Tuesday, April 6, 2010
The Positive Side of: Chat Roulette
I'm back in Derry at the moment visiting the family over easter. 10 days of convivial comfort, heat and laundry, a full fridge and all the cheddar cheese I could ever possibly want.
Work had me really run-down recently, and as such, I'd stopped blogging, was soldered into a god-awful routine, played my usual MIA japes with my friends and did all of the usual things that gets one down in the dumps when they're a bit depressed with life. A wee break is the absolute tonic, and it's really great to see my parents and wee broheim and sister again. This week is rent-free relaxathon.
As you may know, I tend to make strong opinions about things rather quickly, and recently I've been a bit off the mark in terms of judgment. Being negative and cynical is fun most of the time but not if there's no enthusiasm or attempt to take things at face value, then that would make me a bit of a twat.
So in that spirit of infectious enthusiasm, I've diverted my usual boundless energy into finding the bright side of things I've been negative about recently...starting with Chatroulette.
(nb: when I say 'boundless energy'...I am presently pyjama'd, sitting in my bed drinking camomile and spiced apple tea and watching the little broheim play 'Zelda: Ocarina of Time' on the N64 - GUNG HO!!)
My previous experience of this vidcam-based chat generator involved alcohol, and a seemingly endless supply of perverted fuckwits whacking off for our amusement/mental scalding. It was a bit surreal, and made me want to use a cattle brand to sterilise my eyeballs into scotch egg pub snacks. No matter how many cold ones we threw back, the sight of a sixty year old Belgian man with assless leather chaps and his dick in his hand was oddly sobering. Yuck.
This time, I was sober to begin with, and it was the day time, when only some of the weirdos come out. I finished my coffee, sat upright on the bed and with an ouverture of knuckle-crackery and neck-crickery, I logged in.
The first site that greeted my was a skinny white torso in FUBU boxers, a forlorn dick hanging out. Lovely.
What followed was a detailed lesson on anatomy, specifically that of the serial masturbator. I should have been a fucking urologist, I could have written a thesis on middle-age sag and the likeness between a sixty year old ballsack and free-range scrambled eggs, an epistle on the hiphop-boxer-to-foreskin-ratio of you average internet sexpest. There were more dicks than at a conference of Private Investigators.
Ba Dum Tish.
However, just as I was about to log off, and tell myself to fuck all the way off for setting homework for myself during my holidays, I found myself looking at a purple fringe and a pair of extremely beautiful eyes. Extremely beautiful eyes.
I stalled, this might be a normal human, best not make any sudden movements. Remember, they're more scared of me than I am of them...
I straightened to make my face look as non I-might-whip-my-balls-out-at-any-second as possible and gave a small smile.
Okay, all good. We had a conversation afoot.
I'd imagined that we would chat for a few minutes before my new friend would just hit 'next' and I could go and write about how I had done my homework. It lasted a bit longer.
One of the things you learn about yourself from chatroulette is exactly HOW boring you are. I explained that I was studying/training to be a lawyer, was sidetracked in construction recruitment and wanted to be a writer. I bored myself witless writing it, moreso writing it again just now. My conversational partner had manners of steel, if that's even a figure of speech, and didn't stab herself in the hand for distraction once. Not once!
Jule, for she has a name, is a student from Liepzieg, and like I say, she has extremely nice eyes. She studies English studies and loves London, but hates how Londoners can't make eye contact and how they roam through life like insular cattle. She didn't put it like that exactly, but her English was better than mine and I now feel the need to compensate by using overtly florid language. She had a lovely sense of humour, was quick to smile and laugh, and could do that European thing (mainland Europe only I'm afraid) of smoking a cigarette nonchalantly and looking as cool as Lou Reed on a polar ice-cap. When I didn't realise that Liepzeig is in Saxony and not Bavaria as I originally said, she was kind enough to not point out my mistake. She works in a cinema part-time and wants to become a professional film critic. I tried to convice to start blogging, but she said it was too personal, too open. So she was also mysterious.
I was a smidgen away from asking for her hand in wedlock when she had to leave, bloody slightly-younger people with their interesting lives and social circles. We exchanged emails, and I promised I'd send her a link to my blog. This one your reading.
So my verdict?
Chatroulette is a (frankly terrifying) natural development of the way we communicate and interact, a step further in our social evolution to an androgynous species subsisting on the ritualistic one-two of masturbatory reclusion and invasive omniscience. It is a junkie's gallery of quick-fix friendship and instant gratification for some, and a place to show the world how you and your 'boyz' are really adept at drinking low quality lager and being passive aggressive to someone half a world away. It also presents one with an enormous amount of laboured metaphors with which to describe it for future blogs.
The sushi buffet of conversation and friends may be vaccuous and rather soulless, but it IS oddly democratic and like anything in life, if you persist, you can find something that makes the whole experience worthwhile.
So try it out, I urge you. You might just find two beautiful eyes and a new friend, or at least an old Belgian fella wanking himself blind.