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.