Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Slenderman: A Danger To Youth?

Hey everyone, Dana here. Let me apologize for not posting since May 9th. Work has been crazy, shows with my band have been picking up, and job interviews have come my way. Life has gotten quite busy lately, and I haven't gotten a chance to sit down and write in a long time. I sincerely apologize to you. Well, I'm back, and I got something that really irks me and inspired me to write. I read about something really disturbing yesterday, and I feel it's time to put my two cents into this article. Tonight's blog post is current events/youth culture related. I'm talking about Slenderman and how two evil children took that "Creepypasta" character's motive way too far.
Slenderman

If you're not familiar with Slenderman and Creepypasta, let me explain. Slenderman is a fictitious stalker/serial killer that someone came up with on Creepypasta.com and became a viral internet meme where Slenderman is photoshopped into the background of pictures with friends. It's a stupid, silly internet meme. Everyone knows that internet memes are for laughs and no one takes them seriously. Creepypasta is a website that is dedicated to horror stories, ghost stories, and other disturbing stories that people come up with all year round, and gain popularity around Halloween. 


I remember reading a Legend of Zelda Creepypasta many years ago and got spooked out by it, but I knew that it was just a spooky myth that someone came up with just to get a rise out of people. Hell, me and some friends at Queens College participated in a Halloween themed radio show and some of us read horror stories off of Creepypasta.com. It's all fun and games, and none of these characters or stories are based on facts. Myths, maybe; but they're not real.  Especially Slenderman of all Creepypasta characters. No one is that tall and that thin to be considered a real human being. But what happens when children take those stories too far and end up hurting someone or themselves?

On Saturday, May 31st, two twelve year old girls, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, attempted to murder their "friend" by stabbing her 19 times and leaving her for dead in the woods. That wasn't exaggerated. NINETEEN TIMES. Thankfully, the victim was found and rushed to the hospital where she lies in stable, but critical condition. She survived 19 stab wounds and was milometers away from dying. The suspects just missed a vital artery. These two attackers have apparently been planning the victim's murder since December and pretended to be the victim's friend; such as inviting her to slumber parties, birthday parties, etc. They were going to tape her mouth shut and kill their friend in her sleep, but they decided a bathroom would be a better place to do it since apparently cleaning a bathroom is easier than cleaning a bedroom. Their reason behind the attempted murder? They wanted to prove that Slenderman was real.

My reaction to their reason behind the attempted murder.
Believe me, ladies and gentleman, I didn't want to believe that was their reason for hurting that poor little girl either. When I found out about this, I thought it was a rumor. I thought it was another stupid rumor just to cause controversy and make people talk. I also didn't think anything of it because I seriously didn't think that they didn't have common sense to know that deliberately hurting someone is wrong. But unfortunately, it's true. There are several articles citing this crime, and I literally had a loss for words up until tonight. I didn't think that preteen girls would have the audacity to commit a heinous crime based on a ridiculous character from a silly horror story website. 

Yes, children imitate what they see and read. Yes, they pretend they're their favorite super heroes or villains, imitate them, and end up getting hurt. No, they absolutely shouldn't do it, but at least they learn a valuable lesson afterwards: don't take anything you see on television seriously. The exact same thing goes for books and other fictitious content online; if it's fake, don't take it seriously. But preteens can distinguish the difference between fact and fiction. Apparently Morgan and Anissa didn't.

Why these two girls believed in a ridiculous Creepypasta story is beyond my wildest dreams. Kids getting entertained by horror stories is completely acceptable; playing around and imitating is okay too. But literally taking a knife and attempting to murder someone based on what they read on a website? Absolutely not. Should they be tried as adults in the court of law? Yes, definitely. That's not harsh at all. I don't believe in "kids will be kids" anymore; especially if they pull something like this. I don't believe in giving them a slap on the wrist for committing something so disgusting and vile to an innocent girl who thought these girls were her best friends. 

Now here's the question that everyone asks after reading this horrific article: Should we blame Slenderman and Creepypasta.com for their behavior? Should we make a petition to get Creepypasta.com off the internet? My answer: ABSOLUTELY NOT. 

People have the right to post and create stories on Creepypasta.com, Fanfiction.net, Fictionpress.com, etc. I don't care how messed up those stories are; people can create whatever horror story they want. But don't you dare blame media for your child's delusional, sadistic behavior. 

"Oh, but Dana, that's inappropriate content! Someone PLEASE think of the children!"

No, how about you curb your child and teach them that fiction is not real? Why don't you tell them that MURDER, let alone hurting someone, isn't a joke? Blaming a fictitious character for your child's behavior is the equivalent of blaming a pack of cigarettes for lung cancer. If you chose to consume it, YOU are to blame; not the content. There's a little something monitoring your child's internet history content. If you see something that's questionable, TALK TO THEM. Ask them what the content is about, and explain to them that it's fake and should never be taken seriously. Don't shelter them; let them experience things in life and then teach them what to take into consideration. It's simple. Talk to them.

My final thoughts on this? If you go to their website, the very first thing you see is "CREEPYPASTA.COM --Scary paranormal stories and Short Horror MicroFICTION." See that, ladies and gentleman? FICTION. I rest my case. Good night.

5 comments:

  1. Exactly, these kids are insane. More on the fact that they wanted to make Slenderman "real" by killing someone. I watch YouTube series MarbleHornets, and all that is , is a video series " Blair Witch Project " style of film around Slenderman. Does that make me wanna kill people? NO. These kids weren't monitored, they couldn't separate fantasy from reality. and now they are gonna have to live with their idiotic decision and its consequences.

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  2. I agree. Trying to pin the blame on Slender Man and other creepypastas for the crime is about as plausible as blaming video games, rock & roll, Harry Potter, Dungeons & Dragons or something equally as silly for "corrupting today's youth". Quite frankly, some people just prefer to find a scapegoat to throw all of the blame on because doing that is a lot easier than admitting that they failed as parents. I don't know what kind of environment these kids grew up in that they didn't understand the fundamental differences between right/wrong and real/fiction.

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  3. This is just like in the 80's when Judas Priest was blamed for an attempted double suicide. Media doesn't affect how people think, people that do this are mentally ill. Creepypasta influenced these kids, just as much as Die Hard influenced 9/11.

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  4. Another thing, where did that get knives from? Story wise I mean. Slenderman isn't a guy with a knife like Jason Voorhees or Michael Meyers. He's an interdimentional demon (crazy as it is) that resembles a ridiculously tall man in a suit with black tentacles which he thrusts into children after stalking them for years.

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  5. I just hope that, instead of throwing them in jail to rot for 60 years (which is what they are facing since they're being tried as adults) they receive proper therapy, counseling & any other help they need. They are only 12, and while they do deserve to be in jail for attempted murder, they also need help & therapy. I do not necessarily blame the parents & I don't blame the websites, either. The parents may have done a fine job raising these two girls but once pop culture gets involved, it's always downhill. The same goes for Grand Theft Auto and other games. There needs to be a stronger filter for children, so that adults can enjoy what they enjoy & children can enjoy what they're supposed to be doing. Such a controversial story, it breaks my heart, but I'm just so happy the girl survived the attacks.

    Great read, Dana! (:

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