Friday 2 March 2007

Virtual Betrayal

Another poem inspired by the bitchcraft of online communities. In December 2005, a group of erstwhile friends betrayed not only a those of us who were unsuspecting victims of their paranoia/conspiracy theories but they tried to destroy a project on which we had all worked.

This project was about honour and truth - an irony not lost on those of us faced with a bitter fight for its survival. Those who set out to destroy it were literally the ones who had done least to create it. A few techie types who had contributed in spurts at the beginning but pretty soon left it all to one person to do; a professional victim who had a habit of creating havoc in every group that made the mistake of allowing her to join; and a very bitter woman whose contribution from the beginning was zilch, but who was so ego-driven she considered her mere presence to be a bonus for which we should all be grateful.

Out of this morass of personalities and backstabbings, one thing managed to emerge intact (if a little sharper than previously) and that was a sense of humour. This doggerel was inspired by the sheer unrelenting shrillness and vitriol leveled at us by people so firmly in the wrong, they approached quantum wrongness! It was an exercise in lunacy, hypocrisy, lies and bullying - but it was also the occasion for a round of seriously demented poems and limericks that often reduced us to fits of laughter when we should have been in tears. It was an extraordinary experience for many reasons; but my favourite is that it reaffirmed something I long believed ie that the human condition is essentially a ridiculous one and laughing at oneself is a fundemental requirement for sanity.

It attempts to not only mock the sheer madness of attaching such importance to virtual realiy, but the false position in which we placed ourselves, by allowing it to happen. I often look back over the little lines of verse and prose we loyal few exchanged in those days, while erstwhile mates trounced our names from one end of the net to another - and it never fails to make me smile; I warm my memory with those little snippets.

Virtual betrayal

Knickers! I say rudely
Damn and Blast; and other less
printable sobriquets

They are such fools
I rant. They think it's
all real.

This is virtual betrayal;
a virtual blade between
real shoulder blades

This is cyber-hurt
although I must admit
to shedding (real) tears

I am above it all,
I do assure you
They cannot touch me.

Except - I did think of them
as friends...

But enough of that!
I won't tell
if you don't?

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I adore this one, it steps so lightly between humour and pathos, and between laughing at self/laughing at the absudity of others. Neatly done!