Call me Chris Plante. Some years ago — never mind how long precisely — having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me in material reality, I thought I would take about a little and see the internet part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off my collection of Saves the Day records and regulating my video game consumption.
Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off — then, I account it high time to get to internet as soon as I can.
This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to my laptop. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all people in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings toward the web with me.
Though I cannot tell why it was exactly that my employer, Vox Media, put me down for this shabby part of a whale video, when others were set down for magnificent reports on high tragedies, and short and easy blog post on genteel YouTube celebrities, and jolly tweets with embedded GIFs —though I cannot tell why this was exactly; yet, now that I recall all the circumstances, I think I can see a little into the springs and motives which being cunningly presented to me under various disguises, induced me to set about performing the part I did, besides cajoling me into the delusion that it was a choice resulting from my own unbiased freewill and discriminating judgment.
Chief among these motives was the overwhelming idea of the great whale post itself. Such a portentous and mysterious video roused all my curiosity. Then the wild and distant seas where he rolled his island bulk; the undeliverable, nameless perils of the whale; these, with all the attending marvels of a dozen or so kayakers apparently on a nature photography retreat, helped to sway me to my wish.
With other writers, perhaps, such things would not have been inducements; but as for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote in YouTube’s archive. I love to surf forgotten profile pages, and land on an aspiring parodist. Not ignoring what is good, I am quick to perceive a horror, and could still be social with it—would they let me tweet it—since it is but well to be on friendly terms with all the inmates of the place one lodges in.