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Volume 2, Number 8
August, 1997
Tales of the Geek Lord

Pelican Smith

Paranoia, Lunacy and the Internet

"Computers are like LSD, except computers just keep getting better and better and LSD never got any better at all." -- Stewart Brand

 We're talking paranoia in this month's Tales of the Geek Lord. The Internet is a big, scary place, full of predators and prey, spies and G-men, hackers, phreaks and crackers, information bandits, professional hitmen and hookers, presidents and senators, and millions and millions of campers, lurkers and voyeurs like you and me. Watching it all, and laughing all the way.
 We all remember the Heaven's Gate wacko's, right? Buy some sneakers, castrate yourself, make web pages and ride space ships. No doubt, these guys win the paranoia award; hook, line, and sinker. Religious Cults are often pretty paranoid, perhaps with good reason. If you're in a cult, you walk a fine line.
 But the Heaven's Gate guys are gone now, no doubt wandering around those big space ships of theirs, looking for the restroom. The story made me wonder, though. How many other kooks, nutcases, weirdo's, paranoids, flakes and conspiracy nuts are there on the web. Better yet, who's the next one to check out?
 Where do you find the most paranoid individuals on the net? Do you really have to ask? Check out alt.drugs.hard This just shows that a combination of meth, coke, heroin and USENET make for a fascinating read. Reading this newsgroup is like stepping into another dimension, where people lose their teeth and sell their wives and get their doors kicked down in the middle of the night. Capt Meat lurks here, teasing the crack heads and going 48 hours straight without sleep. Unfortunately, heroes in this newsgroup don't last long. Cops, rehab and death cause high turnovers.
 Speaking of addicts, check out alt.recovery.addiction.sexual. Here these poor bastards are, trying to go a meazly 24 hours without spanking their monkeys, and sleaze mongers running pornographic web sites keep posting advertisements to their group! That's like having bartenders come to alcoholics' houses if they don't show up at happy hour. Thankfully, sex addicts can get help online, through IRC. Now, why didn't I think of that?
Transcript of online session:
Barbie: Doctor, I need sex all the time, I give it away to passing ministers. I once got drunk and performed felatio on 6 guys. Can you help!
Pelican: First, what are you wearing. Second, wanna drink?
 You might be reading this and thinking, "Pelican, I am a paranoid. What should I do?" Answer: Take 'em to court, that's what.
 Finally, in my search through the world of wierdo's, I came across the Kabalarians, who are basically zen, with an added emphasis put on a person's name. If your life sucks, it's because your name sucks. Get a new name and your problems will go away. Here's what I got when I put in my real first name, Harold:
The name of Harold causes you to be systematic, technical, and attentive to detail. You are attracted to working out-of-doors in nature, where you can express your practical attributes. You would find electricity, electronics, and similar technical fields of interest, as well as mathematical and scientific studies. You are inclined to be quiet, reserved, patient, and conservative, preferring to test and prove everything to your own satisfaction before committing yourself. Friendships and personal association are accordingly restricted, as well as business success, due to an over-cautious nature in undertaking financial risks and also a lack of promotional effort. You could experience sensitivity in your heart, lungs, and bronchial organs.
 Dead bang, baby. I should thank my mother, and maybe schedule a physical.
 Alright, I've delved into the dark corners of the Internet, and I saw much worse than I reported. Some of it was pointless, some of it was mean-spirited, some of it was just plain disgusting. This past three months of reporting on hackers, law makers and freaks has caused my family and friends to look at me funny.
 So next month we are going to focus on the happy, healthy side of the Internet. We'll look at the places where family minded people give virtual hugs to their friends, where flop-eared bunnies with bright blue eyes laugh at dancing clowns, and where a guy like me could really use a beer and a butcher knife.
 5 Links to Make You Think
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