When I was a girl we were allowed to sit at the foot of Mama Heaton’s bed while she watched her ‘stories’ under one condition: that we covered our eyes when people kissed. It strikes me as funny now, all that we did see: sister betraying sister, father betraying self, mother betraying ex-boyfriend-turned-surprise-son-turned-bigger-surprise!-used-to-be-daughter; but the moment someone leaned in, the moment they got close enough to smell the pear-breath of another, the moment they tipped their heads, well, that was the moment when we were supposed to clamp our hand tight over our eyes and not let a single drop of love get in.
Sure, we peeked. I mean, how could we not? But the good thing is: no matter how much we might have peeked, there wasn’t a heckuva lot we could have seen.
TV has never scared me. Barring Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” and that guy who ran naked across the stage at the Oscars a hundred years ago, there’s not a lot that can happen on the small screen. Cliff Huxtable, Archie Bunker and Charles Ingalls all kept their clothes on for the duration of my childhood, and I can imagine–if you don’t let your child watch VH1–you can feel pretty safe about what’s going to come up on the screen.
The internet, though, now that’s a whole nother story. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel I’m always a click or two away from seeing waaaaaaaaaay too much of something I don’t want to see. That’s why today when I saw the “YouTube Inundated With Porn” headline, I nodded my head wildly. I thought the “powers that be”–whoever they are–had finally realized what’s going on on the ole interweb.
Apparently, however, it’s something else entirely. Early Thursday, online community group 4Chan which describes itself as being the “home of the sickest, strangest and most horrifying stuff on the internet” uploaded hundreds of videos that began with footage appropriate to children before segwaying into graphic sex acts. The attack, the group says, was coordinated to prove that not even powerhouse Google can control its content.
Maybe I’m old fashioned–still sitting at the foot of the bed waiting for the dirty parts–but I wasn’t in the least bit surprised. A cyber-attack, they called it, but all I was thinking was, doesn’t this happen every day? I guess I’m wondering how much the average Joe trusts the cyberworld. Are you all as leery as I am? Do you sit with one hand on the mouse and the other hiding your eyes? Please tell. And, no matter what you do, don’t click: here.