Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Slender Man for Suburban Housewives

I've had a few tabs open for a while now, waiting for the Muse to strike about this "sex trafficking panic" that has eaten social media whole. The Muse never did strike, so I'm going to strike her so I can close these tabs.

Basically, it's Slender Man for Suburbanite Housewives; the Ladies' Auxiliary of Q-Anon.
"Are you nearing middle age? Is your life kind of dull, a vast arid expanse of paying bills and cleaning house, stretching out to the horizon of senility? Here's a fun and exiting game that you can play that adds a thrill of danger, complete with puzzles to decode and patterns to recognize!"
You've got people freaking out every time they see a work truck, LARPing their kidnapping fantasies in Hobby Lobby, and zip-tying their own wiper blades together in the hopes of going viral on Facebook.

There's even a Junior Version of the mythos. I've seen parents flip the f^$k out when a stranger got too close to their kid in an otherwise innocuous attempt to get a can of soup off a grocery store shelf. The ugly truth is that you need to worry about friendly ol' Uncle Earl or the kid's Sunday school teacher a lot more than you need to worry about a stranger who looked a bit too Middle Eastern while trying to get some minestrone in aisle 6.

Unless you're an immigrant of questionable legality or a teenage runaway (or both), your odds of needing to worry about sex trafficking are about the same as your odds of needing to know what to do with those Lotto winnings. Settle down, Gladys.