshit. It makes you happy to know that you’re not alone.
Now, thirty years later, we have kids graduating from high school wanting to be camwhores the moment they’re old enough and Fetlife meetups at every office of the megacorp of your choice. I do not think that this is a matter of society becoming more accepting of non-vanilla sexuality and the (meta)human body. I think it is a matter of people simply not caring anymore because things are getting so fucked up there are more important things to worry about.
I do not think that this is a matter of society becoming more accepting of non-vanilla sexuality and the (meta)human body. I think it is a matter of people simply not caring anymore because things are getting so fucked up…
History runs in cycles and rhymes with itself. In the 90’s we saw a new incarnation of the hippie, with the same bell bottom jeans and ethnic shirts and blouses reconstructed around the then-infant Internet-infused street smarts and knowledge that ushered in the twenty-first century. Now we have a strange fusion of the revival of the 1980’s (complete with vintage analog synthesizers and sticky sappy sweet love ballads of warm summer nights), the intentionally low-res 8-bit aesthetic, and the echoes of the grunge movement of the early 1990’s in basements and new clubs. We also have the same shitty beer. At the same time we’re inundated in the nuclear war fatalism of the 1980’s and the fear of Russia/China/North Korea/Sweden/France/insert the damned atheist commie country of your choice threatening our way of life all over again. When there’s precious little that you can do to control your world, really the only thing you can do is say “Fuck it, let’s fuck.”
There is much that is not yet completely socially acceptable. For example, the more common fetishes in the set of all paraphilias are likely to raise eyebrows and get a couple of questions, but it’s not as if most people are comfortable talking about them over coffee “just because.” There is also much that should not be socially acceptable on any sane world, such as faking an assassination attempt on oneself, successfully framing someone else for it, getting away with it for four years, and getting re-elected sherriff anyway. And yet it is. Compared to the possibility of waking up as a pillar of ash in the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust, getting off on being kicked in the balls for sexual pleasure is a trivial thing, no different from brushing your hair in the morning. Some of it may be a matter of scale: finding out that your best friend has a foot fetish and thinks your sandals are really hot is one thing because they’re your best friend. You see them all the time, they hang out at your apartment, you party together. But finding out that an innocent kid seven states away was chosen as a patsy and thrown in jail for years is something really big, really not us, really “Thank Me that it happened to some other shmuck.” It’s the shadenfreude of privilege and being fortunate to not be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The specter of a chubby headcase thousands of miles away pushing the big red button and turning an entire city into glass and shadow is… too big. You can’t wrap your head around it because it means the entire world you know literally going up in a bright flash of light. When dealing with potential megadeaths and hundreds of millions of dollars of property damage you can’t think meaningfully about it.
Where am I going with this? I don’t know anymore. I live in a world where policy is set on Twitter and bored Internet sociopaths hound people to the point of taking their own lives because it’s a fun thing to do on a slow afternoon. The idea of taking a bearing on a moral compass seems as antique an idea as aspiring to having a wife, 2.3 kids and a lifelong job with a pension at the end of it. The only things we can really do are keep our heads down, avoid being the target of the next Internet witch hunt, and have our fun while we can. The candle’s burning at both ends, and it’s burning brightly enough that we can’t tell how much is left. We’re fresh out of common sense and decency and the next truck from the factory isn’t showing up anytime soon.
Pass the lube.
byline: Miss McCree is a network engineer by day for a tier-one ISP in North America, where she swears fluently, drinks coffee by the bucketful, and writes Cisco configuration files by banging her forehead on her keyboard. She occasionally configures Juniper routers by banging somebody else’s forehead on somebody else’s keyboard. By night Miss McCree haunts sex clubs and hurts people in fun ways because she’s not rich enough to get away with hurting people in the really fun nonconsensual ways. She is a practicing LeVayan Satanist who gives so few fucks, you probably owe her fucks. Miss McCree’s spirit animal is a straight razor. Miss McCree only refers to herself in the third person and hates writing.