in a not-too distant future
everyone has to register their existence via a worldwide social network
and people who don’t use the social network to log their every doing are seen as suspicious and closeted
and people who can’t be found on the social network at all are like ghosts and people are terrified of them
nothing in the real world actually happens unless it’s recorded on the net
homestuck summer camp would literally devolve into a screaming abattoir of ship wars and gradually escalate into gladiator-esque bloodbaths to prove whose ship is the most worthy
a week later a group of amateur hikers stumble into a razed clearing, embers from the burning tents still flickering in the breeze. bodies garbed in black and splashed with gray paint are strewn everywhere amongst the debris of shattered troll horns. one of the hikers kneel to pick up what appears to be the remnants of a threadbare blue cat hat, and is startled by a sudden movement in the shadows. the group ventures towards the form cautiously, it appears to rocking back and forth, clutching something to its chest. when one of the hikers dare to shine a flashlight on it, it presses the tattered remains of what appears to be Homestuck: Book One closer and hisses, “johndave is now canon.”
- INSTEAD OF GANGS- THERE WOULD BE FANDOMS
“UGH, THERE’S ANOTHER FIGHT BETWEEN THE HARRY POTTER FANDOM AND TWILIGHT FANDOM IN THE YARD.”
“Bitch, did you just disrespect my ship? I WILL CUT YOU”
“Hey. You. Hey, you.” A strangely deep voice speaks behind me.
I turn around. There’s a girl sitting at a table near me, beckoning. Her uniform is folded up at the sleeves; her uncovered arm bears a crude biro tattoo and a familiar looking amulet hangs around her neck.
“You’re new, aren’t you?”
The girl nods at the sarcastic reply in recognition and extends a hand for the shaking. I take it hesitantly - her fingernails seemed to be stained with blood.
“You can call me Cassie.”
“Is that your name?”
“You know we don’t use real names here,” she says, meeting my eyes with a sidelong intense squint. There’s a weighted pause. Both of us already know who the other is, and in the custom of both our peoples we glare into each others eyes homoerotically for the traditional five seconds before resuming our business.
“So what can I call you? Lockie? Sheridan? Only I will warn you off any rendition of ‘Molly’ or ‘Loo’ ‘cause we’ve had a sudden influx of them after that episode …”
“Sher is fine, thanks.”
The girl grins and gestures to the empty space at the table next to her.
After some minutes of quiet during which Cassie manages to devour two pies and a hamburger, I scan the sea of faces around us. Cassie sees me and nods, pointing over to the far side of the dining hall, where a table is occupied by a band of people divided in half - one side of the table wears their right sleeve rolled up, the other side wears their left rolled up, and those in the middle blur between both rolled up and neither. The lefties appear to be chattering loudly and rapidly consuming jam and sherbert powder. The right-sleeve party are looking on at this behaviour disapprovingly. Those in the middle look like they couldn’t give less of a fuck if they tried, simply sitting there eating donuts and occasionally shouting, “NOT OUR DIVISION”.
“Your lot are over there,” says Cassie, “well, mostly.”
“A heap of them are in solitary confinement for graffiti-ing prison property, and some are in the hospital wing for emotional distress.”
“I see.” I look over the crowd again, this time spotting a telltale flash of blue peeking out from beneath a prisoner’s sleeve. The table they sit on is large and fully occupied, but quiet and subdued, with some talking here and there. Suddenly a fierce debate starts up out of nowhere, and the words “Rose”, “River”, “Mary Sue”, and “OTP” seem to come up a lot.
“Ugh, another shipping battle,” says Cassie with a roll of her eyes. She has produced another hamburger from thin air and her mouth is stuffed with it. “A couple of girls of my lot got done for confinement over Wincest vs Destiel yesterday. It’s always happening. Especially with that lot, they’ve got little else to talk about at the moment.” She swallows her mouthful of hamburger then, adding hastily, “not to say anything against them. I know you guys are practically family.”
“It’s fine. Where does everyone else sit?”
“Actually, no, may I …?”
Cassie grins again, “be my guest.”
I sit up straighter, hands steepled beneath my chin, and observe the crowd.
“Over there, table at three o’clock. Smudged makeup, tear tracks, pumpkin juice on the table, girl holding knife like wand, patches of colour on uniforms - discreet but sorting them into groups, yellow, blue, green, red - Dark Mark on boy three seats down; obviously the Harry Potter fandom.”
“Good,” Cassie nods through another mouthful of hamburger.
“Table at nine o’clock. Small horns, cursing of Andrew Hussie, praise of Andrew Hussie; Homestuck fandom.”
“Table at far right. Copious amounts of glitter, significantly better applied makeup and more fashion conscious than most people in this room, many shipwars taking place but mostly being drowned out by group sing-a-long’s - also they were dancing on the table when I came in, hardly a difficult leap; Glee fandom.”
“Now, the table behind us. No markings, completely plain, barely touched uniform. Might make it tricky, instead makes it obvious. No one should look that pleased to be forced into wearing an orange jumpsuit. Misfits fandom.”
“And right at the back on the left, huddled away. Some glaring at the Harry Potter fandom. Separated into shipping teams. Team Edward and Team Jacob shirts visible underneath uniforms, dead give-away. Twilight Fandom.”
“Okay, how about them over there,” says Cassie, pointing over to another table.
“Please, that’s child’s play. I can hear them shouting ‘Brolin’ from here. Merlin fandom.”
“Happy looking fandom, talking excitedly, ‘December 2012’ written on the inside of that boy’s wrist, plus the rings on the chain around that girl’s neck and the fake elf ears; Tolkien fandom.”
“You’re not bad,” says Cassie, finishing off her hamburger.
“I’m an expert. We all are.”
Cassie nods and leans back on her hand, looking me over.
“And what did they get you in for, Sher?”
I swallow, looking down at my cream tea determinedly and willing myself not to cry.
She puts her hand on my shoulder gently.
“You need to get it out.”
“I … I downloaded -” my voice breaks, and I swallow hard again before breathlessly forcing out the rest of the sentence, “I downloaded The Reichenbach Fall.”
downloading in a post-megaupload world is kind of like that scene in a dystopia where the intrepid heroes find the ruins of some lost civilization with a few intact artifacts here and there
something great once stood here
and after two hours of searching maybe you’ll find someone’s old necklace
(it’ll take you another hour to fish the necklace out of the ground if you’re lucky)
Amusing Ourselves to Death by Stuart McMillen (May 2009)Aldous Huxley (Author: “Brave New World”) vs. George Orwell (Author: Nineteen Eighty-Four)
This is why I am reading Huxley!
intense. But unfortunately very true in so many cases around the world.
Which is why I’m going to just ditch humanity/society and live in a forest or jungle. And train all the time.