The cultural Roots of LULZ

Wired hat einen sehr schönen Artikel über Anonymous, der das Kollektiv richtig bei Prankstern wie Andy Kaufman und in der Dadaismus-Kunstbewegung Anfang des letzten Jahrhunderts verortet. Es ist nämlich ein bisschen zu einfach und kurz gedacht, Anon als ahnungslose Scriptkiddies abzutun.

The trickster isn’t the good guy or the bad guy, it’s the character that exposes contradictions, initiates change and moves the plot forward. One minute, the loving and heroic trickster is saving civilization. A few minutes later the same trickster is cruel, kicking your ass and eating babies as a snack. […]

The lulz (a corruption of LOL, online shorthand for laugh out loud) is the most important and abstract thing to understand about Anonymous, and perhaps the internet itself. The lulz is laughing instead of screaming. It’s a laughter of embarrassment and separation. It’s schadenfreude. It’s not the anesthetic humor that makes days go by easier, it’s humor that heightens contradictions. The lulz is laughter with pain in it. It forces you to consider injustice and hypocrisy, whichever side of it you are on in that moment.

In the culture of Anonymous, the lulz is the reason for doing. Anonymous wasn’t made for easy times; the trickster sleeps when all is well. […]

Hacker culture, and almost all of computer culture back in the day is shot through with the Discordian edge of 1960/1970s counter-culture and Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea’s Illuminatus. So from there it’s the yippies, Andy Kaufmann, and the Situationists we need to first comprehend. Or do we head back to early 20th century absurdists of Dada? Or maybe we venture all the way to that olde booke of epic trolling lulze, Tristram Shandy?

We’re all the way to 1759 now.

The trickster as myth proved so compelling that the network made it real. Anonymous, the net’s trickster, emerged like supernatural movie monster out of the misty realm of ideas and into the real world.

Anonymous 101: Introduction to the Lulz, der Artikel ist Teil einer Serie: Anonymous – Beyond the Mask