Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Just Another Fool was the first major blog based Slender Man ARG, and along with Marble Hornets, is one of the stories which really established the current Mythos. However, while MH defined many of the in-universe concepts, most of JAF’s influence is technical and stylistic concepts.
The plot of JAF is surprisingly simple for such an influential work; it’s far shorter than the majority of other Slenderblogs online right now. The creator of the blog is Logan, whose friend Matt just died recently after struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from his tour in Iraq. Following Matt’s death, Logan received a notebook which Matt had drawn/written in during his hospital stay. Logan began to post the contents of the notebook online, while also investigating Matt’s death and what happened to him in Iraq. According to the official story, Matt’s squad was killed by a child suicide bomber. According to Matt, they were attacked by Slender Man.
While doing this investigation, Logan goes crazy and disappears. His friend Joshua picks up the blog, although Logan occasionally posts crazy cryptic messages/warnings on it. Eventually deciding that finding out the truth behind the notebook isn’t worth it, Joshua gives the notebook to Dav Flamerock, who posts it on YouTube. Then Logan is found dead; Joshua leaves to identify the body, and there the blog ends, with the implication that Joshua was killed by Slender Man.
Relation to the Mythos
In terms of in-universe content, JAF adds surprisingly little. There isn’t much that wasn’t already covered in Marble Hornets. What it did instead was set up a framework which many other ARGs would follow. To quote TVTropes, ”If there's a written blog that gradually takes on a more insane tone after Slendy gets involved, culminating in the current blogging character being replaced by a friend who is not so deeply entrenched in the madness, you can thank Just Another Fool for that.”, and ”This blog pretty much started the trend of having ARG blogs about Slender Man screwing with people.” Many blogs just skip the second part (the replaced by a friend bit), and end with just the current character going insane, but the influences are still apparent. Many ARGs follow a similar style of descending into madness that JAF did; even the codes used by insane characters in other blogs are similar (such as forming a sentence from the capitalized letters in a seemingly nonsensical phrase). The prominence of Notebooks can also be attributed to JAF, and it’s almost unheard of for someone being stalked by Slender Man to not get a notebook to draw cryptic stuff in (there is now an in-universe explanation for this; those that are being stalked by Slender Man feel a compulsion to write or blog about their experiences, as a side effect of Slendy’s presence.)
Interestingly enough, unlike in many of its imitators, Slender Man has only an implied role in JAF. He’s mentioned, but none of the characters talk about seeing him, which is very different from the “Slender Man is right outside my window!” that you usually get from ARGs. In fact, if you wanted to, it’s possible to interpret the entire story without any involvement from Slendy. Matt was already a fan of the Mythos before the attack in Iraq, so his mind formed the story about Slender Man attacking them as part of his PTSD. Logan got too involved in what Matt believed, until he believed it as well, went insane, and gouged out his eye. Joshua died in a regular motorcycle accident. But that’s not an interpretation many people are likely going to take from it, as it’s far less entertaining than “Slender Man killed them all!”
While there isn’t as much here as there was for MH, some things still need to be mentioned.
First off, the implication of Matt’s death is that Slendy single handedly killed an entire squad of U.S. soldiers. It’s interesting that he would engage in such a violent, confrontational act; while Slendy being physically aggressive isn’t unheard of, it is very rare. It also proves beyond a doubt that bullets don’t mean nothing to Slendy. Slender Man also reportedly gouges Logan’s eye out after his disappearance, making the Slender Man in JAF a much more physically aggressive Slendy than is the norm.
Slender Man has always had a strong association with trees (there are even some theories that he is some kind of sentient, malevolent tree), but this is very strong in JAF. When Matt claimed that Slender Man threw the bodies of his squad mates into a tree, despite the complete lack of a tree in the area where the attack took place. In addition, is a lot of tree-like imagery within the notebook. Most interesting is one of the codes Logan posts after going insane (codes posted below). When you take the capital letters, it creates HEIGDRUASILL. IGDRAUSILL is phonetic for Yggdrasil, so it becomes He Yggdrasil. Now, this could just be a shout out to House of Leaves. However, if it’s actually meaningful, it causes one to think; Slender Man is somehow related to trees. Yggdrasil is the world tree in Norse Mythology, which exists at the center of the cosmology. Little more information on it is given, and sadly, few ARGs have followed up on the Yggdrasil connection.
One final minor detail: Slendy is shown wearing a hat in one of Matt’s drawings. The only other time I have ever seen/heard of him wearing a hat was in someone’s avatar on a forum. It makes him look like the Question, or possibly the hat guy from XKCD, so I’m glad it isn’t commonly used.
Entry: KEY (November 2, 2009)
“you HAve come upon a door.
stop trying the haNDle if it’S not working.
if A dooR is locked, surEly you must first find THE KEY?”
Message: “HANDS ARE THE KEY”
No idea what it means. Doors play a prominent role in other Slenderblogs, especially Seeking Truth. However, these doors tend not to be very good things, so I can’t imagine wanting to open them, even if hands are keys.
Entry: Untitled 1 (December 4, 2009)
“HE dIGs and digs and digs and digs and digs and digs and Digs and digs and digs
the Rain pours and pours and pours and pours and pours and pours and pours and pours and pours
i am crumbling joshUA
staring at the world through this foggy glass
nothing can be [un]made while I lean upon this windowsill”
Related to Yggdrasil. Unsure about rain and digging imagery. Need to do more research into Norse Mythology before I can write more on this; may do an entire post if I can find enough connections to the Mythos.
Just Another Fool: http://jafool.wordpress.com/
Notebook Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWqdfDbZHnk
TVTropes Entry: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/JustAnotherFool
That’s all for Just Another Fool. On a closing note, I’ve caught up with Discuss the Findings. Yeah, just one blog; nowhere near my usual huge list of stuff I’ve read. I’ve been busy.
And I contributed to White Elephants (The rc car was my idea). I feel so proud of myself. Now I just need to wait for an angry Slendy to come after me as a result.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
I am sure you will all be surprised to hear that our Slender Man has now entered the field of music, adding yet another talent to his vast repertoire. You could perhaps call him a Renaissance Slender Man (actually, don’t call him that at all, as it is a horrible joke).
I’m not exactly the best person to be picked for music reviews; my field of study is in picking apart literature, not sound. I’ll do my best to at least give an idea of what the music is, so that this post isn’t entirely useless.
The music of The Slender Man could best be described as what happens when you take the audio distortions caused by Slender Man, and then put them to a tune. In some cases this is more pronounced than others; the song “I Am” is almost entirely made of distortions, whereas “Clouds” is more melodious. The songs tend to be very slow, and would almost be relaxing if it weren’t for the creepy undertone present in them. The music does match the majority of Slender Man’s portrayals very well; it’s a quiet, creeping horror, made from the knowledge that something isn’t quite right. I could imagine hearing the music being played in the background of a Slender Man movie, or being used as a backdrop to a scene from an ARG. The songs do suffer in that many of them sound very similar; while the tune may be different, the tone is the same for the majority of the music. Keep in mind while listening that, just because something has a nice sounding title, doesn’t mean it will sound nice, happy, and calming (“Sunset”…. Oh god, “Sunset”….)
Again, I’m not the best in terms of musical analysis. Perhaps I’ll be able to grab someone who is and have them do a more in depth look at the music of The Slender Man. If you want to know whether it’s good or not, well, the links are at the bottom of the page. Click on them.
We can also reasonably assume that, in spite of what the creator may say, there is no way that any ARG is going to accept Slender Man making these songs as canon. Except possibly Slenderous, but that really doesn’t count, as it’s a parody blog.
YouTube Channel: http://http://www.youtube.com/user/Terracidal
MySpace Account: http://www.myspace.com/theslenderman
Unrelated note: In my second post, I made the claim that no one had successfully hurt Slender Man, or at least not documented any successes. I have now come to the knowledge that this is not entirely true; Robert Sage of White Elephants has, and I quote, “I(Sage) made that fucker scream in pain.” Unfortunately, the method to do so was fairly convoluted, and would be difficult to mimic. (He drove Slender Man away at one point by spraying him with a fire extinguisher. This left behind traces of a substance, which he used to create an operator symbol on the ground by where Slendy would usually appear. When Slendy stepped on the symbol, there was a sound like “a cat being dragged across a blackboard, clawing and yowling”, after which, Slendy had left). However, subsequent attempts to drive Slender Man away using fire extinguishers in Anomalous Data proved unsuccessful. So don’t try that sort of thing at home, kids.
As for research/reading, I’ve finished In My Head, and caught up with CANYOUSEETHEWORDS, A Lack of Lexicon, Defining?, Scared, Innocuousenough’s Blog, Slenderous, and My Name is Zytherys. I have also caught up with Cold Feelings, A Rainbow Life, Do you need Doctor’s help?, Vengeance, Dreamer, and Alchemy is Wonderful; however, these appear to be inactive.
Friday, September 24, 2010
I’ve caught up with Defining?, While Elephants, and EverymanHYBRID since my last post. I’ve also read all of Where the Rivers Join and Curious Little Girl, but those blogs appears to be inactive now.
On another note, I’m starting to see why it’s generally a bad idea to just throw yourself into the Mythos. Walking home last night, saw three signs on the side of the road. Two black ones, with a white one on top. In the shadows, the black signs looked like a suit, and the white sign looked like a face. I totally freaked out there; scared the hell out of a couple walking next to me. Awesome stuff. Thankfully, when I got back home I found that I’d gotten Gurren Lagann: TV Series Complete Collection in the mail. Watching it is the best way to cure yourself of being afraid of Slender Man that I know of.
But, we’re not here to discuss me being scared of speed limit signs. No, we’re here to talk about hornets which are marble.
(Warning: There be spoilers below)
What is it?
Marble Hornets is a series of videos posted on YouTube taking place in the Slender Man Mythos. In the setting, a student by name of Alex Kralie was working on a student film, titled “Marble Hornets”. After two months of filming, he dropped the project completely, claiming “unworkable conditions”. A friend of his, named J (either that is a very strange nickname, or his parents just didn’t love him) asked Alex what he was planning to do with the tapes.
Not wanting to let so much work go to waste, J convinces Alex to let him have the tapes, on the condition that they never speak of it again. J filed the tapes away, but at the time was too unnerved by Alex’s reaction to look through them. About two to three years later, he decided to go back through the tapes.
Judging by the contents, our favorite abomination was trying to get into the film business.
To put the plot in the simplest way possible, while making “Marble Hornets”, Slender Man began to follow Alex. Like most victims, Alex started to fall deeper into paranoia and fear as a result. Things became increasingly worse, and Alex claims in one of the tapes that some people have even disappeared.
While watching these videos, J begins to record his own research into what was going on. As often results from people investigating these things, weird shit starts to go down pretty quickly. Standard Slender Man fare: black outs, waking up in different places, loss of memory, electronic distortions, etc.
In addition to Slender Man, J often encounters an individual who the viewers have nicknamed “Masky”, a mysterious person wearing a mask who is likely a Slenderproxy. There’s a good chance that Masky is also totheark, a YouTube user who posted cryptic, and sometimes downright creepy, video responses to J.
The series ended on a slightly ambiguous note. After the downward spiral really started to hit J, he called quits on the whole thing, and leaves. After staying on the move for a while, his mental health began to return, and he no longer had any involvement with Slender Man. When you’re starting to think that the whole series may just on a bittersweet tone, J receives a tape, with the instructions “WATCH THIS”. The tape shows that Alex has also found a normal life via the cunning strategy of running away from Slender Man like a girl. This ends when his girlfriend finds his old video recorder. Alex gets uncomfortable with her filming around the house, and then BAM, Slendy appears, and the video ends with the words “HELP”. J decides to be a hero, and goes to the rescue. That’s it.
There is a season 2 being planned out, which will provide an actual ending to the series, though work has not yet started on it.
Marble Hornets is what brings many people into the Mythos. As it is a visual medium, it’s easier to be drawn into it, instead of having to read through text (a feat which our society seems sadly averse to). MH makes no assumptions about the viewers’ awareness of the Mythos, unlike many other stories, and is accessible to people who have never even heard of Slender Man. The series also has a tendency of being spread around, especially on forums or in emails. Through this, it acts as a gateway series into the Mythos. Those that enjoy it often will search for more information, and in the process, discover the other blogs/videos related to Slender Man.
It’s also quite good; Marble Hornets scared me more than any big budget Hollywood horror film I’ve seen in my life. No, it’s not a top of the line masterpiece, but the fact that they were able to put together something so good on such a limited budget is pretty impressive. Even if you don’t find the horror in it scary, you do have to admit that the quality is very good, even when compared to professional works.
Relation to the Mythos
As MH is one of the main factors behind the popularization of Slender Man, it’s the thing which everyone else imitates. MH may not have created the Mythos, but it codified it. Many things which are now standard Slender Man fare were created by, or inspired by, them. The idea of Slender Man slowly hunting victims over an extended period of time, the operator symbol, Slendersickness, blackouts, electronic distortions, and Slenderproxies were all started or inspired by MH.
Which makes it hilarious how many ARGs don’t consider MH real, or part of the factual Slender Man canon. This is especially true amongst the ones which support the theory that Slender Man came into existence through collective belief/fear of him. According to them, Marble Hornets was not an effect of Slender Man, it was a cause. The reason everything else relating to Slender Man resembles Marble Hornets isn’t because MH was accurate, it is because everyone believes that Slender Man will act as he does in MH. This belief is not universal; in most of the ARGs which claim Slender Man has origins before his appearance on SomethingAwful, Marble Hornets is at least given the benefit of the doubt. Still, it is very common for the author of an ARG to claim that their first taste of Slender Man was through Marble Hornets. And it’s well established in the Mythos that interest in Slender Man often leads to the interested party becoming a victim. You can see where this is going.
The Operator Symbol
I’m just going to briefly touch on this here, as this is where (X) originated. MH gives very little information on what the symbol is. All we learn from it is that it is associated with Slender Man. Alex is seen drawing it at some points, and it makes the occasional appearance in the videos. What is means remains a mystery, however. The three main camps on what (X) means are 1) It’s Slendy Repellant, 2) It either draws Slendy towards you, or somehow is used by him for his gain, and 3) it neither helps nor interferes with Slendy, it’s just something that his victims feel compelled to draw. Option 1 seems to make sense with Alex drawing so many of the symbols; after all, he is being hunted by Slender Man, and likely wants some kind of protection. However, totheark also uses the symbol occasionally, and if he is a Slenderproxy (which seems like the most likely possibility), it would be strange for him to use them. For 1 to be correct in the context of MH, either totheark isn’t actually a Slenderproxy, or he is horrible at being a Slenderproxy. Then there’s the question of just how exactly Alex learned about the symbol and its protective properties. Option 2 resolves totheark’s use of the symbol, but then we have to deal with Alex constantly drawing them. It seems a bit illogical to be constantly drawing something that would either strengthen Slender Man, or draw him towards you. It could be possible that he was either hypnotized at the time, or so crazy that he wasn’t aware of what he was doing, but that seems unlikely. While drawing the symbols, we don’t see enough video tearing or distortions to symbol that Slender Man is very near, which is usually needed for hypnotism. And the idea of him being crazy doesn’t match with how he acts in the videos. He’s extremely paranoid, and not entirely there in the head, but he’s never shown as so far gone that he’ll draw something that puts his life at risk. Option 3 doesn’t have any of these problems, because it ignores all the problems. He’s drawing the symbol because it’s related to Slender Man, and that’s what you do when you’re hunted by him. You draw lots of (X)s. This isn’t that popular a theory amongst the more proactive or scientifically focused ARGs, because in those they’re trying to find explanations. In ARGs not worried about discovery or science, it can still make appearances, since the author doesn’t need to explain anything. Just show the symbol appearing somewhere, and you know that Slendy’s involved. Don’t need to know whether it’s pro or con, just that he’s involved.
The two of them get one section, as it’s heavily implied that they are the same person. There are theories that totheark is Alex, however, that would require Alex to travel back to the town (from a different state), and then film footage of J and Slender Man while J was hypnotized. Not exactly in character for someone who should be trying to help J, and certainly not likely for Alex. It’s far more likely that totheark is Masky than anyone else.
The vast majority of the fans believe that Masky is Tim. And I really can see where they’re coming from; Tim displayed Slendersickness in some footage, was shown taking pills which J found in the house/which Masky stole back, wore the same jacket as Masky, and has the same hair as him. Unless season 2 decides to throw some kind of curveball at us, it’s pretty much canon that Masky is Tim.
Now this gives Tim the wonderful honor of being the first Slenderproxy. There are some theories that Masky was actually trying to help J, but these never sat well with me. Masky acts in too threatening a manner for me to be willing to say, “Oh yeah, he’s just trying to help.” It’s never stated outright that Masky is helping Slender Man, but at this time, claiming otherwise is just speculation.
What’s interesting is how many ARGs have taken from both the concept of Slenderproxies, and the idea that Masky was somehow anti-Slendy. The Tutorial talks about Slenderproxies, but also makes the claim that wearing a mask can help protect you from Slender Man. Also, a number of ARGs take the cryptic writings that totheark did, but attribute them to the protagonist, not a Slenderproxy. Proxy or not, whenever the protagonist of a story does start writing like totheark, it’s never a very good sign.
A brief one here. When J investigates the House (I feel like I’m writing about House of Leaves, what with me capitalizing the word House so often), he breaks into a coughing fit. Tim is also shown coughing at one point, with the implication that he’s been affected by Slender Man. One theory is that the pills Tim and Masky have are to lessen the side effects of the Slendersickness, although I’m not sure what type of medicine you’d need to do that.
In MH, being around Slender Man also causes the target to experience feelings of coldness, but this is less focused on by other ARGs.
Marble Hornets left many questions unanswered, which is one of the reasons it was so creepy. You knew things were happening to these people, but you couldn’t figure out why, and that was terrifying. How much of it gets answered in season 2 is unknown; as MH is the most well known part of the Mythos, practically whatever it says will become canon. Which will be hilarious if it contradicts the ARGs being made in the meantime. It’ll almost be like the Star Wars EU; all the authors go through all this trouble detailing every last aspect of something, writing several books worth of description…. And then George Lucas makes an offhand comment that completely invalidates everything they’ve done. It’ll be great to watch that if it happens to the Slender Man Mythos; hopefully I’ll still be blogging to do some sort of damage control if it does.
Marble Hornets Channel: http://www.youtube.com/marblehornets
totheark's Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/totheark?blend=2&ob=4
Marble Hornets Wiki: http://marblehornets.wikidot.com/
TVTropes Entry: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MarbleHornets
If there’s anything you think I didn’t discuss in depth enough about Marble Hornets, or anything you think I missed, go ahead and tell me. I’ll either cover it in the comments section, or if I feel the need to write a long post about it, I’ll make another entry.
Next time, I plan to discuss Just Another Fool.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
No, this isn’t a full, in depth explanation detailing every aspect of Slender Man. Most of that isn’t even fully known right now, and I’m not willing to delve totally into the theoretical nature of his existence until I’ve covered more background information. No, this is just the generic overview, stating what is known and agreed upon about Slender Man.
having a circumference that is small in proportion to the height or length: a slender post.
thin or slight; light and graceful: slender youths.
small in size, amount, extent, etc.; meager: a slender income.
having little value, force, or justification: slender prospects.
thin or weak, as sound.
an adult male person, as distinguished from a boy or a woman.
a member of the species Homo sapiens or all the members of this species collectively, without regard to sex: prehistoric man.
the human individual as representing the species, without reference to sex; the human race; humankind: Man hopes for peace, but prepares for war.
a human being; person: to give a man a chance; When the audience smelled the smoke, it was every man for himself.
(Definitions courtesy of Dictionary.com)
Slender Man is a humanoid being, although taller and lankier than the average human. Some descriptions have put him at 9 feet, others at 7, some people are from Europe and use the metric system, but there isn’t an exact measure on his height, apart from tallness. He is always seen wearing a suit, or at least what appears to be a suit. In earlier versions, it was claimed that his face appeared different to everyone, although now it has become accepted that his face appears completely blank. The better stories/ARGs make him completely silent; there have been people who made him create some sort of noise, but that universally detracted from the horror.
There’s rarely any consistency in regards to Slender Man’s abilities, although a few do stand out across the various stories (I plan to go into further details regarding these abilities in a later post). Slender Man is capable of stretching out his limbs, changing them into tentacle like appendages, or growing multiple arms. A few pictures have shown him walking on those arms Doc Oc style, which in my opinion looks pretty silly. It’s also frequently alluded to that he has a vaguely hypnotic power, although again, apart from the fact that he can pseudo-hypnotize people, there’s little consistency. Being around Slender Man often results in black outs, and often when the subject awakes, they’re in a different location. Whether this is related to the hypnosis ability is debatable. In addition to screwing with peoples’ heads, Slender Man’s presence causes malfunctions in electronics, especially recording equipment. This usually is in the form of video tearing, color distortion, screeching audio, loss of audio, etc. Slender Man is also capable of something akin to teleportation (which I like to call Slenderwalking), although there are many strong arguments against it being true teleportation. Again, I will go into more detail later (after I’ve reread all the books I own on physics). On the rare occasion, he has been shown with the ability to start fires. Arson tends not to be his favorite trick, and it usually only conveniently pops up shortly after the writer has left the burned building, or shortly before they were about to go inside and discover THE TRUTH.
The natural habitat of the wild Slender Man tends to be in wooded areas, or by rivers. This is due to a connection he has with trees, although at this time, there is little information on that connection beyond its existence. Usually the woods will be foggy, because Slender Man likes to create a suitable atmosphere. He is not constrained to woods, and can appear anywhere (Including right behind you, in case you wanted to feel paranoid today. Hell, he could be right behind me, watching over my shoulder as I write, shaking his head with sadness at all the stuff I’m getting wrong. That is, if he can read.)
According to what everyone claims, Slender Man’s targets are usually children. However, those claims don’t exactly match what happens very well. Since the majority of writers are adults, and most stories are about the writer themselves being hunted by Slender Man, most of his victims tend to fall around their low to mid twenties. Sometimes a high schooler is thrown into the mix as well, but only a small percentage of the victims mentioned in the stories are actual children.
Slender Man is often associated with the operator symbol (a circle with an X over it), which is displayed in text as (X). There’s way too much stuff on that to go into in this one paragraph here, so I’ll need to save that for its own entry.
The methods Slender Man uses to kill his victims varies, even within the stories. Some he outright kills, usually tearing out and then replacing their organs. Said deaths are rarely witnessed in person, with only the corpse shown. More often, he causes his victims to simply disappear, especially if they’re children. Some people claim he eats his victims, although this opinion seems to be in the minority. He has also been linked with accidental deaths, such as dying in a mysterious car accident.
As of now, I haven’t read/watched anything which indicates any ways that Slender Man can be harmed. It’s probable that no one has created one; after all, being able to hurt Slender Man means we can stop him, or even kill him. And an eldritch abomination which can be killed easily isn’t very frightening.
Mythical Creatures Entry on Slender Man: http://www.mythicalcreaturesguide.com/page/Slender+Man
Picture of an Operator Symbol: http://rlv.zcache.com/operator_symbol_sticker-p217568565303589996qjcl_400.jpg
Also, a small update on my readings/research. Since my previous post, I have finished Seeking Truth, Cut!, and have caught up with Anomalous Data.
Alright, I should probably be serious now. Some of you, upon reading that first bit, will instantly know what I’m talking about. Others will be horribly confused, and hopefully intrigued enough to want to learn more (or more likely, just annoyed). Basically, this is another of the increasingly common Slender Man blogs.
Now, some of you are asking, “What is the Slender Man? Why is he so slender and manly?” Well, allow me to cop out of any explanation by posting a link to TVTropes.
Essentially, Slender Man is an online urban legend/internet meme/
Much of this growth is owed to the many ARGs (Alternate Reality Games) based on the Mythos. Usually in the form of youtube videos or blogs, the creator details their encounters with Slender Man, usually resulting in a dive into madness and horror; in most that have ended, it does so as a result of the implied death of the creator. These ARGs are, more than anything else, what has been establishing the Mythos. Especially among the blogs, a self-contained universe is appearing, with the individual writers commenting on each others’ posts, or referring to other blogs in their stories. Through this shared setting, a growing canon, if I can use that word to describe the Slender Man Mythos, has begun to take shape. While originally Slender Man was a vague, unknown being, there are now a handful of guidelines governing him. Even so, there still is plenty of disagreement between the ARGs, which is only made worse by the in-universe debates over which posts are factual, and which are fiction.
If that whole last part sounded meta to you, that’s because the Mythos is. Slender Man is very postmodern, to the point where it could be argued that there is no fourth wall at all in the setting
But I suppose I should actually get around to the purpose of this blog, and explain why I used precious moments of my time making it, when I could rather have spent them on topics much safer for my mental health. To sum it up in a quick sentence, the purpose of this blog is to analyze the Slender Man and his universe. As the entire Mythos is horribly confusing and disjointed, constructed from the work of dozens of individuals, each doing their own thing, there is little organization of information, or even consistency. The only way to learn about Slender Man is to throw yourself into the setting, preferably while carrying multiple decoders, various religious texts, collections of folk tales, the complete works of H.P. Lovecraft, a Latin to English dictionary, House of Leaves, a book on Freudian psychology, etc. You should also bring a coin. (Flip it every time you start following an ARG. Heads, it’s just another follow the leader deal, with very little depth beyond what other works have explained. Tails, and not even all the things I listed above will be enough to fully unravel all the mysteries you’ll encounter.) For someone who likes breaking stories down, analyzing each part, and thoroughly exploring every aspect until I understand most possible explanations, this was a deplorable state to find things. Unfiction has a collection of links to ARGs, but while it covers the vast majority of them, it is still missing a handful. And the TVTropes article at the start is the closing thing to an organized collection of Slender Man info, and it’s lacking in that. I felt that someone needed to change this, and since I apparently have nothing better to do with my free time/have the survival instincts of a lemming, I’ve placed this task upon my shoulders. Wielding my partially completed English major like a flaming sword, I shall charge into this darkness, most likely at the cost of my sanity, and try to create some sense of order. I should also note that at this time, I have not yet read every single piece of information relating to Slender Man. As of today, (September 22, 2010), I have entirely viewed Marble Hornets, and read Just Another Fool, Dreams in Darkness, Lost Time, and am up to date with The Tutorial and Testing 1,2,3. I’m also reading multiple other ARGs and watching other video series, but I haven’t completely finished them yet. I’ll mention on this blog when I do.
It all sounds more like a topic better fit for a series of essays than through an online medium, but Slender Man exists through the internet, with blogging as one of the most important features. As such, I decided to stick with tradition, and go the blog route. If I had really, really wanted to get into the tradition, I would have written all of this in my notebook, except all of it would have been in obscure codes, and I’d have random drawings/symbols everywhere. However, I think my notebook gets enough abuse already, so the blog was the way to go.
So, essentially: This blog is part analysis of a modern urban legend, part “book report” on various Slender Man ARGs, part exploration of the ideas behind Slender Man, part encyclopedia of generally accepted Slender Man facts, and part analysis of postmodern concepts in Slender Man. Also possibly part ARG, as I have no problem with people posting in character; I’ve always had better discussions with actual participants than I have with people outside the setting. And who knows; if the theories about him hunting people who show too much interest in him are true, maybe even good ol’ Slendy will show up outside my door. I’ll be sure to give him a good right hook to the
Original SomethingAwful Thread: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3150591
Slender Man TVTropes Article: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheSlenderManMythos
Collection of Slender Man ARGs: http://forums.unfiction.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=29732
Slender Man on “Know Your Meme”: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/slender-man
Wikipedia Entry on ARGs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternate_reality_game
DISCLAIMER: Reading about Slender Man has been known to result in paranoia, loss of sleep, and the death of you and everyone you hold dear. Anyone who continues to read on is fully accepting the risk that a man in a suit may rip out their favorite organs as a result. I don’t want to wind up with any lawsuits from people claiming that it’s my fault they were killed. Because then we’d need to figure out how a dead person hires a lawyer, and how to transmit funds to the afterlife, and it would just get really messy legally.