Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters

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Other people's lips

There's a segment of Livejournal that works something like a shallower version of group therapy. You know what I'm talking about, someone posts something about how they are sad or pathetic, or some creative enterprise, and soon between 3 and 100 people have responded with comments as profound as "You're so gorgeous!" or "Don't worry, he doesn't know what he's missing" or, of course, "Wow you're SOOO talented."

This is a side of the service that kind of bothers me, and one I have no interest in. It's essentially a bunch of marginalized people trying to convince each other that they have worth and value, or trying to hop on a bandwagon and support some member of their group that has talent or recognition (not always the same thing.) The dynamic is a little more complicated than that, I'll grant, but not so much that it's worth getting in to. Some bloggers want to form what amounts to a support group. That's fine.

Doesn't happen in my journal. Maybe that's because I'm not pathetic or talented enough to draw those kinds of comments (Okay, well I'm certainly not TALENTED enough but I think I can go toe to toe with most in the patheticness arena and whoop their MONKEY asses!) I'd like to think it's because this journal attracts intellectually interesting people who don't feel compelled to make those kinds of simplistic statements. On the other hand a bunch of people have friended me recently without saying anything at all (which is fine, although I generally don't return the friending without some sort of interaction) and at least one of them did so because they promote a band named Socratic. Still, that's why the English language offers lovely phrases like "I'd like to think." So we can tell pleasant lies without actually being held responsible for them.

More interesting than the support group phenomenon, in my opinion, is that of the male offering emotional support through the female through sexual inuendo. I was rather shocked the first couple of times I encountered it in someone's journal. Some woman upset about something or other and then some guy posted "I'd love to come down and comfort you. Wink Wink" or something to that effect. Since then I've seen more incidents, of varying levels of subtlety, and have come to accept it as a relatively harmless thing. The thing is, I'm curious as to what exactly this represents. Okay, some of it can be written off as the same sort of flirting that one might encounter in any group of immature friends or aquaintances. Let's move that off the table and discuss some of the more intense stuff. Some of it is actually creepy (frequent offers to drive over to someone's state and perform sexual acts with them.) Yet I've never seen an angry response to one of these comments. My thinking on this is that the internet gives an illusion of safety (I say Illusion because stalking and even killings have started as internet interactions) between parties that allows insecure females to recieve sexualized interaction with adoring males while insecure males are able to tell females the sorts of sexual things that they never would say in real life.

Perhaps this is rather obvious and doesn't really need commenting on, but I find it interesting nonetheless. I guess my question is, if these comments are ones that men wouldn't say in real life and women would be very offended by if they were made to their faces, where is the distortion? Is the internet interaction more natural and honest, divested of social mores and politeness requirements, or is it that it allows people to build false personas who can deal more easily with uncomfortable situations? Is the confidence or the insecurity fake? Or are they both natural interactions to different social situations?

Bah. I'm not explaining this well and these thoughts aren't fully formed. Oh well.

I've been trying to watch "Head of State" on HBO for weeks now. Finally caught the beginning of it this morning and it was HORRIBLE. Unwatchable garbage. How did Chris Rock allow himself to get associated with such a STUPID and unfunny movie? The director is a hack too. Hack hack hack. He took bad material and made it even less good.
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