The Original
Bastard Geo From Hell
(Still a work in progress)

Part Six: "Closet Misanthropes"

It was a cloudy and bittercold morning when I climbed into my Jeep for the ride to work at the GeoCities complex. As miserable as it was, this was a day to be looked forward to--the weekly Hate Day that was the high point of most of the Geos' employment. I arrived at work to find most of my comrades already in the conference room, seated before the projection screen and waiting for Hate Day to begin. 

The screen faded from its customary black to a deep blue. The Geo Collective sat forward, on the very edges of their seats in anticipation. At once the screen filled with a face, and a tinny male voice (presumably spoken by the same face) began, as it appeared, to hurl insults at the collective to rile them up. 

lawyer-loving page-nukin' mother-stabbin' sister-raping kid-scaring bible-bashing slack-jawed self-important crown-buffing head-thwunking ear-tweaking gut-punching ball-squeezing fart-sniffing thought-squelching server-sniping shit-shooting book-burning mouth-taping suit-filin' God-ignoring rock-biting head-shaving lie-tellin' info-sellin' spam-spouting threat-shouting bird-brained doughnut-eatin' coffee-dunkin' ass-sittin' gold-brickin' beer-swiggin' Vodka-pukin' critic-quellin' speech-stiflin' acid-trippin money-grubbin' advertisin surfer-trackin' badmouth-smackin' cash-stealin' hard-nosin' strong-armin' page-pullin' skeet-shootin' pig-groping pud-whackin' hand-bitin' threat-writin' lawsuit-makin' mark-enforcin' secret-keepin' misinformin' disinformin' megalomaniac throne-sittin' subordi-bossin' pamphlet-passin' letter-writin' complaint-lodgin' Dicta-handin' public-pand'rin' 'steader-screwin' ad-infestin' complaint-ignorin' wife-beatin' account-deletin' bandwidth-hoggin' critic-floggin' data-loggin' Bastards that you are... 

Loud cheering ensued and the crowd throbbed. They were practically drooling with emotion and anticipation. The face faded out and was soon replaced by another. The Hate had begun. 
"*fart* Welcome to GeoHell!" it said. 
Alex Sandell. Here he was, on the screen before them, the Enemy of the People. Seldom did a week go by in which Alex Sandell was not the main subject of the Hate.  "Farts in the wind," the face began. "Sick of being farts. Aching to be smelled. GeoCities. What's more annoying than a bunch of profit-hungry gas-bags trying to be your friend? Maybe a bunch of paranoid twits suing your ass off..." 

There was an undeniable and irrepressable anger in that room. It seemed to pervade the air they breathed, lingering in the atmosphere like a thick smog. Hate poured from every mouth and added to the smog. 

He began to speak the forbidden internal doctrine of GeoCities. "At the top of the pyramid lie the Inner Circle, sometimes known as the Advertisers...." As he spoke images were faded together, the bleating voice from the screen superimposed on the images of burning crosses, starving children in a nameless third-world country, a dead puppy. 

The collective was frothing. The sheeplike but invasive voice from the screen could scarcely be heard over the cacophony and blood-red hatred that flared among the collective. The throng of enraged Geos was wailing, yelling, throwing empty bottles and rubbish at the screen. Clenched fists shook in unison as the Geo collective voiced their disdain for the face apparent on the screen. 

The voice continued, denouncing the Inner Circle, denouncing GeoManagement, the GeoStapo, the unexpected visits to anti-Geo dissidents' homepages and houses, the mysterious disappearances of GeoCritics in the dark of the night... The collective roiled and stomped, and hurled obscenities at the face of Sandell. The fury continued to escalate until the entire floor shook from the throbbing throng of livid and swearing Geos whipped up into a writhing, almost hysterical frenzy against the subject on the screen before them. 

"...Well ya know what? You are nothing. Your GeoStapo have no legal legs to stand on. Beware, farts, the can of Lysol." 

A flash of the eyes of any Geo in that room could have turned to stone anyone that dared gaze upon them. All of the sudden the face of Sandell faded back into darkness and the 'face of GeoCities' replaced it. Just as suddenly as it had started, the Two Minutes Hate had concluded. 
At the appearance of the 'Face Of GeoCities' the crowd's hatred seemed to be turned inward and buried. The familiar chant of "Gee-OH! Gee-OH!!.." filled the room. The hate in the air had been switched off like a light. Shortly a bell sounding from the screen indicated that the Geos return to their stations and get to work. 

* * * 

Just walked into the server room to see how far the Techs were getting on Starcraft (GeoTynan hasn't quite mastered the game) and saw my Bastard Rookie In Training with that new guy again... BRIT says he's about ready to retire to Cancun already, after a few short days of instructing a BRIT of his own (let's call him BRIT2). BRIT2 is quite enthusiastic and diligent in his work, more so even than my original BRIT himself. These thoughts were interrupted by my hearing a noise that, due to my time as on-duty BGFH, had become quite familiar to me--the distinct sound of sobbing on the other end of a phone line. 
Heh, sounds like somebody got their files deleted.... 
BRIT2 gets another call. It's probably another GeoPlus member bitching about the watermark. 
BRIT2> HEY!! I don't have to take that kind of Shit from a homesteader!! 
*clickety clickety* 
Oops, make that EX-GeoPlus member... 
He hangs up when the crying starts. Then, 
*Ring Ring Ring* 
BRIT2> Hello? GeoManagement speaking. Hold please. 
BRIT2 puts down the phone and goes downstairs for a snack, and does not return. 
Yep, he's good... 

* * * 
"BGFH! Room 302! Yeah YOU! Snap to attention!" 
BGFH was startled from his afternoon nap by this commandment from the viewscreen in his office. "BGFH," the viewscreen said, "GeoManagement has an assignment for you. You are to find this Geo critic make him retract all of his anti-Geo statements." A sheet of paper slid out of a slot underneath the screen with a street address and other helpful information. "Use legal threats if necessary." More papers, intricately forged legal documents and falsified letterheads from the 'law offices' of Davis, Davis and Davis, Attorneys At Law. "Once this is accomplished and these damaging statements retracted, you are to kill him and his family." 
Having no other choice, "Uh, Yes Sir" BGFH said with a half-assed salute. 
He didn't want to do this. He didn't want to harass and kill, especially to serve someone else's malevolent interests. Not even his years at Geo had been able to strip away all of his morality. 

The Bastard Geo From Hell pulled from his pocket a small copper medallion that had been given him when he began working for Geo, as a subtle reminder of his duties, and gazed at the face inscribed upon it. It was the same face that appeared to conclude the Hate, in posters throughout Geo and posted at various intervals on telephone posts-- a narrow, angular face set with dark and haunting eyes that seemed to follow you as you moved about, a thick black mustache obscuring most of the mouth. No-one dared say, exactly, whose face this was or what it signified. Only a simple caption, "Watching You", was there to hint at its meaning. Similarly no-one would speak of any association between these posters and the others, bearing a hand and accusingly pointing finger, and the same caption beneath. 

He peered intently into the face of the medallion, recalling a line from a book he had read when he was younger. "The face gazed at him, heavy, calm, protecting, but what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark mustache?" 

He was soon recalling another line, written by one of the early BxHFHs by the name of Bill Webb. "I know there's something, something dark in your smile..." 
Again he looked upon the face on his medallion. "IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH" read the caption beneath. He gazed a disdainful glance at the face that peered back from the copper, with its piercing eyes that followed you, sighed lightly and returned the coin to his pocket. "Big Brother." he murmered to himself. 
Back when he lived, Webb was a frequent subject of the Two Minute Hate. A former 'steader, a dissident and potential threat to the profitability of the company, he was eventually captured and vaporized. The name did not even exist save for in the minds of the oldest Geo employeds. All records of his existance had been burned during the last periodic re-write of the past, undertaken every so often by Geo's underground disinformation crew to prevent even the mere existance of anti-Geo thoughts from being known to the public, lest the population of today 'get ideas' from the existance of dissidents past. Sadly few of his kind remained. 

Our last hope lies with the 'steaders. 

BGFH had written this on the back of his hand, with his back to the viewscreen so GeoManagement couldn't see. The homesteaders, he had determined, were the only hope of ending GeoCities' reign of terror and preserving the freedoms of lifestyle that the Internet currently as they are. 

Sadly and ever so faintly, the Bastard Geo From Hell could remember he himself being a 'steader at one time. No, not at GeoCities. But a 'steader nonetheless. He ran an HTTP server and BBS out of his basement on what was at the time blazingly fast--a 300bps modem connection--posted his numeric IP address on phone posts and the windows of abandoned buildings, and passed it on scrawled notes to his friends. He recalled the early, "good old days" of the Internet--no ads, no graphics, no Java, none of the commercialized and self-important fluff that littered the Web of today. He remembered starting out in Web design, remembered how free he was--If he wanted to bash Coca-Cola, he could; if he wanted to cuss a blue streak in the texts he served from that basement server, he could; if he wanted to explain in great detail what he thought of politics, or Big Business, or The Government, by God he could--none of the strong-armed force and control of today, where if one uttered so much as a syllable of discontent against a large corporation or anyone important, they would bring him up on everything from slander to trademark infringement, and probably put him, penniless, in a jailcell for a very long time. He remembered not having a lawyer to comb over every update to his pages before he uploaded them; not needing one. He looked back to a time of direct email and guestbooks and free thought and uncensored opinion--and sighed again.

Page Seven

Bastard Geo From Hell ©1998 Bill Webb. It may be redistributed, but not for profit, so long as appropriate credit is given.