When the Internet was Innocent
When Cathy finds Tom sitting in the park, sipping on a Slurpee, she seems happy to see her friend. But what she doesn’t realize is that Tom has recently experienced lousy times on the Internet (at the 1:08 mark, look for The Eyes).
“I was surfing the net last night, and I saw some things,” Tom tells Cathy. And his expression tells the story of things not easily unseen, of vague danger and a mustachioed, hairy-armed man who drinks watered-down Scotch and lurks in chat rooms that look a lot like Microsoft Word documents (Dial-up pedophiles!). It’s a cautionary tale for children who will grow to adults that later realize the only friends they have are on the Internet. Sure, Internet & Street Smarts (1998) is a PSA, but watching it 13 years after it was filmed gives it the quality of a Greek tragedy (with poor production values).
On a closing note, the video’s narrator does tap into an important idea when he imparts this wisdom to young Interneters: “Remember, just because someone types something in a computer, that doesn’t mean it’s the truth.”
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I wish to God I’d had a list like this when I was 23.
Answer phones better than anyone else has answered phones before. Relay messages so brilliant, they bring people to tears. Turn the coffee run into the choreography of Swan Lake. Become best friends with every intern and every underling and every taxi driver you encounter.
I remember taking the pen and notebook from that woman outside the courtroom, flipping to a clean page in the book, and writing, JESSICA IS SAD in big, bold, uncoordinated letters. “My sister is going to be a good writer someday! Look at how nice her lines are!”
To begin, I got totally screwed over in the dental genes department. I was born with a pretty severe overbite and a mouth that was too small.