Monday, April 7, 2014

Creepypasta, Memes, Orbis Tertius and Time Away

haven't spent much time nurturing this blog of late. had a bit of a crisis of confidence, as they call it, in my life and my esthetics. i recently left a collective in los angeles that i had been a part of for five years. was hellbent on either writing a book or making a film about Broadcast, but James cannot be involved due to his schedule and his still-overwhelming grief. I am hoping that someday that story will still be told, but it might be a long while. in any case, my own work must go on, which consists of my education, and focusing more on the fine arts. I have moved into a new place which is providing me with alot of peace and time to get things realigned in my mind. i have definitely been suffering from a lack of creativity, but today i felt the forces come back and am back on the case, working on a new video and getting some other things, like my website for my video work/vjing, up and running.

now that that explanation is out of the way i would like to share some interesting intersections.

a few days ago, i spent the evening as i sometimes do wandering round the web. being at an impasse will do that to you. but i rediscovered a fascinating bit of 21st century fiddling that i have been fascinated with for a while- the creepypasta.

for those that don't know, a creepypasta is a meme or false mythology that is made with two intentions- to frighten, and to go viral. its the internet equivalent of an urban legend, but constructed specifically with the knowledge that it is not true, with (so i surmise) the hopes that others will believe it is true.

my longtime favorite in this genre centered around a 1970's children's show called "Candle Cove". Apparently this was a television show with dark undertones and lots of children screaming, and there were purported viewers of this show that remembered watching it as a child. These "memories" featured this tidbit- their parents claimed that the entire time they were viewing it, all the parent could see on the tv was static.

some more very strange creepypastas can be found here.

for some reason, it only occurred to me this weekend how Borgesian this all is. It instantly reminded me of the story "Orbis Tertius" by jorge luis borges, one of my favorite writers. In this story, a false mythology/cosmology by a Council of 100 is distributed, inseminated really, throughout the culture. The idea was to supplant reality by rewriting history. every time a member of the council died, they were replaced, ensuring that the rewriting would go infinitely. Language, flora and fauna, everything was being re-imagined over hundreds of years, seeping into the culture with the eventual aim of eradicating the previous human history completely.

i have always been a fan of urban legends, and am fascinated with the way they occur and what they say about the culture that they infiltrate. its also fascinating to realize that people are unwitting participants in the building of myths, which really are what urban legends are. the idea that groups of people purposefully have chosen to create new urban legends, release them and watch them go is very interesting to me. and it brings up a lot of interesting notions.

first off, there are a few creepypastas i have stumbled on without realizing their false provenance that scared me absolutely silly. This is one of them. The tricky thing is, that when you decide to research these, inevitably you are faced with endless blogs and posts repeating these ad infinitum, making the discovery that they are in fact, NOT REAL, much more difficult to do.

here is where my love of quantum physics comes in and leads me to ask, "if a whole bunch of people begin believing that these things happened, have they in fact happened?"

the idea of reality is something i have always questioned and even before becoming immersed in quantum physics i realized that reality is nothing but a mass agreement. its a bunch of people who have decided that this, and not this, is reality, and there is this denial that reality is far more fluid than people realize. in other words, reality as we know it is only a consensus. there is literally nothing that can be called "absolute reality". its subjective. even with a mass consensus, its simply a consensus that our subjective reality is "real". and we can of course never know what another's reality is. fascinating, really.

with this in mind, you begin to wonder if the roots of some of these memes will not become so obscured that many people will begin to believe it. people as a whole don't tend to research everything they come across. call it the death of critical thinking. if people read it somewhere, they tend to believe it. i am not so cynical as to believe that people are merely sheep, because i don't believe that they are, but i do believe that humanity as a whole (especially in the western world with our mass of "entertainments" and media overload) are VERY easily distracted. when you are easily distracted you can be easily fooled. this is something that every magician knows instinctively.

if fifty people believe that charlie noonan existed, that "candle cove" was a real show, that a demented kleenex ad screened in japan led to mass suicides, is it not, in some sense, real? in a landscape of holographic multiverses, what does this imply? does not this imply or impart a degree of "reality"?

i do believe in things like the law of attraction, having seen in manifest in my life in a myriad of ways. i need a new scarf, or a printer, and within a few days, after focusing, it will "find" me. the more sure i am, the quicker it seems to happen. the belief that it will happen is of course the one necessary ingredient to these proceedings. belief makes things so.

in twenty years, will our world be so littered with memes that we have forgotten that they are not true? I remember rumors from my childhood- that joan jett had died in a plane crash, that prince was dying of AIDS, etc- and laugh about them now. obviously, enough people believing in something does not make the thing come to pass always.

but these were actual people. these were rumors. if you create a false reality, whole cloth, what will be the long term effects? i so very much wish that borges were still alive. i believe he would have much to say on the subject- and i think it would have delighted him.

1 comment:

  1. Holy crap. The weird thing is that I have this recollection of something from the late 70's/early 80's that sounds so similar. I will share it sometime.