Sunday, 9 October 2016
An Open Letter to the Hanover Community Board(s)(.)
Dear hill people (and associates / spectators),
This morning, or was it yesterday, sometime in the last bundle of time a friend of mine posted a picture of some of their skin on the internet. But way before that, possibly even a year ago there was alarm going around your community group about some possible travellers walking around your hill with a ladder. The whole thing got really weird really quickly. A lot of people wanted these strange men to be gone. Perhaps removed by force; they were obviously up to no good. Then some other people got angry at the Leave contingent (as we now know them) and people started to use words like “ugh” and “problematic”, though this had been going on for a while. At first I was laughing, but then I just started to feel completely baffled. I walked up to Hanover and the streets were empty. Even the net curtains were still. I started thinking about how weird our communications have become; how people’s opinions are often a register of how they would like to be perceived as opposed to attempts to actually make things materialise or change – to perform any kind of external or social function whatsoever. Something had happened with this community group which seemed to crystallise exactly the forms of dialogue that simultaneously promote social alienation and painful laughter. Somewhere along the way I got banned from the conversation. It’s fair enough. I do like irritating people. Part of it is a frustration at established forms of dialogue. I find that when there is a tide – a consensus - I like to test it by pushing against it a bit. I’m aware it’s usually a doomed attempt. But when you can get fifty or so people to start writing essays about chemtrails just by again and again asking “but what exactly are chemtrails?” (thanks Jonny Liron), well, at least it keeps them off the streets – imagine what someone who writes essays about chemtrails at the drop of a hat might end up doing if they actually went out into the world – they’d probably end up in the same stupid cults as me. By the way, at this point I would clarify that this message isn’t aimed at you personally. I think most online dialogues especially on Facebook are basically just learned reactions and compulsions. I think someone managed to write something meaningful on there just before the world ended in 2012, but apart from that it’s a pretty clean slate. I’d also like to take this opportunity to say that (sigh) as a trans* person I’ve never been successfully defended by a social justice warrior on the internet. If you do see someone giving me shit in the street feel free to film it, take photos and write about how appalled you are by it. It will give you kudos and you can produce it as evidence for the trans* Stasi if we catch you after the revolution. I’m getting ahead of myself. I walked into Hanover on that day and it was really, really quiet. Everyone was inside. All of the shops were closed. I squinted up Islingwood road and there I saw two tiny model humans carrying a ladder. They were moulded out of plastic. It was the type of plastic you can re-form over and over again. As I looked at these little figures they became bigger and bigger though they didn’t move at all – they were in perfect stasis and I became more and more afraid of them.
Being banned from these completely indistinct dialogues about nothing was actually quite a relief. It gave me a chance to catch up on my Horse and Pony magazines and I spent three days looking at Amazon reviews for cordless irons. But I missed something. Something of the absurdity. I thought “what if I could have exactly the same thing but be able to move within it with absolute impunity. Like Kim Jong Un does. But in the same way that Kim Jong Un does (does everything) my movements became more and more sanctioned. They say life starts at forty, so I started my own Hanover Community Noticeboard. Looking back it was a really strange thing to do. I mean, why the fuck did I do that? Certain tropes started to emerge. One of them was that any time anyone posted on my new improved Hanover Community Noticeboard the post would be reported by about ten people. Every single one. Another thing (similar to the original board) is that people seemed rather obsessed with the idea that comments and posts were directed at them personally. People started trying to sell bags of soil and stupid stuff like that. People were playing. Of course every now and then someone would play in a way that other people didn’t find funny etc. When this happened there would usually be some level of personal fallout. People would hold me responsible as the administrator. It was almost flattering to be put into a position of regulatory censorship but as I said then I really don’t get paid enough and my day job is pretty time consuming. As you’ve probably already worked out I find the internet to be a really anxious place. I’m not sure what to trust and what not to. I find a lot of the world an anxious place. I don’t mean to moan but loads of people take against me because of who and what I am - living with that on a daily basis can be a struggle. I also have some religious principles that put me at odds with a lot of other humans. Oh, and I’m a bit of a class traitor.
This bit of skin. It was the skin from someone’s testicles. I received several complaints about it. When I received these complaints I had barely slept. I tried to respond to them. The skin vanished pretty quickly. I was actually really upset that this skin had made people upset. It wasn’t clear to me at the time that it was in fact my skin, or at least my responsibility. This was made apparent pretty quickly. Someone messaged me saying: “I know who you are and there will be consequences”. My counterpart in the mothership has apparently said I should name and shame people so that there can be some more banning. I’m not going to do that - I’m not going to qualify someone being a dickhead on the internet by making them incredibly famous. No. Instead I’d like to offer an amnesty of sorts. My Hanover board has been very misleading. It has the same name (with an added full stop) and the same picture as yours. These are my terms: If those that have aggressed against me for that most heinous crime of having the password to the space where someone bared their testicular skin on the internet will forgive me even just a tiny bit in their hearts I will henceforth change the group picture to a picture of Michael Flatly as an offer of thanks and a future sign of good will. I will also remove three of my missile sites from Queen’s Park. I will make it clear that the page is not suitable for work or those under the age of 18 and I will remove any traces of skin I find. I will take on some interns to help me with the very painful administrative duties I perform each day for the benefit of mankind. In return I want everyone in Hanover to calm down a little and perhaps take the air. As a final note I’d like to thank you all for “Sharkgate” which I only became aware of today when people began to draw comparisons between what had happened over the last two days and that event. Oh, and next time you see someone walking about with a ladder please don’t be afraid. Just because you’re on a posh little hill – sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
Verity Spott /// Kay Impson
Chief Administrative Commander of Hanover Community Notice Board
Product Code Cadet at The Hove Space Program
Chairgirl of Lewes Moaist Action (Posadist-Leninist)