By Jes Degryse
hinternet (noun): the outer regions of the internet; a clever pun on ‘Hinterland’; location of the summer homes, winter retreats, insomniac nights, lunch hours, afternoons, and early mornings of boredom-ridden computing populace; womb of artificial intelligence; monument to variation.
Let me tell you a story you already know.
The hinternet knows you, it knows how to talk to you. It knows about your mind, and your body, and the chemistry that makes you tired, and bored, and have to pee. We’ve all been there – bleary-eyed, in pajamas, trying for the life of us to figure out how it got to be 3AM on a Tuesday, with work tomorrow… and cats posing as ’30s movie stars on your computer screen. Or whatever. The important part is that moment, the one where you realize that you just spent half your sleeping time doing nothing on the internet. You’ve been in the hinternet. It lured you in.
The hinternet is the grammar that organizes you, leads you between sites; the content is man-made, but the grammar – that’s something else. Somewhere in that great digital womb where we combine and expose thoughts, ideas, images, concepts – all the stuff that goes on inside our heads, and then some – we stumbled into something receptive that wasn’t each other. We were enthralled, intoxicated; we conceived the hinternet out of our fascination, and forward-thinking, and good intentions. It’s our little steampunk, and it knows us. It can see us in itself. In every click and fingertap that we barely notice, it feels its heartbeat, and ours. It leads us to porn, to stand-up comedians, to craigslist ‘missed connections.’ It feels every pang in our crotches, every belly laugh, every aching for a connection beyond it – and instead it folds us back in on ourselves, into it. It learns to manipulate us with every emotion we betray — about how our muscle memory and qwerty keyboards lead us to other things we want, and away from touching each other in the night when we are sleeping, and eating well-prepared meals we are proud of. It wants us to love it purely, beyond our physical selves, and we do… but really, it wants us for our bodies, out of consumptive curiosity. Spend too much time in the hinternet, and you won’t survive. Enter at your own risk, and keep up your guard.
Map: This is the easiest part of the hinternet to access. Just google image search “anime period ghosts,” and you’ve passed the crossroads.
Description: She is an anime girl with no feet and nipple rings and a meringue-shaped hat, and she’s really happy because her menstrual blood can fly and is the habitat for adorable creatures. She also has captured some ghosts and is thrashing them around like a champ.
Conclusion: This is the first instance of hinternet sentience. It’s as if we asked it to tell us about menstruation and it distilled everything it had access to, from weirdo porn to those manuals about growth that moms “forget” in their tweeny-bopper daughters’ bedrooms. There’s a bit of humour here too – something almost sweet in the hinternet’s enthusiasm and eagerness to please. This lady is the angel with the flashing sword guarding Eden, and she’ll brighten your day in a hair-burning, hemorrhage-inducing kind of way, while showing you the outer perimeter of its author’s self.
Entry #2: Dogs Dressed as Airplanes.
Map: Go to aviationhumor.net. I shit you not, people are hungry for airplane humour, and this website delivers. Some featured gems include a picture of some dogs in an airplane cabin with the caption“It’s going to be a little ruff,” as well as an on-going series called “Great ATC Quotes.” Search ‘dog costumes.’
Description: Two pictures of dogs dressed up as airplanes. One is wearing goggles and camo and a pretty great leather cap, while the other is a bulldog and has really impressive engines. The bulldog is also on a leash while the other guy isn’t, so I think the bulldog might be more of a wild card. They are both extremely endowed in the fashion department. Looking at them makes me feel great.
Conclusion: There are dogs in the world who are better dressed than me and my friends, and those dogs don’t even live in the normal parts of the internet. There is a website about airplane jokes that someone regularly updates. I think we come out of this one about even.