The first time I noticed that many people on the Internet seemed to be asking celebrities to kill them, it was two years ago. “Can the king’s wool already walk on me?” Wrote one person on Twitter. “Break my neck and hide my body,” said another, when Lady Gaga released a new profile picture. Taylor Swift could “roll me over with a tractor and I would thank her and ask her if she wants to do it again,” writes another. If you do a quick search, you’ll find hundreds of such messages, mostly from Generation Y and Generation Z. Most of this talk was very disturbing, as was the person who tweeted will be identified as something less direct. Many messages were about women and were sent by women; the subgroup of men who attracted these tweets tended to be a girl, in the masculine way. Attractive and attractive Korean pop stars have been seduced by the many “harry styles that hit me in the face”, many wishes that Justin Bieber, still childish, crushes people with his car. Today, on Twitter, every hour brings a new harvest of similar pleas.
One conclusion of all this is that young people really like celebrities. Another is that we want an immediate connection so desperately that we would accept it in the form of a murder. It is also possible that we simply wanted to die. Earlier this year, in The Cut, in an article on the rise of tweets, Gabriella Paiella pointed out that the popularity of these jokes can not be separated from the environmental fatalism instilled by the attention paid to the real problems of the real world. . “The fact that we live in a time when we are constantly reminded that the Earth will be virtually uninhabitable by the end of the century, that capitalism is totally unsustainable and that we are just abandoning a nuclear war. “Paiella spoke to writer Brandy Jensen, who had recently tweeted that her first reaction when seeing a sexy person was to think” again with a truck “. Everyone, said Jensen, seemed to constantly publish about his warmth and his desire to die. It was natural that both converge.
Devotion, by its nature, tends to invite agony. “Love has put me within reach of beautiful and cruel weapons that kill me unjustly,” wrote Petrarque in the English translation of “Rime Sparse” by Robert M. Durling, a series of poems written in the fourteenth century. “Venus and Adonis” by Shakespeare, published in 1593, describes Venus as a girl who “kills with a kiss”. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, John Donne pleaded for the famous phrase: “Crush my heart, three people would want to have God.” The version of the Internet age poem, “Holy Sonnet 14”, could involve the passionate poet who prays to God drowning him.) But this language seems to be expanding. It may come from a kind of erotic consecration, but love and pain, joy and punishment seem to be more and more convergent, at least in the way people express themselves online. Love may be timeless, but the mortal vow of the middle millennial irony has become an underground river that rushes quickly beneath the surface of the time.
Earlier this month, I phoned Mistress Velvet, a dominatrix in Chicago with a social work day, to ask her what she had done with all this. She began to notice the predominance of punchy facial rhetoric in 2011, she told me, when she became interested in her in her early twenties. “To say that I literally let her stab me was a way to linguistically evaluate my strange relationships about my heterosexual relationships,” she said. “But that interests me in the context of B.D.S.M.” Ms. Velvet told me that when clients came to see her with such intense dedication to sacrifice, they often looked for replacements for powerful and absent people in their lives. “It reminds me of the transition from Christianity to atheism,” he said. “Suddenly I was afraid of death, I was a nihilist and I had to find something else that could fill that void.”
This parallel has never occurred to me, I tell him.
“I mean, if we think about it,” said Mrs. Velvet, “Jesus died for our sins, and believers are supposed to give him back our lives.” My clients sometimes talk to me like that. They let me crush them with a truck. I’m like, “That’s not what I want! Your life is sacred!
“Good,” I said, suddenly stunned. “Maybe it’s a dream of reciprocity, sacrifice for someone so that he is then permanently linked to you.”
I sent a message to a 17-year-old Harry Styles fan whose social media bio contained the following phrase: “Harry can knock me over, use my crumpled corpse to clean his car, and then use me to avoid the puddles in the street “. on “stan twitter” since 2012, he explained, “and we have always been hard enough with the expression of our love”. (Stan, as he now recognizes in the Oxford English Dictionary, is an obsessive fan of a celebrity, the term comes from Eminem’s song “Stan” of the year 2000 and can be used both as a noun and as a verb.) “I say this guy Honestly, it would be an honor for Harry to crush me,” he wrote.An eighteen-year-old boy whose biography on Twitter was “Tom Holland could roll me over with a truck and I would appreciate it, “he told me:” Even if I am close to him or in his presence, it would make me so happy, even if it meant that I was running with a truck.
After reading the many and numerous tweets archives in which people ask Cate Blanchett to put himself on the throat, I sent a message to a 24-year-old woman who had published a picture of Blanchett with the caption “She is so great please walk on it. “My tongue in the throat, he wrote, was referring to” LGBTQ people who love to love and support women and who are more creative every day. it’s our safe place. “It’s Cate, damn it, Blanchett, you’d do whatever she wanted you to do.”
But not all direct repeat tweets direct their feelings towards an object. Many people on Twitter simply ask to be crushed, trampled, smashed in the face. Twitter user @alwayssaddaily, whose name simply appears under the name “Anxiety”, recently released a series of emoji snowflakes forming a giant “F”, followed by “chased against me”. He received twelve cents that I like. “Honestly, I feel that this new trend of expression is due to the fact that members of society as a whole are becoming numb and lose the perspective of the physical part of reality, which makes The brain reacts and expresses things in a certain way to satisfy the need to feel our body, “told me the twenty-year-old woman behind the story. “Life is getting more and more redundant, which makes me repeat these thoughts: hit me with a car, kill me shit, for psychological satisfaction.”