2005-06-10 12:18

On Net.Kookery

It used to be that discovering a net.kook in one's midst was an experience that unfolded gradually. Someone would show up in an online forum, come off as reasonable for a bit and then, over the course of weeks or months, the crazy would start leaking out around the edges. At some point the net.kook would snap, blossoming into full-on insanity. Other members of the community would dig around on the net and find further examples of the net.kook's whacked-out politics or paranoia or that he or she is a series of hate crimes or bodily assaults just waiting to happen. The net.kook would either chomp down on these examples like a pit bull and argue to the death or wither under the slightest bit of scrutiny and stomp off in a huff.

Now, in our greatly-accelerated, short-attention-span age, we get this -- a veritable Zen koan of net.kookery that goes from zero to flameout in about 20 posts over several days. The first two pages are a beautiful trainwreck, and then (with the exception of post 90 and a couple of others) the rest is a bunch of people milling around, marveling at the insanity they just saw and hoping to catch lightning in a bottle again.

God, I love the Internet.


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