gidgetwidget

Mining Fantasy, Undermining Reason

In FOR YOUR CONSIDERSTION, NEW!, NEWS AND COMMENTARY, TWITTER CULTURE on October 29, 2010 at 6:00 PM

In The Halls of Mirror and Marble

October 29, 2010

~

Remittance Girl has done it again. I follow her on Twitter and read her blog for a reason. If it were not for her, I would never have learned the story of Alexa di Carlo as it unfolded this past week.

Alexa, who, as I understand it, fulfilled many erotic fantasies and had developed quite a following with stories of her sexual escapades over her blog and on Twitter. I had never seen, nor heard or encountered this persona, until this week, when the character of Alexa di Carlo was ripped from the world of virtual fantasy and exposed by someone for who she–or actually, who HE was, in reality. The consequence unleashed a virtual lynch mob. The mirror was shattered. A person was suddenly exposed for pretending to be someone else on the internet. And the people who had become most intoxicated by the fantasy, flew crashing into the cold, hard, immutable marble of our reality. Almost all of Alexa’s followers raged against the injustice of it and took it upon themselves to exhume from the ashes of their fantasy, who this person was in reality. And things became very, very real. By the power of the internet, the right to pretend gave way to the right to expose. A real person’s identity was made public and put on trial by the Court of Virtual Opinion. Each participant gave testimony. But was it a just and fair course of action? Or was it indicative of how we are not so different as the people of our past: prone to mob mentality, emotion, idealism, fantasy and easily undermining reason, when reality becomes cruel in what it reveals. When bad things happen to people, they look for their suffering to be validated somehow. Just because we have all this new technology, does not mean we have caught up to it culturally, psychologically, or socially.

We are still out to hang Sarah Good by her neck. ¹

You, dear reader, have to recognize this, step back and do not give in to reacting immediately with emotion. Do not undermine reason. You and I, all of us, have a choice. In the melee RG and a few other voices, shouted back caveats to those participating in this Virtual Trial. Go read about it.

~

Had I not seen the story of Alexa di Carlo, I would not have discovered a new key aspect of the dilemma. More specifically, that dilemma involves answering the question of how we are changing, reacting and adapting to the innovations of our day and age? What will history books say about the dawn of the 21st Century in fifty years? In 100 years? Figuring out for myself what it means; this still elusive, most terrifying and most beautiful dynamic of living in the world we do. Understanding what it means; to live in this age of information technology, social media and in a culture where this unprecedented form of instant communication is changing who we are, how we think, so quickly, so dramatically, that while many of us are aware, we cannot get our heads around its consequences.  CONTINUE READING

But we are trying to. And we are recording it not by writing on subway walls but in our Halls of Mirror and Marble–the metaphor I choose to continue using for the place that is this maze of blogs, websites, forums, and online structures.

~

Here is my comment, posted on RG’s last piece on the Story of Alexa.

~

I’ve been following this story over the past 24 hours and found myself totally dumbstruck. Sure, I’ve seen vitriol and mass hysteria run rampant on the internet. I am not sure why it was this story in particular. Am I finally opening my eyes to see what concerns me most about what happens with information that goes, “viral?” It’s like a nursery school game of “Telephone,” fused with Russian Roulette. We’d be fools not to see that the safety is off. We are playing with fire and the real life consequences can be deadly. Note, I said, CAN BE; I do not want to invite or even hint towards  sanctions or censorship. But if we don’t practice our own version of self-discipline and hold ourselves accountable for getting burned? It’s really up to the individual to choose. I, personally, would like it to remain up to me rather than have others decide those choices for me. I think I can accept the trade off and face the consequences of my own actions. But then again, I can make stupid mistakes and can’t help but think, what if that were me? I would be mortified to find myself at the focal point of an internet-lynch-mob.

~

There is a pattern emerging, as we watch the digital environment become increasingly populated. It is one that echos our history of adapting to technological advances and innovations of thought. The ONE THING THAT SCARES ME is how ripe we are to mass hysteria, to mob mentality, and how infectious this viral manifestation spreads. When we leave our own moral and ethical values open to such intoxication, we are throwing fuel on the fire. The gun in our hands could be fake; it could be real. At least I know my gun is a prop. But say I point it at someone who thinks it’s real? BANG! Too late.

~

Finally, thank you RG, for writing what I have yet to be able to except thru the lens I best understand the world and experience it. That is, the theatre. My first play is all about this. Reality vs Fantasy. And the dangers of what happens to someone when the line between the two becomes blurred. When sexual fantasy gives way and subsumes reality, a person becomes trapped by the projections of the ideal, as well as the expectations of his/her own ideal. Finding your way clear, once you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole, lost yourself in The Hundred Acre Wood, takes a person on a strange and twisted journey.

I hope you enjoy the play….. Remember, there is a line between fantasy and reality. Don’t try to bring the two together.

¹Sarah Good was one of the first women accused of witchcraft in the Salem witch hunts of 1692.

 


  1. GW,
    Hysteria has always existed in the world the salem witch trials, the french revolution, tulips as the basis for wealth and power int the netherlands, those who voted for BHO. It is nothing new and will always exist. Unlike the events I mentioned a virtual Lynching doesn’t cause anything but virtual harm. I not even fascinated by the story as I have never Heard of the the character Alexa. Therefore she was about as real to me as Tinkerbell and exists in the same realm.

    What worries me is the supposed advice she gave out. Did she or didn’t she, that as they say is the rub. Real or not (BTW that is a Warren Zevon end song for Tek Wars) Yeah real or not is virtual bleeding and character destruction a real crime like causing a young girl to suicide after Facebook attacks?

    Thorny issues these be and I have no answers

    Like

Please Share Your Thoughts, I'll Respond!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: