I have been predicting the imminent demise of the Internet as we know it for a while now but it looks as if that prediction has finally been made true by the release of a new celebrity sex video of such bad taste it will surely turn off the most geekish of web heads.
Why was I disenchanted about the web, after all I was instrumental in developing some of its component technologies? Well when us old computer pros heard of this new anyone can do anything philosophy we tutted and shook our heads. You see we all had experience of the effect new technology has on a certain mindset and knew that if such people can do something they will. They think freedom to act should only be constrained by the limits of the technology, not by the limits of common sense.
Oh yes, we will publish our colleagues personal details to the world. Why? Because we can, they reason.
And so because we can became the ethos of the web.
Why watch Pammie Anderson squirting milk from her breast into Tommy Lees mouth?
Because we can.
Why hack somebodys computer and convince them a psychotic killer is stalking them?
Because we can.
Why watch some poor, lonely, bullied teenager kill him or herself.
Because we can.
It is any surprise that despite having the technical skills I have never wholeheartedly put myself online?
There had to be a backlash. Sooner or later pressure would force some kind of regulation, an imposition of civilised standards. I think the latest celebrity sex video to go online is so appalling in its cynicism and subject matter it has taken us past the tipping point.
You may have thought things could go no worse when first you saw Myspace. Until you saw Facebook. And then, confident nothing could ever be more pointless you would have seen BeBo and Twitter. I was even invited to join a social networking site called Quetchup, dedicated to sharing the most inane trivia of members lives.
Hi friends, I just had to share this with you. At 3:30pm today I farted. It was a really satisfying fart, a deep, resonant, almost euphonic bass note that lasted three or four seconds. Must have been the curry I ate last night. That was about the level of it.
Well Quetchup did not linger but the bad taste it left did. Surely we have hit rock bottom (oops,pardon!) now, I thought. I was wrong. It seems the Internet exists in some kind of parallel universe where the laws of physics do not work. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction (or to put it another way, what goes around comes around) does not work in cyberspace. No matter how low the lowest common denominator is driven, it can always go lower.
The electronic and logical components of the web exist in the physical plane of course, and operates logically. The mythical being hailed as the liberator of imagination that would free human creativity from the chains of socio-economic oppression and allow us to morph into Gods somehow mutated into the monster that ate civilised values
But at last a band wagon has started to roll but nobody jumped on. Even the sheep like geeks, nerds and dickheads who spent their lonely lives hunched over computers interacting with their Second Life and Facebook alter egos have realised things have gone too far and have taken their first tentative step in the ascent towards the light.
If I asked what might make even the most desensitised web warrior stager back from a website, retching and gibbering in incoherent fear I would bet The sex tape Gene Simmons Doesnt Want You To See would rank highish on your list.
The 58 year old schlock rocker need have no fear though. There have been few takers at $10 per view for the opportunity to se the snake tongued frontman of Kiss making out with a younger lady.
Who could be so crass as to put such a video online you might well ask. Well Im mentioning no names but I have my suspicions about who might be behind this crime against taste and style.
The woman Gene does not want us to see as he gives her one is a model named Elsa. Elsa is a model. Elsa is rumoured to have a contract to promote a brand of snake oil called Franks Energy Drink. The makers of Franks Energy Drink pay old spawn of Satan Simmons for his endorsement.
Its the kind of exploitative sleaze we would expect from makers of reality TV shows.
Surely the claim of the Internet to be the entertainment medium of the future cannot recover from this. The web is dead.
Or maybe not…