Home    The Real Diary of Charles Carreon    Ancestors    Counter C&D Letter    What's a DIRA?    Legal Analysis    DOS Attacks    Hate-Mails
The Rapeutationists    Lies & Damn Lies    Reign of Terror    Library    Site Search







Pharaoh and The Red Sea

by Charles Carreon
September 16, 2013

Sometimes, I swear, I am slow on the fucking uptake. I’m sitting here, reading Bruce Sterling’s “Distraction,” that I immediately thought of when Netwar exploded around my ears. But it had slipped out of my collection, probably gifted away, and not until a few months ago did I order the book from Amazon. Sterling’s putting words in the mouth of the wheelchair-bound hacker, Kevin, responding to a question about why two mobs, the Regulators and the Moderators, hate each other:

“Why do mobs always hate each other? Somebody stole somebody’s girlfriend, somebody hacked somebody’s phones. They’re mobs. So they have no laws. So they have to feud with each other. It’s tribal. Tribes always act like that.”

And now I’m laughing, because I realize that I marched into the feud between Funny Junkers and Oatmealers like Pharaoh marching into the Red Sea, thinking I was Moses. I literally saw the image in my mind as I was walking down the hall.

Ah well, better knowledge now than never. And now, of course, I understand better why people would think it stupid and arrogant of me to ignore the risks of inserting yourself in the middle of a mob and trying to affect its behavior. Indeed, past experience has taught me that one can sustain serious injury engaging in such exercises.

For example, the first Ramones concert I ever went to, I went with a friend who is a very tiny person. Of course, we went up to the very front. The “Hey, Ho, Let’s Go” chant started building in advance of the stage walk-on, and the crowd started surging, sort of threatening to curl over on us, actually. My friend got scared, and wanted out of the front line. I grabbed her hand and started pushing straight for the back of the Palladium. I was halfway through the dense pack of bodies, squeezed leather-to-leather about fifty bodies thick, when Joey walked on with the band, shouted “One, two, three, four!” and started the mayhem. The band exploded and all the bodies around us detonated into a mosh pit populated with flailing elbows, knees, and hands and heads. My friend lost her footing. As I and others reached down to scoop her up, I extended an arm out, trying to hold back the crowd. My arm was promptly dislocated. We struggled out of the boiling dance-mob and although I was able to put my shoulder back in its socket, I was in a pain haze for a half hour that took a lot of the fun out of the show. It took weeks to heal, but the only sign of injury was a small bruise on the shoulder. I’d like to say I didn’t repeat the error, but actually, I did the exact same damn thing at another Ramones concert a year or so later, playing do-gooder in the mosh pit for some random mosher who fell down. But that time, I knew the drill, popped my shoulder back in easily, self-medicated aggressively with Budweiser, and had a good time.

Okay, now I know mobs exist on the Internet. I fucking swear I did not know. “Stoopid!” roars the crowd. Okay, I admit it. I was stupid. “Internet lawyer? Internet bonehead more like it!” Okay, also true. Not knowing that there were Internet mobs was sort of like a South Sea Captain in the nineteenth century not knowing that there were cannibals on some islands.

The lesson? “Never get involved in a game of which you do not know the rules.” Right. You can take that to the bank.

So now I am older, yes. Wiser, also. Contrite? Are you kidding? Let me tell you something — more things of value are discovered in the wreckage of perceived disaster than the guardians of order would like you to believe. I may not have known mobs existed before, but now I know mobs by experience, like a surfer who’s been munched by a giant wave, had his board busted and been coughed up on the beach knows the sea.

It reminds me of my own poem, “After Troy,” that I wrote about the Sex.com case. My war-weary lines are yet the light of wisdom at last — the glimmering that illuminates the true things of value — home, hearth, and love. And now that I know what crowds are, I might get into crowdsurfing. 

After Troy, by Charles Carreon

To destroy another’s homeland is not brave.
The gods appoint the hours
Of man’s destruction, and enemies
But loot the ruins of that which heaven overturns.

To be long away from home in battle is not sweet.
The spirit craves only the warmth of the home fires,
The familiar shape of one’s own island
Carved against the sky.

An old goat sticks to the highlands
Where men don’t trust their feet.
A clever fellow watches and waits.
Time does his work for him.

Now numberless leagues of sea
Separate my men from those they love.
The waves give not a single inch,
And silence is heard from above.

Adventures have carved sinews on my back,
Streaked my beard with grey.
The work of outwitting gods and men,
Is with me every day.

Scylla and Charybdis will I dare
Their gnashing teeth will meet my glare,
And Circe with her magics try
And little better fare.

As Heracles for golden apples
Journeyed to the sun,
So to join Penelope,
The longest race I’ll run.