Internet For Assholes
This week: Torturing celebrities

"Dear Catherine Zeta-Jones, What fucking planet are you on? I sit home at night bashing my head up against the wall because you're fucking a man old enough to be your grandfather's granddad. He can't possibly fuck you as hard as say, a 24- year-old gym instructor such as myself."

See also...
... by Lou Cabron
... in the Whoa! section
... from December 15, 1999

Welcome to the Web, where celebrities become dartboards and Andrew Dice Clay is a spokesperson for Office Depot. Now that anyone can create a Web page, anonymous losers from around the world are broadcasting to global audiences, too -- and celebrities are fair game! If you've got any doubts, check out the "Damn You Ed McMahon" page created by "two crazy white guys denied our chance on Star Search."

Slap a Spice Girl! Dunk your least-favorite celebrity in a vat of acid! One Webmaster has even drawn vomit onto pictures of celebrities! You can even join in the ongoing fun and games at Who Would You (Er, it's pretty self-explanatory.) The orgy of celebrity mayhem became so widespread, Yahoo created an Interactive Celebrity Violence category.

The phrase "culture-jamming" was coined to describe this kind of activity, and other media pranks. The audio collage band Negativland is famous for their media subversion. Shortly before U2 released an album, the band's tricksters also released an album of their own -- titled "U2," driving U2's record company crazy with fear that fans would purchase it, and be treated to a collaged mockery of U2's hit "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." The song was accompanied by a piece built around an American Top-40 outtake in which Casey Kasem swears like a sailor.

And with the advent of the Internet, those once-in-a-lifetime moments when celebrities lose their guard are not only preserved forever, but distributed worldwide. Pranksters on the Web have even dug-up rejected ad campaigns. ("Muffles the voices in your head that keep telling you to hit on your best friend's mom!")

Torturing celebrities is an impulse that many have, but few will admit. In a 1996 publicity stunt by DJs in Maryland, for example, Elmo was flattened by a 10-ton steamroller. What is Tickle Me Elmo but a torture-me Muppet? People have taken this idea to the next level, creating torture-able celebrities on the Web: Elvis and William Shatner ("Hint: Go for the hair"), and of course Mr. T. And celebrity hell has a special circle reserved just for Pokémon.

Why pick on celebrities? Because they deserve it. They signed over their souls for a lifetime of pretending they never go naked or take a dump. It really is as simple as that, according to various Trekkers. After the kick-ass security officer Tasha Yar (Denise Crosby) from Star Trek: The Next Generation posed in Playboy, she was asked to leave the show. This prudery has, naturally, been corrected by fans on the Web. even archived several erotic Star Trek games. ("In 'Xtrek' roam around the Enterprise-D attempting to sleep with every female character you meet.") Remember: If it's a celebrity, it's OK. Besides, they think they're better than you. You can live your life in pathetic subjugation to the entertainment state, or you can fight back.

Orson Welles once quipped that a forgery is still a painting. In a virtual sense, an image of a celebrity is still a celebrity. (C'mon, you've never seen them in the flesh! It's always been on the silver screen or the small screen!) And now they're on your computer screen, where with the right software you can tweak these pixilated totems, yourself. And then it's just one small step to eating testicles, sleeping with Gene Simmons, or getting their asses kicked by Mr. T.

Eating balls? Yes, indeed. Yahoo lists over 125 sites in their "Ate My Balls" category.

Fabio, the Spice Girls, and Hanson all have one thing in common: An obsessive fan who stared at their photos long enough to think up ball-eating captions. You have to smile when they pick someone who really deserves it -- say, Yoko Ono or David Hasselhoff.

Mass media is just soft-core porn by another name. Duh! After seven years, Scully and Mulder have finally kissed -- after thousands of fans on the Internet have already spent countless hours slobbering over naked photos of both Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny. (And more rejected ad campaigns.)

Why should celebrities be the only ones with paparazzi? The Internet cries out for a gathering place to post scurrilous lies, pick over the minutia of someone's life, and murmur over their fervent denials. When in doubt, make things up. Earlier this fall, someone created as a companion to the newsgroup they created hours earlier which had a typo in it ( Judging from the first eight messages, the newsgroup is some kind of birthday present gone awry. The first-ever post read, "Whenever you type, my heart fills with anger and I want to strangle you.... ha ha!! Just kidding you sweet thing! I love you, as always."

Who is Morticia? No one knows -- but her enigmatic presence hovers over the newsgroup, loaded with the foreboding sense that someone's about to learn the law of unintended consequences as stray Usenet users wandered in. "I'd like to bitch at Morticia. Do I have to get in line or something?" "Who the H-LL is Morticia?" And the inevitable follow-up: "Right now she is busy trying to catch me..."

It's a never-ending cycle of creation and renewal. Last month saw the creation of the following newsgroups:



alt.barrel-shaped.borderline-morbidly- obese.catamite.scott-abraham



The next time he logged onto the Net, Scott Abraham was in for a big surprise.

The power of the media is in your hands. Be true to yourself, and use it like the asshole you are. Think of yourself as Casey Kasem making a long-distance dedication. This newsgroup's for you!

See also:
Porn for Assholes
Windows for Assholes
Floppy Disks for Assholes
Digital Cameras for Assholes
Copyright Infringement for Assholes
Mocking Rick Wallace for Assholes
Chatting for Assholes
Skepticism for Assholes
Voting Fraud for Assholes
Spamming for Assholes
Disposable Identities for Assholes
Anonymity for Assholes
Stalking for Assholes
Religion for Assholes
Death for Assholes
eBay for Assholes
Portals and Personal Ads for Assholes
Newsgroups for Assholes

Lou Cabron is GettingIt's resident asshole.

Internet for Assholes runs each Wednesday on GettingIt.