surf's up; the rodent's revenge
GUINEA PIGS STARING AT YOU TOO INTENTLY? LITTLE GREEN MEN GIVING YOU GRIEF? CYBERSPACE CAN BE A PARANOID PLACE
Sunday 27 August 1995
Proof of this can be found in Usenet, a collection of hundreds of newsgroups on everything from tea-making to bizarre sexual rituals. Here you'll find such gems as alt.conspiracy.guineapig, where people can and do release their often quite ridiculous fears.
"This is really quite a weird thing to be posting, but I have two guinea pigs that absolutely go bonkers with their `feed me!' squeaks when my girlfriend and I are intimate," says Rohan. "We've tried faking any possible sounds to them, but they're not to be fooled. Has anybody else ever had voyeuristic guinea pigs or are mine just weird?"
A bizarre enough concern - but wait until you hear the response: "Move 'em," urges John P. "Your 'pigs must feel very privileged, being privy to the mating rituals of their subjects. THEY ARE MERELY STUDYING YOU, their repetitious `WHHEEEETS!' are merely their expressions of either disgust or excitement ... speaking as a member of HFTGPC (Humans for Total Guinea Pig Control), I can only say that you are letting them in on some pretty heavy human secrets ... next thing you know they'll be cloning some half-GP, half-human creatures based on their research ..."
Of course, most of the paranoia on the Net centres on the old chestnuts - outer space, the men from Mars, flying saucers and so on. Take John, for instance, someone seemingly sceptical of the whole notion of little green men: "We live in a pathetically uninteresting little world. Since we are scarcely out of the Stone Age, and our resource utilisation is helter-skelter, just where does anyone get the idea that we are interesting?"
Unfortunately, John has to take his scepticism that one, small step further: "I allege that all abductees have been terrorised by control freaks. These control freaks are protectors of the "Grand Mystique", and they are all human. It is hard to hang renegades as witches. It is hard to control their freak accidents. So now they graft memories of aliens to control people."
There are many more people like John, each with their own story. Indeed, the now infamous Roswell incident that has featured so heavily in the national press recently is old news to the denizens of such groups as alt.alien.visitors. Even the video of the footage (showing a crashed space craft and an alleged post-mortem examination of the alien creatures inside), which sparked huge controversy, has been up for sale on the Web for months (http://www/paragon.co.uk).
Wading through all these conspiracy stories on Usenet is incredible fun. Unfortunately, however, there are whole sections of the Usenet devoted to quite sickening racism, and misogyny on the Net is everywhere. The lack of effective libel or obscenity laws provides the perfect opportunity for people to release things they really shouldn't.
Conversely, a lot of stories that eventually make it to the national press (Roswell, for example), only do so because of their initial exposure on the Internet, a place where things are free from censorship and government control.
And perhaps that alone justifies all the mad rantings that you'll find there, however ugly or obscene.
After all, who needs Woodward and Bernstein when you've got an unmediated, uncensored means of communicating to an audience of more than 30 million? The only problem is that it's not always obvious who or what to believe - Guinea Pigs taking over the world anyone?
Life & Style blogs
The 10 Best Scotch Whiskies
Resurgence of TB poses grave threat worldwide
Titanfall: First-person shooter lands with a boom on Xbox One, but will it save Microsoft's console?
GIF inventor Steve Wilhite says it should be pronounced 'jif'
'Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 plane found in Bermuda Triangle!' Viral Facebook links are profiting hackers
Ukip and Nigel Farage on course for remarkable victory in European elections
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Tony Benn was entirely ineffectual - and usually wrong
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Gender-specific books demean all our children. So the Independent on Sunday will no longer review anything marketed to exclude either sex
- 3 Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Did jetliner fly into area controlled by Taliban? Net widens after claims final satellite signal could have been sent from the ground
- 4 Nasa-funded study warns of ‘collapse of civilisation’ in coming decades
- 5 'Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 plane found in Bermuda Triangle!' Viral Facebook links are profiting hackers
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Charter Selection: This well respected and exciting...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Charter Selection: This exciting company and market...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + EXCELLENT SALARY: Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Cli...
£25,000 to £35,000: IT Connections Ltd: Signal Processing Engineer / Acoustics...