Published on 9 Jun 2014

When life in cyberspace becomes horrifically real on earth

By chance in New York over the weekend, I happened upon the continuation of a modern phenomenon. The internet is coming back to earth.

Close on the heels of last week’s Channel 4 News report about the extent to which internet fashionistas are beginning to become teen super stars on terra firma, I run into another dimension of the same.

Mooching past Madison Square Garden on Saturday I was bombarded by the throbbing presence of a rock band. The event was merely to sign post a much bigger musical experience in Citi Field, out in suburban Queens.

DigiTour Media Presents DigiFest NYCAbove: Our2ndLife perform at Digifest NYC on Saturday (picture: Getty)

Digifest NYC is a rave fuelled by Instagram, YouTube, Vine and more. It’s an event in which stars made in cyberspace, come down amongst their fans to perform on three dimensional earth, down and dirty with the people. These guys count their followers in the multiples of millions.

Suddenly we are not ourselves cast asunder in cyberspace but re-engineered as temporal humans performing for other humans in the flesh. The implications are simply massive. The eBook comes back as a book. Online news looks to television to enliven its cyber consumers – there is hope for us all!

Saturday’s concert was headlined by no less than Our2ndLife. I’m told that out in cyberspace the balance cotton balls on their noses. I heard no complaint.

I haven’t yet checked the music but 12,500 punters bought earthly tickets to see them in the flesh on Saturday and seem to have been satisfied.

The New York Times, no less, quotes Meridith Valiando Rojas, the co-founder of a Los Angeles start up, DigiTour Media, as saying “it’s all about bringing the internet to life”.

I thought the traffic was all the other way, that I and so many others were being brought to life in cyberspace. Suddenly it is not. Seeing is not believing. The fans need the physical throb, the deafened ear, the weed, the Coke cans.

Oh, yes, I omitted to say that temporal Coca Cola sponsored the Queens concert at which 70 bands rocked, and 150 security guys kept temporal control.

Stand by for Teen Hoot, Nick Tangora, and Mr Fanta. Folks – I’m way out of you when it comes to downloading the internet experience into a grassy heat bowl on earth.

Satanic forces

But now the horrible sting in the cyber reality show. More than 500 miles north of New York, in Waukesha, Wisconsin, two 12-year-old girls face trial for attempting to murder their 12-year-old best friend.

It seems that they were trying to please an online figure, conjured on the internet, called the Slender Man. It is reported that the girls had become convinced that the Slender Man lived in a mansion near their homes and that he too had an earthly form and that in order visit him they had to bring about this ghastly supreme sacrifice.

Last week, a passing cyclist found the girls’ victim bleeding profusely struggling near a cycle path in a wooded area. The girl lives, but doctors declare that of her many stab wounds, one was within a matter of a milimetre from a main artery.

I’m sorry to end like this after such an exuberant start. But as in life on earth there is good and bad, hope and despair in all.

Humankind has yet to reach that precious place where there is balance and understanding in all. While the bands rock, and fashionistas sport their wares, we should never forget the deeply satanic forces that share our evolving temporal and cyber universe.

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2 reader comments

  1. Philip Edwards says:

    Jon,

    Funny enough, New York was the location for my final abandonment of “pop” music.

    My daughters insisted I take them to the CGBG club which was, apparently, the favourite haunt of Blondie and their ilk. The feature performance was by a Japanese punk band – whose name escapes me – with a lead singer wearing a Huron haircut dyed pink. He sang a song titled, and I am not kidding here, “My Ass Is On Fire”. I decided then and there we got a better deal when pop music was actually music and not an amplified can of rotting fish heads. Since then contents of the can have deteriorated even further.

    Anyway, few things are sadder than old men trying to be “cool”. Far better to rage, rage against the dying of the light. But not, I hasten to add, while your ass is on fire.
    :-)

    As for the 12 years old murderers, the latest in a sorry continuing saga…….does that mean we have heard the last use from you of the absurdity of an “American Dream”?

    (PS: That “interview” of “Lord” Carrington was the latest cringeworthy effort from you. Cringe 1 was Michael Heseltine. Cringe 2 was David Cameron. Gawd knows who Cringe 4 will be. Get a life man. At this rate even Bernard Ingham will stop labelling you “a pinko”.)

  2. H Statton says:

    Sorry to start of the Downdside:
    The Slender Man – an influential figure?

    Last week I read some reports intimating the negative effects of a cyberspace character the ‘Slender Man’, and the anxieties the Man is causing. A most recent report has be seen to The Slender Man enrapt two young girls that used this site via, ‘his’ -`vvvv5`vvvv5`vvvv5log/website, entrancing via subtle nuances of ‘his’. They became less able to be disentangeltised from the new ‘cult’ World/

    It provides a thin (no pun intended) but plausible last line of defence for the two girls that went on to attempt to murdering their 12 year old friend. Could pseudo counselling justify an ephemeral psychological process at work or is it just a last chance attempt to grossly modify the final outcome of events.

    Allusions were made to the fact that the likes of the Slender Man can in some way dilute reality. Although the general public fully recognises their brutal behaviour, due to the lack of any human control in directing these girls, it is possible that they may be treated with some leniency.

    How many more kids are online and subjected to this sort of pseudo management, I would say most are not (though a concise report would be needed) Any well-adjusted individuals know how to treat and greet other people. But it is still the sad fact that these ‘types’ of murder will still continue, (unless stricter guns and weapons esp. in the U.S.) laws are tightly regulated. Most Kids play to beat, beat, and beat each new time.

    Basically, we are into the realms of seeking justice, but we are also in a position whereby our ability to construct views is malleable. It purports we prefer to block out the depiction and not the actual crime on the dock. We highlight the symbols and eradicate them. Ignore the real cause of a problem the crime is there. In other words ignore the motivation, deal with aftermath, and then and stick our ostrich heads in the sands and hope it all goes.

    As there is no Charlie Manson factor, L. Ron Hubbard, and Shokoa Asahara , to name a few, proposes an audience at the hearing be would find it easier incarcerate a real person, that it would be to exact the same amount of penance of the two girls. (1. jury might prefer to take a ‘softer’ stance. Might this represent the difference between (2. jury deciding the case of first and second degree murder, or murder to manslaughter etc.?) The Slender Man can be removed from cyberspace but for how long. Kids are clever………………………………who’s their next employer? He will reappear in another form and I suspect, entice and following.

    For me it is the nature of the crime comes first. The Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Forensics’ and experts’. It also suggests that everything from racist abuse, rape, misogyny, religious persecution to the ultimate crime of murder – a whole range of grotesque behaviour is somehow attenuated when we have a cushion between ourselves and the reality, in this case an imaginary character, The Slender Man.

    Here, there is no ‘real’ person to blame for encouraging or influencing the girls’ actions. Fiction is on trial as much as the girls. How can ideas be put on trial? The Slender Man is not a cult, with a cult leader.

    Everyone knows the difference between right and wrong, even a small child. It is a case of being accountable and taking responsibility for our actions. And I’m sure this attack was fully premeditated and the two girls knew exactly what they were doing. A complete picture of their motivation may well remain elusive. Personally, I don’t buy the ‘we did it because we were brain-washed’ defence.

    Stay away from theses’ sites, they are designed to catch you and cause naught but trouble!

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