So yesterday this somewhat well-known B. Obama popped to Reddit, a somewhat well-known website, to answer some questions. (Reddit is one of those places where I would sign up if I ever found the time and the will to actually socialize.)
I found his answers a bit too round and generic; but then again, I am not capable of sympathizing with the hell-maelstrom which is American politics and its associated commentary. I would probably say “I like jam”, and immediately alienate the fickle and important American peanut butter consumer lobby. (“Alice, would you say this was a critical, campaign-ending mistake?” “Yes, Bob, I’d even go so far as to say this was a gaffe.“)
Then I hit this Reddit thread about a Cthulhu 2012 sticker, and thought: It should do a social media Q&A, too.
So, going onwards with that thought and adapting a bit of genuine Lovecraft, here goes.
The website now entered by the police was one of traditionally evil repute, substantially unknown and untraversed by women. There were legends there of hidden threads unglimpsed by sane mortal sight, in which spoke a huge, formless white polypous thing with luminous eyes (not John Scalzi); and anonymous users whispered that bat-winged libertarian types typed out of caverns in inner earth to offer it worship and unregulated upvotes at midnight. They said the chat-giver had been there before Reddit, before Facebook, before Usenet, and before even the World Wide Web itself: at the beginning of time it had fought Stallman, and Stallman had lost. It was nightmare itself, and to see it was to die.
But it contributed original content, and that made men read; and usually the content was not in video form.
Only poetry or madness could do justice to the comments read by Legrasse’s men as they ploughed on through the confusing tan navigation menus towards the locked red thread and the muffled squeaks of mad hammers, ban-banishing shrieking moderators and unborn users alike for nine thousand years or more. There are fonts peculiar to sane men, and Comic Sans; and it is terrible to see one when the words should read in the other. Animal fury and orgiastic licence in these threads whipped themselves to demoniac heights by ALL CAPS and squawking jargons that tore and reverberated through those nighted pages like pestilential tempests from the gulfs of hell. Now and then the less organized storm of comments would cease, and from what seemed a well-drilled chorus of sockpuppets would rise in singsong chant that hideous phrase or ritual:
“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu/Cain 2012 wgah’nagl fhtagn.”
Then the police, having reached at last the first post of that correct yet obscenely unnatural and wrong thread, came suddenly in sight of the spectacle itself. Four of them reeled, one fainted, and two were shaken into a frantic cry which their dashing-away from the keyboard kept mercifully silent. The final one typed “OH DEAR GOD WHAT IS THAT THING”, but in the last instant refrained from hitting “Reply”. They all stood silent, trembling and nearly hypnotized with horror; and then one hovered a mouse over the thing and pressed “Play”.
This is what the embedded video showed.
In a natural glade of a swamp stood a grassy island of perhaps an acre’s extent, clear of trees and tolerably dry. On this now leaped and twisted a more indescribable horde of human abnormality than any but a Google image search censor has ever seen. Void of clothing, this hybrid spawn of Photoshop and heavy drug use were braying, writhing and mooing (“Cows and cows and cows!” a formerly stern constable shrieked) about a ringshaped bonfire; in the centre of which, revealed by occasional rifts in the curtain of flame, stood a great granite monolith some eight feet in height, festooned with leprous strands of red, white and blue; on top of which, incongruous in its human dress, rested the Candidate, a human child in its hands, and a flag napkin on its breast. From a wide circle of ten scaffolds set up at regular intervals with the flame-girt monolith as a centre hung, head downward, the oddly marred bodies of the hapless Romney campaign workers who had disappeared. It was inside this circle that the ring of this Candidate’s campaign men and women and others jumped and roared, the general direction of the mass motion being from left to right in conservative leaps, and then right to left in a wild liberal bacchanale of noise.
Then the Candidate, vast and loathsome, spoke such sentences as men are not made to hear, and the police computer gave up its effort, and hissing and flickering slid into electronical damnation, and veiled its agonized, dying screen with voluminous night-black smoke, thankfully concealing the video’s last blasphemous instants, though not the sound of them.
This only remained, this sentence ringing in the heads of the policemen as they gagged and crawled on the floor as if blind insects, desperate to escape not the fire and the desktop’s demise, but those terrible words — “My name is Cthulhu, and I approve this message.”