17 May 2010

the tradeoff

long, long ago - I know not through what channels - I started reading an offensive, bong water-soaked webcomic using Microsoft Comic Chat as its medium. it was called Jerkcity, and its name was apt. stock MS characters joked about how queer they were, how many cocks they could gobble in a minute, how much Windows/Netscape/IE/et al sucked. (the funniest joke ever strip is still one of my favorites.) it was counter to everything decent in society, and I ate it up. it's still a guilty pleasure, though the quality has diminished somewhat, IMO.

part of the draw of Jerkcity is: who would write this mindless garbage? was it one guy? a bunch of guys? sometimes there'd be a fuzzy .gif image of an unshaven man lurking in a panel here or there, usually ingesting copious amounts of ganja. was this the guy, or a red herring roommate or friend?

poking amongst the Jerkcity links, I found a blog purportedly from one of the characters, Rands. and what do you know - even if he was the main proponent behind Jerkcity, he wasn't a total nimrod. something about his obsession with and personal mastery of Vegas spoke to me. his description of Nerd Attention Deficit Disorder (or N.A.D.D.) eerily shadowed my own habits. I still knew almost nothing about the guy besides his inclination towards strippers, but I liked what I was reading.

fast forward a few years to the Twitter age. I joined up last summer our of curiosity and potential self-promotion. not long after, I discovered Rands had a Twitter account. cue futher mystique breakdown. most of his tweets deal with design and office management (the latter a little hard to swallow due to my last job), a pithy missive here, a well-timed link there. it's a link to his own blog that prompted this blog post.

after perusing his latest post, a wish for the perfect store unhampered by anonymity and marketing jackals, I noticed he had a link to his Amazon wish list on his sidebar. curious, I took a look. I now know more about him, his tastes, and even his state of mind than I ever dreamed possible. the Internet has bridged the gap between creator and audience, stranger and stranger, possible friend and potential stalker. no privacy was invaded; he put up the list on his website for public browsing. undoubtedly, he has preferences and hatreds he has not shared with the public at large. still, I can't help but feel a little weird at this peek inside someone I'll never know in person.

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