By Joel Warner
By Michael Roberts
By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
In a lot of ways, the Internet is like a wormhole: There you are, just cruising along in your space module, playing pinochle with some commie chimpanzee and sipping on Tang when you see one — and oh, man, you've got to get a closer look. So you proceed with great trepidation, not knowing exactly where you're going to end up, and then suddenly you're sucked through a vortex at remarkable speed, exposed to all sorts of strange and creepy things that no human should see, only to be spat out in a different time and place. And then you look down and the chimp is dead, and you cradle his little hairy, hominid body in your arms and think about how you promised his mother he'd come home safe, and then you collapse to your knees and you scream to the space deities, "Why'd you have to take Nickolas? Not Nickolas! He was too innocent for this world!"
It was Stephen Hawking who said that. Well, it was Stephen Hawking's computer — I believe at a lecture at Oxford or the Sorbonne - but still, everyone knows that's one smart computer. And the computer's right, because while the Internet does offer a wealth of information that renders obsolete the whole "Where-have-I-seen-that-actor-before?" dilemma that has plagued man since the invention of the talkies, it also has a dark side, a seedy cyber-bazaar where Turkish men with mustaches smoke hash and ask you strange things like, "You want see marmoset fuck school child?"
The little brother of a good friend was unable to resist such Turkish entreaties. This was at the dawn of the Internet, when not everyone had access to it on their home computer but everyone had a friend who did, and this poor bastard was at a friend's house trolling the web when they came across some pornography that neither kid was ready for. I can't remember exactly what the images were, but they burned into the kid's skull so badly that his parents had to come pick him up and then lecture him about how the world is full of perverts. What effect such hard-core pornography has on a prepubescent's sexual health and understanding is far beyond me — that's a question for Stephen Hawking's computer — but it was clear then, just as it is clear now, that in a world where the Internet exists, mere birds-and-bees discourse will no longer suffice.
And now, let us add to this pool a phenomenon known as "2 Girls 1 Cup," the web clip burning up the Internet that will have kids asking not "Mommy and Daddy, where do babies come from?" but, "Mommy and Daddy, why are those women shitting in a cup, then eating it?"
About a month ago, when a friend first hit me up on MySpace to ask if I'd seen this video, I ignored her. The web is so full of filth, so full of strange spam that somehow penetrates your filters, that to spend time even thinking about what trash came into the old in-box is a waste of time, an exercise in futile perversion. But then more and more people kept asking me if I'd seen the video. And then the reactions of other people watching the video started popping up on YouTube. Finally, I caved. I'll spare you the full details, but what begins as a clip of two lesbians going at it quickly and irrevocably morphs into an orgy of feces and vomit perverse enough to make Salvador Dalí raise a brow. It's the Chien Andalou of scat films. And strangely, seeing such sheer and utter horror apparently creates the need for people to immediately run out and show that sheer and utter horror to their friends. On YouTube, there are now clips of twins reacting to the video, the band the Roots reacting to the video, people showing it to their fucking grandmothers. And its effect on me was no different, since I immediately showed it to my roommates Monty and Gabe. Their reactions were quite telling: Gabe nearly puked and Monty just laughed, which, I'm not proud to say, was my reaction as well.
Later, Monty and I discussed whether this response made us bad people. We concluded that it did not. Perhaps a bit more well-versed in the filth that the Internet is capable of, but not bad people. The reason we were laughing, we decided after pondering the matter far longer than we should have, was because now a bar had been set. This shock clip had infiltrated pop culture via the crass lottery of fleeting fame that is the Internet, and even as we were discussing how it set the bar, people were no doubt coming up with ways to raise it. At the thought of such horrifying baseness, all we could do was chuckle anew, picturing the onslaught of conservative pundits and reactionary PTSA groups clamoring for some kind of control, some kind of limit to the filth that we as a society will tolerate. We laughed because there's no way such efforts will be successful. We laughed because we're way too far inside the wormhole to turn back now. We laughed because we realized at this point, the only thing anyone can do is sit back and try to enjoy the ride. And hold on tight to your chimp.