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The Perils of Internet Fame.

March 10, 2009

In early May a high school pole vault champion from Norwalk, California named Allison Stokke was stunned to discover that she had inadvertently become an international target of both admiration and objectification on the internet. Only weeks after a sports blogger posted a fairly benign photo of the attractive student-athlete smoothing her hair at a New York track and field event, Stokke’s name now conjures up roughly 975,000 Google search results. Coming to terms with one’s online celebrity can be a traumatic experience.

Video comment,

armadilloboy (17 minutes ago)

Yes, I am the so-called “Armadillo Boy” featured in the popular “Armadillo Boy” video clip that has received 782,403 views over the last three weeks. I’m thrilled the recording of my unfortunate encounter with a pointy-clawed and bony-shelled mammal has proven to be 78 seconds of unadulterated hilarity for so many people. I’ve been told The Tonight Show, The Daily Show and even An Exceedingly Pious Mormon Midday Chuckle have made mention of the incident as comedic cannon fodder. Just think, when I took my wife and seven-year old son to the Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, PA for an exhibition on the fauna of the South American rain forest, the furthest thought in my mind was that I would soon enjoy name-recognition surpassing all but five of the announced 2008 presidential candidates. Giant armadillos are the benevolent armored vacuum cleaners of the animal kingdom, the zookeeper assured me. He’ll snuffle up a mound of termites right off your hand, the guy promised. And after the beast turned against me, it was the same valiant animal-tender who pinioned my flailing arms to insure no injury would befall the endangered specie. Kudos must also be sent to the fellow with the digital video camera who unflinchingly recorded the carnage without succumbing to any urges to wrestle the rampaging Glyptodon from my hemorrhaging torso. Still, had I known the bloodletting would generate nation-wide mirth, I would have endured the sixteen hours of facial reconstructive surgery, thumb replacement operations and extensive chest hair grafting with a much happier heart. As it is, I’m hoping some of my medical costs will be defrayed by monies received in the lawsuit against Dimwald Inc, the unauthorized manufacturer of the Armadillo Boy Face-Plate with Detachable Armadillo and other Armadillo Boy-based collectibles. Posting, Casual Encounters

“~*<Hott Horny SeDuCtReSs iz Fed Up with Perverts!! w4m – 32>*~”

Like, OMG! Some of you internet weirdoes seem to have totally gotten the wrong idea about me. Just because a strong, independent woman has the confidence to upload explicit photos onto her Myspace profile, Facebook page and assorted swinger websites, it doesn’t mean she’s promiscuous. It doesn’t indicate she’s looking for crude propositions from shirtless men with gelled hair. I’m interested in shirtless men with gelled hair and a very nice car. Now let’s get one thing straight: the picture in which I’m crouching on all fours, clad in a neon-green thong and gazing back towards the camera with my tongue-ring sticking out – that was for me. Not you. Those zoom-in shots of my areola tattoos alongside my cell phone number are a celebration of my sexuality, not an invitation for indecent proposals, heavy panting over voice mail and text messages reading “Hey, sexi gurl, holla at your boi!” This is neo-feminism: Grrrl Power. If there was a way to combine sadness, disgust and rage into an emoticon, I would IM it to all of you. Some responders have even made nasty remarks about pictured household furnishings such as the wall-mounted macramé owl, lilac-colored drapery and the couch cocooned in protective plastic upon which I posed. Well, hi, haterz! To you, I say this: insult my marijuana-leaf undergarments or the stretch marks spider-webbing across my quadriceps if you must, but show my grandmother’s living room some respect. My uncle was delivered into the world on this very carpet. One final request: going forward, please stop sending camera phone jpgs of your penis to my work email — that account is for Republican National Committee business only. This is no LOLing matter.

Blog posting, “Musings from the Carl Flamberg Matrix”

Carl Flamberg

After taking a closer statistical inspection of the people who visit my blog, it has become clear the overwhelming number of hits have come directly from my own PC. Although I wholeheartedly believe the September 11th Pentagon attack was the work of Prussian agents acting in league with the Tobacco Cartel, I’m hardly a conspiracy theorist – thus, instead of blaming CIA Black Ops for hijacking my computer (although they have both capacity and motivation to do so), I’ve reluctantly accepted the reality that my site’s traffic solely consists of my own tri-hourly postings. Yes, my eponymous blog caters to a discerning niche readership within the blogosphere’s torrential shitstorm of Verdana-fonted gobbledygook – but I was always convinced legions of readers were out there, thankfully harvesting the dangling fruits of my imposing intellect and suckling thirstily on the sweet, cerebral juices. To be honest, my in-depth analysis of local bus schedules and photo montages of Tolstoy, my Cairn terrier, are so authoritative as to inspire quiet, awed reverence, not responses or rebuttals. For a time, there was a member of the Nigerian royal family who practically begged for my assistance, but even he has long since abandoned my daily postings on the fragile beauty of Elven metallurgy and the array of time-continuity errors I’ve discovered in Hill Street Blues (episodes 87 through 137 only). For the record, I wish Uche, his esteemed Igbo family and their vast, unclaimed fortune well. In one respect, it’s somewhat comforting to learn that fewer people across the globe are aware of the bout with head lice that I chronicled so thoroughly last September – but it does seem tragic the world will never cherish writing comparable to the work of a contemporary Anne Frank with untamed facial hair and a fondue-stained bathrobe. Alas, the life lessons contained therein flutter aimlessly across the interweb’s boreal tundra like Chinese fighting kites cut free.

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