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coming of age in the cult of zalgo.

On one level, Zalgo is just a stream of unicode diacriticals which, when stacked, produce an unusual and unsettling vertical stripe effect in compatible browsers (older browsers only show "no character" boxes, although some older browsers can be set to use unicode as an option).

On another level, Zalgo is a litmus test for online bullshit detection. The first skill on the internet is to tell between reality and illusion. Is the email from a company inviting you to an online product launch? Or are they phishing for your identity? Is your friend still your friend, or have they been hacked and zombified?

Zalgo's key traits blur the line between reality and illusion. The insistence that He Who Waits Behind The Wals is most definitely Not A Meme serves to promote both nervous laughter and a vestige of superstitious fear. The corruption of innocent childhood memories and the words of friends serves to produce a threat of viral infection which lends immediacy to the fear and makes the reader think "I'm next." The lack of an anthropomorphic personification of zalgo makes him more mysterious and omnipresent - one never interacts directly with zalgo, only his priests, yet one sees zalgo's unmistakable influence.


Recently Zalgo has fallen on hard times. SomethingAwful.com forums have grown tired of him. 4chan never thought he was funny in the first place. Bloggers eulogise him and giggle at the photoshops of their favorite childhood cartoons where verticle slit mouths erupt in the faces of charlie brown and garfield.

This is not the true spirit of Zalgo. I hope that livejournal may be a new and fertile field for the priests of zalgo to explore. Bring back the awe and fear that the internet inspires in its darkest and most exalted moments.

and most of all, apply the litmus test which separates those who know truth when they see it, and those who are swayed by the monstrous power of lies.


GNU Image Manipulation Program
www.gimp.org

zalgo text generator
http://www.eeemo.net/

ETA: HAHA DISREGARD THAT MY FLESH FOR ZALGO

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
substantianigra
Nov. 17th, 2009 01:23 pm (UTC)
aah at last zalgo unmasked!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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