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Erwin Jaeger

October 1997

So this month's bit will be on the wonderful world of bisexual chat lines... and of Internet Relay Chat (IRC) in general and the anonymity of the online majestic speak-easy...

Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off (ROTFLMAO) to abbreviate the IRC term. That's the theme of this rant. Rolling on the floor laughing at the state of things in general. The post humorous yuks of all the world

IRC is the thing that really scares (in stark jaw-to-the-floor state of breathless awe akin to the kind of fear/respect some older folks have for the a-bomb) me about the computer-using world (to say techno world would be too cliché ). As I was saying: On my trip along the "INFORMATION SUPER-HIGHWAY", that's what frightened me the most. The anonymity of the conversation via modem (IRC). The thought of three fraternity boys huddling around Joe's roommate's computer trying to find those illusive hot bi chicks. Going into a room and trying to convince the OPS that I really am bisexual and that my name (two words separated by a backslash) is not frat-boys on the prowl.

It's kind of strange in the sense that what brings people into places like #Bi and #Bicafe (on Efnet) is also what causes them to scrutinize the newcomers so heavily. Who are you?! And what do you want from us!? A king's court of interrogation that has to be conquered before anyone takes you seriously or for that matter bothers to talk to you at all. All of which I can understand and sympathize with. If everyone on #Bi received a buck for every time they've been asked for their stats and an invitation to cyber whoopie (or whatever net-screw is called nowadays) I'm sure they could afford a small banana republic by now. But all the same. For a first time user of such rooms it's rather intimidating.

Many times, I've walked into a chat room where everyone ignores me (or for that matter counts the minutes before I leave out of abject boredom). Never mind the time that I spent 20 minutes trying to start up a conversation with an IRC.-robot...

Attempting to begin a conversation on such channels is also a challenge:

"Hi I'm (User name) and I just want to chat."

"How's everyone doing tonight"

"Holka Holka Lets all polka!!!... WAZ AP?"

Making me feel like I've just stepped into a singles bar with "Ignore me, I'm a goiter" permanently etched into my forehead.

Yet there are ways... One could always pray (to one's Christian or, in my case, "agnostic god figure") that someone will give you a chance and talk to you.

Be witty and cute, while praying to the previously mentioned avatars that my presence has not been preceded by D.F.B's (Drunken Frat boys).

Or simply come in on a regular enough basis that the OP's knows that you are who you say you are (directing them to your web page doesn't hurt either... but tends to sound like the cheesy pick up line....

"Hey, honey, wanna see my "Web-Page"? wink, wink, nudge nudge."

But for all its great perils and mishaps of identity... (Is it my fault that Ajax is also the name of a European soccer team whose fans are both blindly dedicated and equally fanatical?) IRC allows us to connect. It allows a steady conversation between a group of individuals separated by continents, time zones, and monstrous phone bills. It brings the few closer together and allows us to find a kind of community spirit we would not otherwise have. It also allows us to connect from the safety of our homes. OK, so it also turns us into faceless automatons who judge purely on linguistic wit and phonetic aptitude...Not necessarily a bad thing. It all depends on who you talk to or who will bother to talk to you.

In closing I'd just like to say that IRC is just another way for us (Confused in Iowa, Cool in California, BiM21 in New jersey, J&J(John and Jane) leather-pants in Connecticut\Chicago respectively, everyone else)* and me, Ajax\Rowe aka ajaxR in Canada to connect with one another... to agree, disagree, laugh, cry, talk, fear and...

"Silence"

... wait patiently for someone to respond.

Besides... where else are the thousands of bisexuals who couldn't get a date on Saturday night supposed to go for a good chat?

Until next time,

Peace,

Erwin Jaeger

*These nicks (aside from my own) are not regular patrons of #Bi to my knowledge. They are names created to serve as an example of the diversity of the kind of people found on IRC.


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