The other night, I called Brennan (aka Cape Dodgewell of the Val Kilmer Project) to tell him some stupid thing or another, and true to our friendship, we then spent the next hour “careening into ridiculousness,” which is our term for laughing like idiots about idiotic things (such as a heavy metal version of a Little Mermaid song, in which a lyric goes “walkin’ around on those…whaddya call ’em? MOTHERFUCKING FEET.”). In the course of conversation, we started re-reading all of the old text and IM conversations we’d once posted for the Val Kilmer Project. Later, I had to change my pants. Because I peed a little.
(It occurs to me that some of you might not be familiar with the Val Kilmer Project. IF SO: In 2011, we realized that we’d been referencing Val Kilmer in an awful lot of our conversations. We weren’t sure why, other than a) Val Kilmer is a weirdo, b) Val Kilmer is a terrific weirdo, and c) it made us laugh. So myself, Cape Dodgewell, and another hilarious friend called Gene Catman put these conversations on the Internet. We created a website called The Val Kilmer Project – now archived on my Tumblr, just start at January 2011 if you care – with the alleged goal of getting Val Kilmer back to the top of the film industry. Really, though, we wanted to maybe make him comfortable with the Internet (since at the time he didn’t use social media at all), and, obviously, we wanted to laugh at our own idiocy.
A Facebook fan page was also created, and between the two, we cultivated a very weird fan base of hardcore lunatics and fellow irreverent assholes, all of whom were interested in what Val Kilmer was up to, what we imagined he was up to, and anything we found online that could be even remotely related to anything Kilmer. Or, as we began to call him, Sal Bilmer. Because he is a Doppelkilmer. DO YOU SEE THAT WE ARE IDIOTS?
We shut down the Val Kilmer Project after six months of daily posts and over a thousand combined followers (including Val Kilmer/Sal Bilmer Himself in the early days of his online presence). For one, we were running out of things to post. For two, and most significantly, we were kind of tired of talking about Val Kilmer every day. Although it’s been nearly two years since shutting the project down, we can still laugh helplessly to ourselves and rest in the knowledge that Kilmer is now all about Twitter and Facebook and occasionally visits my Tumblr. While he was bound to find the Internet sooner or later, I’d like to think that we played a part in making him comfortable enough to use it. You’re welcome, Mr. Bilmer.)
So the Val Kilmer Project was a thing, and we did it, and maybe it paved the way for an Internet in which Val Kilmer is an actual participant. Because I am still connected to the Val Kilmer Facebook page (for some reason, I don’t know), I occasionally see his connected-to-Twitter statuses. Yesterday, he tweeted about nobody showing up to something called Vpac, not even acting students, which I guess I could look up but I’m already bored with the subject matter. Mr. Bilmer was surprised by this, especially since he’d tweeted about it before. And it was such a short thing but the tone was so disappointed, and it was a little bit sad to read.
Oh, Sal. You have so much yet to learn about the Internet, namely that almost always, no one cares about what you put on it. Even if you’re a terrific weirdo. Even if you’re a famous terrific weirdo. I can’t even count the times I’ve tweeted an hilarious joke to zero response, or posted a link to something I’ve had published, or done anything at all online and received nothing in return. Then again, I’ve also posted completely hollow diarrhea and watched the likes roll in. I’ve been contacted by the people I’ve written about (in both good and bad ways). I’ve been real life stalked because of something I put online (in 2005, don’t worry I’ve learned my lesson since then). The point is that the Internet is difficult to predict, impossible to master unless you own a photogenic corgi, and if I could give anyone any advice about it, it would be to never take it personally.
Take this blog as an example. Some weeks, I average several hundred hits per day. Other weeks, I’m lucky to hit 60. I try to track site referrers and search terms and IP addresses, but I’m a mathematical failure so I’m unable to combine that data into something meaningful. While I enjoy posting something that gets attention and am thrilled that my hipster scavenger hunt list is first-result-on-Google popular, I also have no idea why dozens of people per week still care that I tasted-tested a Pop Tart once, or how on earth someone found me by Googling “tina fey is an asshole.”
Really, anonymous Internet user? You think Tina Fey is an asshole? How about this: YOU’RE AN ASSHOLE. You’re probably some shitty men’s rights advocate who doesn’t understand why females don’t want to get groped in public (it just means we’re pretty, right?) and insists that women aren’t funny. You’re a pain in the ass who can’t understand why a set of tits and ovaries gets to host an awards show, or why pretty much everyone in the world who matters in the industry agrees that she and that other set of tits and ovaries are smart, hysterical, kickass people.
You want to lurk around here for evidence that Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, or any other brilliant lady is an asshole? I know your IP address, motherfucker. I WILL END YOU.
I wish there were some way to predict what will end up feeling like a colossal waste of time. Clearly writing to generate likes is not a good reason to write, but if you’re going to bother to put something online instead of reading it to your pets, it’s nice to know someone took the time to read it. (This is not always a good thing, though: back when I still wrote on LiveJournal, there was this girl who always commented on my posts just to let me know she’d read it. Thanks, not necessary.)
Heh…sounds similar to when people “like” the news of someone’s death on Facebook. As if that shows sympathy better than calling, texting, or sending flowers. “I acknowledge this event and also I exist.”
This is hilarious. Personally, I avoid MRAs like the black death. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are two of the best comedians of the modern era, and I *treasure* their work. Amazingly enough, people sometimes use Google for reasons other than issuing declarative statements into a technological void. I will say, though, that Fey can be insensitive to trans* issues. That’s discouraging to some of her feminist fans, especially after hearing tragic stories such as the one out of Lancashire.
What’s that? You have my IP address!? Oh noes! You can reveal general information about my location and ISP! I’ll never get laid again!