The Internet is a Lonely Place (Part 1)
The internet, and the culture that emerged from it, hates itself. Internet communities remind themselves that their interests are silly and that they shouldn’t, as a culture, take themselves seriously. Even the writers of Cracked.com, who’ve more or less mastered the art of the dick joke, take every opportunity to warn their readers that they’re out of shape losers with lolnolife.
It’s something of a coping mechanism; no one wants to be the asshole who collects and jacks off over figurines of anime girls. (These people exist, there are pictures). By constantly reminding oneself that the internet’s interests are silly, you sort of distance yourself from the parts of it you don’t like. The ongoing argument over “alpha” and “beta” males shows how the concerns of out-of-shape teens and twenty-somethings who spend time translating and downloading foreign cartoons and games bubble to the surface.
Occasionally, the internet finds a person who exemplifies these fears, and when that happens you see something of a dogpile of netizens attempting to distinguish themselves from that bogeyman of social failure. Christian Winston Chandler (more commonly known as Chris-chan,) is probably the most bizarre example of this.
As a now-deleted(link) TV Tropes page put it, Chris-chan is something like “the dark mirror of the internet.” He makes a horrible webcomic called Sonichu that he insists is original, despite the eponymous character, and much of the cast, being a crude gestalt of, well, Sonic the Hedgehog and Pikachu. Some of the main villains of the series include mall cops (jerkops,) local store managers (manajerks,) the website 4chan (4centgarbage) and the spirit of his high school graduation ceremony. He’s 29, overweight, and insists that body spray is a viable substitution for bathing. He lives with his parents and his room is filled with toys that he paid for with his welfare checks, which he refers to as his “monthly tugboat.” He’s a self-described “virgin with rage,” and he’s been kicked out of numerous establishments for harassing customers and loitering with an “attraction sign,” which is a literal sign advertising his desire for a “boyfriend-free girl.”
He is, essentially, everything that internet folk are afraid to be, taken to an extreme that makes their most self-recriminating fantasies laughable. This has lead to the erection of a surprisingly extensive wiki on him. Thanks to its meticulous archivists, I know every shirt in his wardrobe, every documented mention of his virginity, and the entire record of his Coke Rewards account (he started drinking canned soda in August of 2007, and kept a staggered but fairly regular consumption of it until September of 2009, totaling 3624 cans; I have no idea what the significance of this is, but it’s there for my perusal).
Thanks to the extensive research on his life, we also have access to at least one psych report that establishes that he was diagnosed with autism, which is what makes all of this sort of weird. I say “sort of weird,” instead of “absolutely terrible” because Chris is also selfish and downright hateful in a way that you can’t really blame on autism. He hates people with Asperger’s syndrome, claiming that they’re trying to take “the SHINE and Limelight” away from people with autism, which isn’t even to say that he’s some sort of autism-nationalist because he’s also fairly derisive towards low-functioning autistics, describing them as “zombies” and “windows to hell.” He’s also tried his hand at being manipulative, flipping back and forth between saying Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell should be repealed so “the homos can go die in explosions,” to saying that he has nothing against the gays, depending on whether or not his current “sweetheart” is in the chat room.
As I said before, the internet’s cruel to people who fit their stereotypes too well, and there’s definitely been cases of mobs of trolls overlooking or minimizing legitimate issues of the people they’re tormenting (Jessi Slaughter was just a girl who had the audacity to be eleven and combative over a rumor spread about her), but I think in this case they’re right at least in saying that Chris is an asshole. Does that warrant all this attention? I don’t know.
Follow us for Part 2 of “The Internet is a Lonely Place” coming later this week! Don’t forget to share and comment to encourage us to keep writing for attention.