I recently purchased a book called Epic Win for Anonymous: How 4chan's Army Conquered the Web. I'm looking forward to reading it in hopes that it has succinctly documented 4chan's history and its influence on pop culture. It's exciting to live in an era in which tangible information is published in the real world regarding entirely virtual, nebulous phenomena that happens online. It's almost like getting to the bottom of a big mystery, or a "tip of the iceberg" kind of deal, where you can trace the aftermath of things like "Don't Mess with Football" or Jessie Slaughter or even slang like win, fail, epic, and facepalm— things that have happened in the 'real' world— to the messy void of the Internet. An entire underground network is hidden beneath its few moles on the surface.
I feel I have "moved on" from Internet culture. I felt I was always a bit of a follower anyway. I don't play video games (and don't really enjoy most video games on the market right now) but I know all the jokes, since I have friends that do. 4chan was an interesting experiment to be part of, but I feel its ship of experimenting has sailed since being exploited by the public. This goes for all the messageboards that emulate 4chan, or even the ones that preceded it like SomethingAwful, YTMND, and, dare I say it, Ebaumsworld. The concept of 4chan and this underground Internet culture is no longer a secret. It'll take something quite extreme to top the depravity of 4chan. I have exhausted my time and interest on those boards.
World of Warcraft feels like my high school experience: amazing while it lasted, but I have to move on. It practically was my high school experience, since I spent most of those years hanging out in Azeroth instead of Earth. I very much enjoyed roleplaying and exploring the worlds and the music tugs at my heartstrings. I still have people begging me to come back, attempting to tantalize me with the features of the new expansion, but it will never be the WoW I knew and loved from vanilla up to Wrath of the Lich King. I don't want a freeway running through Azshara. To me, it's a bit like visiting your old elementary school and seeing the new jungle gym equipment they've installed: you wish you had it when you were there, but you're not about to run up and play on it (especially because it's much too small).
I spent most of my time online because I felt like no one here wanted me. There was no one here, outside my family, that wanted to spend time with me or that I could connect with. When I was 13, it was stuff like "nobody listens to gabber" (which I never would have found without the Internet anyway). Hell, even as young as ten years old I had my own e-mail and website I created myself, where I put up crappy MSPaint drawings and fan art for webcomics. It was almost unheard of that I had a scanner, considering a lot of people didn't have them back then. I would go on Geocities websites about anime I liked, which blew my mind when it came to Pokémon. I remember scrolling down Pojo and looking at the new 150 Pokémon to be added in Gold and Silver, and thumbing my way around Japanese by comparing the Romanji to the characters on the trading card. Girafarig (Kirinriki) was the card that gave me my epiphany, since the Katakana was a palindrome (キリンリキ). I thought the Internet was amazing because I could learn so much outside of my general schooling, and at the same time I could connect to and talk with people without them seeing what I look like or judging me based on my age. It just seemed that nobody at home shared my interests and so I had to look elsewhere. Were I to confine my networking just to my college it would still be the same way, but I've luckily made many friends within the rave scene. They are all sober and they all love me for who I am, and I couldn't ask for more than that.
I guess being out and about helped me realize what I was missing. I love Azeroth, but this world is amazing too. Just because someone doesn't share my taste in music doesn't mean I should dismiss them as someone that could be my friend. The Internet is still enthralling and I use it daily, but I'm not so reliant on it for a social life anymore, which feels very liberating.
In other news, my classes are awesome this semester aside from rendering, in which I'm already a little behind. It's a required course for my major, so as long as I pass I don't really care about the grade. I know I'll learn a lot in it though. Anatomy for the Artist is an amazing course, and Typography is actually interesting because the teacher is so passionate about type. My art history course has a fun, entertaining, and well-spoken teacher, and the material's taught well enough that I don't think I'll have trouble on the exams. I've got my work cut out for me, I just have to survive.
My boyfriend Ray and I are getting along very well. I spent most of the summer practically living with him and I've gone home to see him every weekend since school started. I can't get enough of him it seems like. Because he has more life experience than I do he's able to protect and guide me without being condescending, and at the same time I don't feel lesser to him or belittled. It's just great to know I don't have to be a mother to my boyfriends anymore; instead of needing me, he wants me. I can entrust the room I leave him in to remain in one piece if I'm gone for a couple hours. He's employed full time (to my dad, lol) and doesn't "wash" dishes by rubbing them with the bottom of his shirt. Part of the reason why I felt comfortable talking to him was that he established that he was done with women, and I considered myself outside his threshold of interest anyway. So when he took me under his wing as his raver apprentice, promising to drag me to every hardcore event possible, I felt like he was doing it for the music and the scene, not to get into my pants. And he was doing it for the music, but the more time we spent together the harder it was for either of us to pull apart. I realized how much I liked him and it was a huge relief to know he felt the same way. He could no longer force himself to stay single and asked me to be his girlfriend. Neither of us thought we'd be in a relationship, especially with each other, but since the first day we hung out we liked each other and here we are. Of course, sharing an interest in gabber definitely helped.
We balance each other well, as he's more of a practical realist and debater whereas I see myself as being much more of a spiritual humanitarian and mediator. To drag MBTI into it, he tested ENTX (J/P cusp), and I am INFJ. I'm moderately intuitive and introverted, heavily feeling, and only slightly judging. It's just a fucking online quiz though, so I don't really care what the results are either way. I know Ray just as Ray, not as a bunch of stupid letters supposedly determining his personality. It's the same as horoscopes: sure he's got some Leo traits, but everyone does. I find I'm very much a Pisces, but that's probably because it's what I want to believe. Although there was a girl in my painting class who talked to me for a little bit and then asked, "You're a Pisces, aren't you?" Then she asked what sign my moon was in and I told her I had no idea (I know now that my moon is in Gemini). I find astrology interesting. I find most human attempts toward spiritual attunement interesting, and Ray very much enjoys social experiments. However, I see humans as kindred spirits connected to something greater like an energy, and in his experiments he sees human beings as specimens. He humbles and reminds me that I am but an animal, and in turn I try to remind him that he's anything but.
What can I say? I'm following the path of the muse, and with creativity comes irrationality...