The Slenderman Meme Reproduces In An Awful Way

PIC: MD170, Artist Unknown (CC)

PIC: MD170, Artist Unknown (CC)

From the Daily Mail:

ANOTHER knife attack linked to Slender Man: Mother claims her disturbed daughter, 13, stabbed her after becoming obsessed with creepy horror character (the Slender Man). Ohio mother says her daughter was wearing a white mask when she slashed her face and knifed her in the back.The 13-year-old wrote about and drew demons, and even created an online world for Slender Man in MineCraft

Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser, two 12-year-olds from Wisconsin, charged with stabbing classmate 19 times as tribute to Slender Man

Make that take three?

Killings are becoming an increasingly media event, an event itself divined by movies that people might try to emulate. (Nolan’s Batman movies to Natural Born Killers.) Thus there’s even a hint of the Aurora shootings, and all the creepy conspiracy theories that were spun off it like an ARG gone totally wrong.

All of these media blitz spree killings are great material for some alarmist “we have to stop this now” drum banging. The problem with that is that it completely misses the role folklore and myth have always played in how we make sense of the world. It’s opportunism, plain and simple, when the real problem is what’s looking in the mirror.

As individuals we all present a kind of funhouse mirror of the culture that we’ve gestated in. Thus instead of looking outward to point blame the best we can do is look inward. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in a our stars…” This calls to mind Zizek’s psychological decoding of the Abu Ghraib incidents,

The theatricality leads us to the crux of the matter. To anyone acquainted with the reality of the American way of life, the photos brought to mind the obscene underside of the U.S. popular culture – say, the initiatory rituals of torture and humiliation one has to undergo to be accepted into a closed community. Similar photos appear at regular intervals in the U.S. press after some scandal explodes at an Army base of high school campus, when such rituals went overboard. … The torture at Abu Ghraib was thus not simply a case of American arrogance toward a Third World people. In being submitted to the humiliating tortures, the Iraqi prisoners were effectively initiated into American culture: They got a taste of the culture’s obscene underside that forms the necessary supplement to the public values of personal dignity, democracy and freedom. No wonder, then, the ritualistic humiliation of Iraqi prisoners was not an isolated case but part of a widespread practice.

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  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    What the hell is it with moody tween girls, Slenderman, and violence? I just don’t see the link. Granted, I don’t buy any of the media’s hype. Take any cultural touchstone, be it internet meme or otherwise, and you’re sure to find some slight tie to it when dealing with anyone in the right age range to to have knowledge of it. I’m oddly reminded of the ‘heavy metal’ panic that set in during the 80s…altho the suspects then were always teen boys. As soon as a tragedy happened…the first thing people would flock to was the nearest record player to check what they took in as music…and GOSH, who’d a thunk it!!!…a lot of young people listened to the music that was popular among their peers. Mystifying and inexplicable!! No one could have seen that coming!

    Still…theres no telling what goes thru a disturbed mind…the best answer has always been for people to be involved enough with one another to recognize a person in crisis…but that kind of effort and concern and messy involvement is the one thing I doubt anyone will express deep interest in fostering.

    • Anarchy Pony

      With things like this you have to wonder at whether it’s correlation or causation. Did she try to knife her mother because of slender man and the overall horror culture? Or was she an unstable deranged girl who liked that kind of thing because of her derangement?

      • aaron

        I agree. If someone is unstable enough to stab or kill someone and say it was tribute to something like slenderman then odds are they would have done it regardless if slenderman existed or not and would have said it was a tribute to something else and people would just blame it on different circumstantial evidence. Trying to blame this on something stupid like a meme is ignoring the real issues at hand and is the typical irrational knee jerk sensationalism type reactions the mainstream media tries to cause.

    • BuzzCoastin

      cyborg monkey see
      cyborg monkey do

    • Matt Staggs
  • BuzzCoastin

    obviously everyone focuses on the obvious
    however
    the source or inspiration of this peculiar violence
    is far from obvious
    and cannot be obviated as easily as censorship or jail time
    obviously

  • http://nwonotepad.com/ patlalrique

    Darn…

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