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Herald Flashback…

MySpace.com

When I first decided to capture some of the magic of MySpace.com by joining just a few months back, little did I realize it was a world unto itself.

MySpace, the rapidly expanding network of online connections, where you can encapsulate your entire being in text, sound, and images for all the world to see. It's a scintillating nomenclature of gratuitously egocentric and addictive attractions. More user-friendly, few limits in regard to censorship, in truth it really has no rules. Though you do have a terms of agreement to join regarding such invisible boundaries.

This differs from friendster.com, which has reached a more high-end status of online dating, i.e. sex (come on, we all know that's what it's for) with the inception of heightened security precautions regarding privacy selections for viewing and contact (which was turning people off from its use.)

Enter MySpace.com, despite the ever-present, ominous 'tom' (founder of the site and automatic 'friend') who perpetually is in online status to allude he's monitoring activity in almost a Big Brother 1984 feel. Though you do have the option to delete him, which then creates, through bulletin posts and displays, an unabated, salacious forum for anything-goes personal profiles and communities. A corpus delecti of online communiqué that out-rivals friendster.com, nerve.com, makeoutclub.com, and of all the other falsely acclaimed hook up sites, who are all guilty of more puritanical, profit-driven ethics.

MySpace.com is a veritable playground of impersonal, yet orgiastic sadomasochistic interactions, where you can create elaborate profiles, full of Photoshopped glamour shot pictures of yourself and exaggerated bios, in a desperate attempt at instant pseudo celebritydom, a persona among characters who you wouldn't think twice about in reality. Which in its endearing, naive, childishness reminds me of that infomercial from years back geared towards people under 12 years old (even though they played it after midnight) in which various kids were shown singing into the phone, supposedly being recorded with the promise that their voice may be listened to, reviewed and then signed to a record label -- catapulted to instant stardom and fame, all for just $5.99 the first five minutes and 1.99 each additional. "Kids ask your parents first."

Joining MySpace.com is free and provides the use of HTML for everything from background illustrations of your personal site to theme music. You have a daily blog to use for 'genuine', honest feelings and intimate activities, or in most cases, rants and anger management. Or you can post information for shameless self-promotion. Security levels just don't exist among its users, unlike friendster.com with its 3 level privacy option by friend of friends. Though there are agreements and contractual promises that the content will never be sexually explicit or violate the law in any way, this just isn't the case with those who can outrun myspace.com moderators (it's hard to keep up with over 4 million members or more.)

There are no regulated clusters, and due to the availability of profiles, anyone can add you as a friend. There are what seem to be cliques, clubs and groups -- but generally on any friends list you'll find a pretty diverse and eclectic assortment of people. And you can almost guarantee that each person only truly knows about 40% of their so-called friends on the list. The degree of significance for the profiles in regard to individual aesthetics is crucial and staggering, completely imperative to the survival of MySpace.com life.

The amount of friends one has is directly related to appearances. With the right money-shot, people will actually respond to the most inane banalities in their daily blogs and bios. And in most cases people don't even bother to read the text… (no really, I read it for the articles!) Sex sells -- the more profiles with you in seductive, overly contrived poses, with the most skin, the more friends you'll have... some members are up in the thousands. Easily becoming a contest of people collecting and trading, where you're reduced to a status of mere inactive tokens. This accruing of friends has morphed friends into FANS and followers. With your friend/fans leaving testimonials in adoration and ass-kissing of the utmost proportions, adding to the grandeur and exaltation which is so desperately sought after. Generally this is done by a friend in the hope the act will be reciprocated. I see it as experimentation in cultish psychology. As well, it's slowly become one big smut-fest for women. Which strikes me as odd when the very women guilty of this baiting complain about stalking issues. It enables the most amateur of stalkers and pervs. In fact, it almost encourages them. I mean, when these women get frantically upset over harassment it's almost funny, really (who put the gun to their heads and said, “Post these pictures up publicly with your oh-so-inviting, temptuous self.”)

Friendster's rampant attack on its fakester accounts forced a lot of pranksters over to MySpace, where anything goes. I myself had many fake joke accounts, from faked celebrities to characters like the gun moll/bambina, Sister Christian, and the Crackwhore -- all of which were extreme parodies. Yet no one was offended. In fact, I was rather disheartened to discover the random image of a hot blond woman I used for Sister Christian had so many responses it froze up my account. My real profile was getting 2 to 3 contacts from admirers a day while my fake accounts drew 10-20 or more. I had to announce that my Sister Christian account wasn’t real. What amazed me was no matter how right-wing extremist, politically incorrect, or just plain neurotic I made them look, the men just didn't care. Even the most mismatched of admirers would send messages regarding my breast size and how hot I was. One time I even claimed I had untreatable O.C.D. and was a severe phobic, but that didn't stop the men from hitting on me either.

I had abandoned Friendster all together and moved my accounts to MySpace, and aside from some dating drama, I've been having loads of fun ever since. I've got a McMySpace account mocking its drive-through people. I went so far as to become the MySpace Pimp. They still have no idea I'm a girl. And I get requests from women to be added regardless how crude, sexist or offensive my profile is! It’s all about exposure, baby! Just to be included amongst the 'hottest women of MySpace'.

On the more morbid side, I'm also the MySpace Jane and John Doe. The fake celebrity accounts are on there but slowly the real celebrities have been joining for, I assume, damage control and PR. You'll find everyone from sex goddess/personality Lenora Claire of Club Apocalipstick fame to Richard Metzger of disinfo.com. Almost any notorious underground magazine, artist, or band can be found if you search enough. And it seems that every fetish model of any fetish can be found to grace its profiles.

With this popularity, as expected, the vultures are now circling. Adult entertainment recruiters were surfing the women's profiles. I had a few friends say they had been solicited to be recruits for escort businesses. I was personally asked to do fetish-modeling work (some of which I had followed through on and had been credible.) One friend had said a random member checked her background info in regards to education and asked her to write his paper on abortion issues. This emphasis on sexually explicit promotions, has birthed many variations of the space like Passion.com where you state exactly what types of sexual encounters you expect upon your first meeting (which beats classified ads in the paper as you get somewhat realistic stats on the site.)

There are now parodies of Friendster, like Enemyster and Hatester. The only real drawback I've seen on the space is how impossible it is to not look at other's relations out of morbid curiosity (just to see who your x lover might be dating now.) It's all there, from what they did the previous week, to who they did. It's almost incestuous and constantly expanding. It's a fiber optic meat circus, a virtual cotillion of a glorified personal ad and tribunal. And it's free!

Friendster is about to start charging for their service, MySpace still doesn’t. If MySpace ever went under the social catastrophe would be of enormous, devastating impact.

However, we'll never really know who's real or not. I mean who really cares if DevilDoll666 is really your sister, or that hot emo, goth or indie 'boi' with the Roxors name is really an obese mentally-disturbed 60 year old man in a group home, somewhere in Idaho with a user icon he lifted from a Hot Topic ad. Or the unbelievably perfect fantasy of a Victoria’s Secret vixen named Utopian Delight with a photo gallery of near-illegal erotic images and sexually explicit XXX blurbs in her bio is really an auntie of six in a trailer park with a computer desk full of craft fair awards.

You never know, and that's just half the fun. It's instant self-gratification, and with just a few keystrokes, you can make magic happen! ###

All contents © 2008 by Gene Mahoney