Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Who was that masked bandito?

In the three months (eek!) that I've been blogging I've been so concerned about overcoming core reluctance, feigned indifference, blinding vacuity and performance anxiety that I haven't really thought about anyone else. (Which just proves my point about the essential narcissistic nature of blogs but let me get off my soapbox for a moment...)

Last night, as I was dropping off to sleep, I thought about Robert. Which would be fine if someone knew who Robert was but I don't. And the only reason I was thinking about him(s) is that I came across him(s) twice in the one day.

The first was "robert" who quite reasonably replied "Yarr!" to my post on Talk Like a Pirate Day. The second occurred when I was reading Tim's blog and found a comment by "ROBERT" (who wrote "This article clearly states the mindset of the author. It is intelligently drafted to create intrest of the reader. It brings out the worth of the subject" - ha! How cute is that?).

Now really I couldn't give a rats arse about the real Robert(s) (see soapbox...) but it did get me thinking about whether there was a potential new market out there for people who don't want to get their pens dirty on a blog, but might want become the new handmaidens and hooligans of the Internet by surfing blogs the way some people surf the corners of other people's towels on a hot crowded beach as they make their way from A to B.

That's how I imagined our Robert(s), descending on each blog like a bumble bee, leaving random notes, floating over to the next port of call and so on. And yes it was late and yes I was tired.

For several decades there was a man called Arthur Stace in Sydney who would write the word "eternity" on sidewalks all over the city. Pommies had Robin Hood. In Spain they had Zorro. Which got me thinking - what masked banditos have we got on the internet? Hackers? Phishers? Dickheads who design those annoying popups? Nup. Robin Hood gave to the poor. Zorro couldn't help but exude devillish charm - leave him alone. And Arthur Stace would never have scribbled "F**K U" in chalk. Even if he had lived long enough to encounter SMS. It was "eternity" or nuthin'.

So I'm proposing that we develop a new social art form that fills the gap. Something that's fun but not cruel. Challenging but not dangerous. Where people can play ping-back-pong because it's there. Until they can think of something better to do with their time.

Handmaidens (male and female of course - no need to discriminate here just because we're using historically gendered terms) could waft about in a cloud of lavender and whimsy, leaving ambiguous haiku, new age blessings and zen koans, thus interrupting the thread of the heated discourse and pouring balm on troubled souls (assuming bloggers have souls, that is...). Hell, they could even wander the Net correcting people's spelling. Now that'd be really vexatious - er, I mean venturesome - wouldn't it?

Hooligans could snub their snub noses at episodes of hubris, poor attempts at humour or any blogger who puts an "e-" in front of an ordinary word when the ordinary word would have done quite nicely without the pretentious embellishment. Or perhaps they could work in teams and think up modern day versions of the Jack Handy Deep Thought: "If you want to be the most popular person in your class, whenever the professor pauses in his lecture, just let out a big snort and say "How do you figger that!" real loud. Then lean back and sort of smirk." and make some kid's day.

Bandito flash gangs could play hide and seek, leaving clues as to the next blogstop and then converge there to play Scrabble with the letters of the first paragraph. Hell, the possibilities are endless!

I think it'd be fun. More fun than having to think of more dumb things to write in a blog I don't even really feel has a purpose for readers who don't exist in a place that isn't real except as an abstraction of Tim Berners-Lee's mind that caught on...

And it'd help me take my mind off this.

(Ola! to phatfred for the picture of the cute banditos!)

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