In the microcosmic world of facebook, the signifier “Friends” has an awful lot of work to do. In most cases “Acquaintances” would probably be better, but this still seems far-fetched … “People you know”? … Hmm … This is pretty vague, but still wouldn’t cover everyone—I mean, do you still know someone you haven’t seen for 10 years? Do you even “know” people you work with? Probably not. “People you have known” probably falls by the wayside too … “People you’ve seen or spoken to over your lifetime” is approaching accurate, but then this still wouldn’t account for people you’ve met on the internet, or people with the same name as you that you added when you were drunk … Erm … “People you have known of, or spoken to, via any communicative mode, over the course of your lifetime”? I think that might do for now. But it’s not very snappy. I’m not even sure it’d fit in that little blue bar above the pictures … And lumping family members in among the slurry probably wouldn’t go down too well either. Hpmh … “Friends” it is then, but something has to give …
I approached the cull cautiously at first, just timidly nibbling around the edges of the mass—sniping off an odd one or two who I wouldn’t even be able to pick out of a line-up. Before long though, the blood-lust got to me, and I was slashing away with impunity, html code up the walls, macerated pages all around me. 50 dead, then 80, then 100, 150, 200! Dead! All dead and gone!
Actually, that’s not quite accurate. There were moments of reflection—ethical dilemmas that emerged over the course of the process that shook me to my very core. Considerations such as:
- Can you kill close friends’ girlfriends if you don’t know them at all well?
- If you kill one ex-colleague, then should you plough on and murder the lot of them?
- Is it wrong to spare the life of a schoolfriend just because you enjoy reading about their mildly car-crash existence?
- How long should you wait until bludgeoning to death an acquaintance you know you’ll never see again?
- Do distant relatives get special dispensation, or are they buried in the garden with the riffraff?
Important questions all. And not at all usual for a Tuesday lunchtime. As for the answers? Well, I was probably a little trigger happy if truth be told, but then god-like power will do that to a man—some I saved, others I smote. Still others were delivered plagues of locusts. Such was my duty.
What I can say, however, is that such mindless violence and blood-thirsty rampage is joyously cathartic, cleansing and does wonders for the appetite. And it is for this reason that I call on you all to do the same. Even if it means you smite me just as I smote others.
There’s plenty of smitin’ to go round.