I wake up and go straight to the computer. I always go straight to the computer. It’s my only source for information aside from paperbacks. Call me an addict, but at least it’s not television.
No e-mails, no facebooks, not even any interesting news. I take a shit, but don’t shower and forget to brush my teeth. I make a sandwich on the dirty kitchen counter and eat it, crumbs falling where they may. I get back on the computer and try to find something interesting on reddit.
I get to work late. I shape a bunch of animals out of wood. It doesn’t always feel like it, but I do have a nice life.
At work I listen to science fiction on audiobooks I have pirated with bit torrents. Everyone at work pirates now. I taught them how. I listen to a lot of cyberpunk books. I definitely consider myself a cyberpunk.
In High School, I declared cyber war against the administration and staff. I knew more Visual Basic than the Computer Science class taught, so I pwnd every assignment in the first five minutes and fucked around for the remaining forty. I coded malicious software, played Tribes, rendered fractals. My teacher had helped create the very first Multi User Dungeon ever made. During class, he played it more than I played Tribes. I crashed the MUD server while he was playing it. I wrote a program that flooded the server with randomized new user data. Simple stuff. I don’t think such a great teacher could ever bring himself to take away my computer priveleges, but that day he threatened to.
I tried to stay away from getting myself in trouble by keeping my antics at home. This did not work. I learned Flash from a pirated copy. Flash was a powerful thing and I didn’t have much trouble with it. The administration revoked the students’ privelege to carry backpacks in the hallways. I fired back with a flash video of a backpack eating their faces like Pac Man eats cherries. The video spread like a virus, even among the teachers. I found myself having some very uncomfortable lulz. The reality of the situation was that I had somehow shifted opinion so wildly that they gave backpack rights back. It was then that I got a taste for power.
I created a central hub that linked together different students’ web sites. I called it the Titan Underground because the school’s mascot was the Titan. Then we began to use this hub for Anonymously written stories about the school. It quickly and naturally became a slick Anonymous message board that most students posted on. I did not moderate it whatsoever. I suggest all Anons who are still students do the same thing. This is a fun thing to do in school.
Somebody eventually wrote a piece that was purely slanderous towards Ms. X, a pregnant English teacher. I had Ms. X for English and she always complimented and encouraged my writing. Somehow I feel like better maternity leave for teachers would have resolved this entire situation before it ever happened. I don’t blame Ms. X for her reaction. She wanted to sue me for publishing slander. The Principal would have fired her if she had sued me, so I was saved from the lawsuit. Still, they put me through drug counseling and psychiatric evaluation as punishment. They had my whole web site printed and laid out on a table. It was surreal, shocking. I felt guilty and regarded as insane so I didn’t write again for years.
The Titan Underground became the Elf Wax Times which became Chronicle.su. Ten years have passed since I crashed the first MUD ever made as its creator played across the room. Now I’m older and even more rash. I’ve attacked Anonymous and they’ve attacked me back. These fucking kids think I don’t understand Anonymous. Sure, it’s hard to draw an accurate picture of Anonymous. Anonymous is a voice we all have inside us that we are conditioned to never use.
I don’t really know how I ended up here, sanding turtle bodies out of wood. After high school I went to college for computer science and it didn’t really work out for me. I had trouble socializing with the rich kids and didn’t really have the focus to be a programmer anyway. I dropped out after 2 semesters. Eventually I moved to the country.
I still think of her sometimes when I’m working on turtles. There was a thing, with her and the turtle and me. I know it’s completely unhealthy, the way I still think about her after two years. The whole world knows now. Everyone knew before Anonymous even leaked my love letters anyway. I tend to let out my inner voice more than is appropriate. Even now! She was the only person to ever tell me to my face that something I wrote was fucked up. In a world of spineless television addicts, she used the voice we are taught to fear. She’d been expelled from high school for creating a fake Myspace of her gym teacher and using it to stir up rumors of sexual misconduct. How I loved her fearlessness!
My dealings with Anonymous started when I wrote an attack piece on AnonNews.org. I found their press releases stinking of ideology and lacking of content on any issue. It’s all propaganda written by some nut or another. The first article I wrote was partially serious and contained a lot of pointed criticism and a list of actionable ideas to improve AnonNews. These are all the things that Anons demand of anyone who begins to criticize them. Met with almost complete indifference, I gave up on Anonymous for a little while.
There is a key similarity between Anonymous and their arch-nemesis, Scientology. Like Scientology, Anonymous is kind of a science fiction cult. There is a recurring theme that Anonymous is a hyperconsciousness or a collective of minds that form an entity in cyber space. This is fantastic wording considering the reactionary nature of Anonymous. Unlike the individual mind, Anonymous does not plan for future outcomes or posess even a shred of self awareness. Anonymous reacts like a school of fish darting away from predators and homing in on food. This is a kind of consciousness that is below the level of any single individual.
When a hell of a lot of otherwise uninvolved people decided “Hey, Anonymous is a thing for me,” this is when the cult became something infectable. WikiLeaks released Cablegate and Anonymous saw a surge in these kind of recruits. These are impressionable young people who think they’re joining a hyperconsciousness by jumping on whatever DDoS bandwagon is arollin’. They’ve choked down some propaganda that’s no better than Fox News and behave like they’re members of the fucking Tea Party, infected with ideals. The only real way to get through to them is mockery.
It’s easy to mock a cult with no direction. Just call it irrelevant. When people have no personal reason why they’re doing what they’re doing, this kind of a statement will make them furious. Ideology (fwd to 2:30 for the lulz) clogs normally reasonable thought processes with rationalization. My article, “Why Anonymous is Completely Irrelevant,” evoked as much rationalization as it did ad hominems. Hyperconscious? No, definitely not. Anonymous has proved that to me by its own actions.
Manipulating Anonymous became a game to me. I showed everyone how awesomely easy it was to troll AnonNews and the trolls invaded. Comments and press releases were overrun with troll posts. Eventually, AnonNews became hardened to trolling. It is here that I have probably done my best service to Anonymous. My original criticism to AnonNews suggested more discretion in the posting of Press Releases. Now there is.