Monday, April 17, 2006

Coaster Punchman: The Internet's Hidden Horror

In this morning's New York Times, I read the following words:

"Cyberstalking is the hidden horror of the Internet."

I'm speechless.

Well, almost.

Back when I was a kid (like in 1996) "cyberstalking" just meant looking up shit about people. Plugging someone's name into Yahoo! or Google or something. I was a great cyberstalker. I once cyberstalked myself, and located a copy of a memo I had written to the tech support department of UCLA's law school. (They had posted it on their intranet and somehow one of the search engines found its way there.) An example of a great find!

In addition to all the free shit on the Internet, I work for a major online information provider, which gives me even wider access to all sorts of personal shit about people. It's great!

That's what I thought cyberstalking was all about. Plugging someone's name into the Internet. Seeing what you can find.

Apparently, the folks at would beg to differ. According to these folks,
cyberstalking now involves "relentlessly pursuing his/her victim online" and is "likely to include some form of offline attack as well." According to its executive director, is made up of "a network of 9,000 volunteers who patrol the Web and assist victims of cyberstalking, child pornography and other online ills."

Well, isn't that just great.

I may be a sick fuck, but I'm certainly no child molester. is to cyberstalking what the religious right is to Christianity. These people took a lovely, perfectly harmless word and attached all sorts of ugly meanings to it.

This saddens me. Now I have to change my Blogspot profile. From this day forward, Coaster Punchman can no longer be a cyberstalker. From now on, I will be known as a cyberdetective.


jin said...

Maybe you should put a fedora on your cat detective pic now. *giggles*

lulu said...

Tom, the new format is somewhat disturbing....I feel like I am reading the Enquirer or something...