more fun with tragic memes
Tuesday, December 26 2000
Since I'm officially not on vacation, I went to work today. Everyone who might have taken note of my showing up, however, happened to be on vacation themselves. There was hardly much point in being there, except that with so many people absent, it was a fairly pleasant place to be. I was feeling sleep deprived and still mildly tweaked, and I still only wanted to hear one song on endless repeat: the Beta Band's "It's Not Too Beautiful."
Some time in the mid-morning I happened to notice a story breaking on the AOL news ticker, something about an employee going postal at a dot com in the greater Boston area. I was thinking: is this really a big enough story to justify another one of my bogus "personal homepage of the shooter" creations? At first I didn't think so, but then I realized that this was something everybody has been expecting to happen for some time, and perhaps it was something of a dot com coming-of-age milestone. So I threw together a site in record time, gleaning NRA graphics and such from various places around the web. What I really need is a generic "I love guns and am kind of unstable" page that I can customize and put live quickly for times such as this.
Once I had the first version of the page done, I thought quickly and posted a link to a rapid-fire chat happening at CNN.com. Soon after, someone reposted the link to a Yahoo messageboard, and a flood of traffic started flowing in. I also posted the URL in all the common search engines, but for my timeline, this was a complete waste of effort. Maybe two weeks from now the search engines will begin to bear fruit. Interestingly, though, the sudden internet interest in people going postal caused a wave of search engine hits to my pages about Mark Barton, Larry Ashcroft and the Trenchcoat Mafia.
Another strategic place to post the URL was a discussion board over at Netslaves. It was picked up from there almost immediately by someone and posted to several messageboards at the grand central station of jaded dot commers, FuckedCompany.com. This led to another surge of traffic flowing through my site, this being the kind of crowd with exactly the variety of disaffection that makes for good long-term readers. So it turned out in the end that my decision to act fast and build a bogus page had been a clever marketing ploy for my site.
At around 3pm, I was at home eating my lunch and drinking a beer and I decided fuck it, I'm not going back to work today. So I took a nap instead.
When I woke up, I was delighted to find my bogus shooter site was the topic of discussion on at least two different gun nut message boards. "It's bogus!" someone would claim, and then someone else would post a URL to my homepage with the warning "this guy is seriously disturbed." Between that and all the banter about me on FuckedCompany, I felt like something of a minor celebrity. That sort of notoriety, that's the shit I live for baby.
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