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Tuesday
Dec142010

« In Which We Get Wired Into The After Dark Side Of The Internet »

Girl, I Just Work For You

by MOLLY LAMBERT

I was telling a friend of mine the other day that I hate how aggressively disgusting the ads on the sides of porntubes are. He pointed out that I was asking too much of something that was free, and that it was free for a reason, and he was right. It is like complaining that the free coffee at the optometrist sucks. Of course it sucks. It's free. And you're not there to drink the coffee, you're there to get your vision checked.

Porn sidebar and pop up ads make you feel horrible and ashamed that you are watching porn youtube clones, but not because you are ashamed to watch porn. It's because you get so familiar with all the different iterations of the ads. Familiar enough that you are fonder of certain ones that others, My Teen Ex-Girlfriend occupying a slightly higher position than 18 & Abused. Shades of Maxim's I'd Rape Her 100

Who doesn't like feeling a little ashamed? I am a sick half Irish-Catholic fuck. Those ads are always like hey 4th wave feminist lady, so jaded and openminded, here is a huge thicket of misogynist internet porn advertising to remind you you're supposed to feel like watching consenting adults fuck is a repulsive thing only old guys in raincoats do and you're intruding on a sacred no girls allowed circlejerk cumfilled cenote

I should probably thank those creepy ads for making me feel like the internet is Times Square in the 70s and 80s, or the curtained off adult section of 20/20 video (RIP). How much less dirty(/successful) would it be without all the tacky accessories and cheap internet trappings? Considering how easy it now is to find anything you could ever possibly think of, at least the clandestine nature replicates the horror of feeling like you might get caught. Who wants to jerk off in an Apple store? It's redundant. 

This is actually also how straight guys feel when they watch Gossip Girl or Sex And The City or Nancy Meyers movies or listen to Ke$ha. That is why they do it literally holed up in bed with the lights out and the blinds shut with the window cracked a half inch open like the Unabomber. (the shivering wind comes in to say "it's truuuuuu")

That's how I watched the super edited Sex And The City reruns that were on KTLA for a while. Sometimes on a broken stairmaster in the porn basement style tan carpeted downstairs living room of the condo I lived in a few years ago. One time MTV2 showed the Beyonce B'Day video anthology for 24 hours and I just left it on the whole time. Sometimes I still think "wow, that was a really great day." These are my confessions

Doesn't it feel like people use chat programs like confessionals? As the generation that grew up with instant messaging, when are we going to acknowledge that it is a totally weird thing that we all use completely inappropriately. E-mail is for outlaws.

The extent to which instant messaging has made life more fun and helped me kill boredom/put off work is complicated by all the times I've had serious conversations on IM that really deserved better. Nothing that happens on the internet tends to feel very real, although things that happen in real life never feel very real either. 

Nothing in mainstream pornography is all that weird. Whatever sick stuff you like, it's seriously honestly still probably pretty normative. Just look at the viewcount. That doesn't mean you should go around telling everybody what your specific fetishes are (no1curr), it just means that you're definitely not as fucked up as you might think.

Fantasy is meant to be a deeply isolating personal experience. Knowing how many other people are exactly like you would just ruin the fantasy. You're better off pretending like you're the only perv in the world. People who don't watch porn, those are the real sickos. Also pederasts. Everything else is basically a Kardashian sex tape. 

Lines between the public and the private are so blurred these days. Who can tell the difference anymore between internet self and self? As a kid I used to feel fucked up by the idea that the person you are around your friends at school might be different than the person you are at home with your family, and that the person you are privately could be completely different from both of those things. I was a weird kid, but I wasn't wrong about infinite coexisting selves. Private browsing. Private from who, God?

The endlessly shapeshifting facebook monster has changed to reflect the very, very, recent movement towards people openly admitting how much time they spend on their computers every day. The looking at porn isn't even the shameful part at all, it's the looking at facebook. And even people who avoid facebook have their own internet sandtraps; any browsing that is purposeless or lacking an end point. The obsessively hitting refresh for no actual reason, as nailed by David Fincher in The Social Network

It's easy for anyone to Don Draper themselves into believing that they are the idea they present to the world. Some people go too far towards being a coherent exaggerated persona. Others go the opposite direction and lose all filtering ability, telling the internet every single time they are sad (don't do that! why u do? :D)

Ke$ha took a picture of herself getting head, which is mildly rock 'n roll, but how good could it be if you're able to take a camera phone picture (not very good!) Did the internet make people more bipolar, or just expose how bipolar most people generally secretly are? Does mediation always dilute experience? It's completely case by case.

I don't like when celebrities say they never use the internet, because that's ridiculous and they're lying. It's just the new "I don't even own a TV." You don't have to own a TV anymore, because you can just watch TV shows on your computer! I guess there are people out there who have no desire whatsoever to watch narrative television shows. Some of them are my good friends, I imagine they have a hard time talking to me. 

The other weird thing that happens specifically on the internet is the feeling like you're being pulled towards a collective self. This happens on twitter, facebook, and mushrooms. The differences between your taste and anyone else's taste, your self and their selves, more elaborately codified than ever, seem completely meaningless. 

Writing is masturbating with words. Blogging is masturbating on a webcam. You have to get tested for print. After a certain age everyone is fairly committed to the two or three keywords that other people would use to describe or introduce them, but on a daily level no one is really very sure how one day's self connects to the next day's. 

I keep watching music videos late at night on youtube. I like versions that are a few generations of betamax transfer old, because it reminds me of watching music videos on The Box and 120 Minutes. I also like the fuzzier low quality versions better because you can't put VEVOs in a playlist without a fucking commercial always coming up. 

I like to make playlists and let them play in the background while I write, like a Grand Theft Auto radio station of the mind. Then I watch them again the next day in the afternoon for the feeling of displacement from time it gives me. It's a tunnel from one place to the other. It's an endless loop of this Wham! video for "Everything She Wants." 

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording. She is a writer living in Los Angeles. She runs GIF Party, This Recording's twitter, and the newly formed JPG CLUB.

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"Visit" - Forest Swords (mp3)

"Glory Gongs" - Forest Swords (mp3)

"If Your Girl" - Forest Swords (mp3)

Reader Comments (4)

box score, M. Lambert:
1 ground-rule double (collective identity/"facebook twitter mushrooms")
1 3-run homer (the entire porn sequence)

December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSpruceBringsteen

"I like to make playlists and let them play in the background while I write, like a Grand Theft Auto radio station of the mind. Then I watch them again the next day in the afternoon for the feeling of displacement from time it gives me. It's a tunnel from one place to the other."

::prose boners::

December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTess Lynch

"Who wants to jerk off in an Apple store? It's redundant."

Brilliant.

December 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJack Altman
This post should be titled: Two Reasons why I need an AD BLOCKER. Vevo commercials? No problem. Porn Ads, gone! Screw Safari. Get yourself some Firefox and install you some AdBlock Plus. You're not obligated to see breasts every time you file share.

Also, for sanity, the greatest thing in the world is Youtube Comment Snob. No more kitchen comments!
July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterM.

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