You first heard of--as opposed to learned about--The Dark Web (capitalized to make it sound more ominous) from two friends who have graduate-level degrees in computer programming. Then you saw mention of it in one of the left-leaning print publications, adding to the rumors of things one can find on The Dark Web with stories of right-wing conspiracy theories, white supremacist organizations, and ready access to conventional and designer drugs.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
From rumor found in several sources and a few hours worth of your own attempts at research, you've built a profile that includes murder for hire, illegal weaponry, drugs, racism, prostitution, money laundering, and that one-size-fits-all marketplace in which one can hire what used to be called mercenaries or soldiers of fortune.
In your understanding of The Dark Web, it is nothing like the Internet, where one would log in, then surf through the vast offerings of the illegal, the despicable, the politically outrageous, and the mind boggling.
Such sites and services do exist; they are accessible through the same kind of Internet access the site of, say, Starbucks, is accessible, but in order to get the url of a given site, one needs to "know" someone who knows someone.
There are in fact some sites available through a Google or Yahoo search, using the key words Dark Web, but as such things go, the ones you've peered into don't seem all that dark or different from the sites you might find with greater ease on The Internet.
This is the background and subtext to your observation that the true Dark Web is easily found in the responses to most opinion sites, whether these are overtly political in nature or not.
In one site, built around the use of a fruit called garcina cambogia and, of all things, Bragg's cider vinegar, to effect dramatic weight loss and a drop in the bad cholesterol level, you fund a digression in which all liberals were suddenly the cause of the terrible fix in which America now finds itself and in addition, Donald Trump's meme of "Lock her up," for Hillary was mild in comparison to some of the things said about HRC, and of the things that should be done to her.
An innocent critique of the recent Academy Awards televised spectacle brought forth Dark-Web-like attitudes and meanness of spirit, veering off in every direction, including political affiliations, gender bias, and flat-out racial bigotry, to say nothing at all of the rampant presence of homophobia.
The gifted American cartoonist Walt Kelly only made it for sixty years, leaving our midst in 1973, but by that time, his daily-and-Sunday strip, "Pogo," had a strong, devoted following. Kelly was more overt in his politics than Charles Schulz, whom you knew and admired for his eclectic reading tastes and love of conversation.
Kelly's characters were denizens of the Okefenokee Swamp in Florida. One of his characters, you think it was the owl, made the observation in ironic counterpoint to Oliver H. Perry's observation, "We have met the enemy and they are ours," the painfully honest play on those words, "We have met the enemy, and they is us."
Posted by Shelly Lowenkopf at 9:29 PM