I have a new job: Obituarian 2.0
Remember the job which Jude Law’s loser character did, in the movie ‘Closer’? Obituary writer? (These days no one says that, the preferred hashtag is #Obituarian.) Well, that’s me. Except I’m not going out with the masculine version of Natalie Portman, and I’m not cheating on my boyfriend with a Julia Roberts kind of guy, and I’m not writing unsuccessful novels, and I don’t meet guys in aquariums, and I don’t live in London, either.
I live in Mexico City, that maddening, wonderful, insane center corner of the world which chilango’s call «Mexico’s navel». But where I live doesn’t matter now that my job status has been upped to 2.0: I hack Facebook accounts and other accounts on social networks, which belong to young people (and let’s be honest, there are a lot more young people online than old ones) who have died.
That’s right … «died». I hack dead people.
Most of them die in accidents. And «hack» isn’t really the right word – what I do is more of an «intervention», cause what we’re really doing is intervening in the dead person’s account to deactivate it and free up all that webspace. We’re the killer sharks of the Internet and we get paid top dollar for what we do. The Europeans were the first to realize that webspace is just as valuable as real estate, that overcrowding and overpopulation aren’t merely words urban planners throw around: the web is getting clogged up with dead space worse than the worst traffic jams in the D.F. — and let me tell you, we’ve got the worst fucking traffic in the world. And nobody really knows how bad it’s getting. Except for us. And we’re not saying (cause of the non-disclosure agreements they made us sign) … but if you know how to read between the lines, it’s all there.
The truth is: we’re all that stands between so-called civilization – and total fucking anarchy. And if you know what Gandhi said about it, then you know this is serious shit.
When I say «we» I’m talking about myself and the other four people lounging around on designer chairs on the organic-artificial inside-lawn in the virtual-garden of this ultra-modern office space, chain-drinking our espressos, though on occasion we switch to wine, and sometimes it’s whisky. But never beer.
And we can’t help kibbitzing on the profiles we’re hacking. We slide into hyper-critical mode, the Olympic-size nose on this one, the wannabe theatrical poses, the eyes straight out of a cheesy horror film, the fake smiles and sometimes the heartbreakingly real ones.
«But he’s dead.» «But she’s dead.» That’s how we always finish.
We’re professionals. Before, there used to be a sixth obituarian who wound up getting crazy jealous and killing his girlfriend (now his ex-girlfriend) on the social networks. Before he killed her, he hacked her accounts and posted extremely suggestive pictures of her, borderline obscene stuff, snapshots of her naked which he’d taken back when they were first getting to know each other and still in love or whatever passes for love these days.
«She was such a pig, you can’t imagine the sick shit she was into…», he used to tell us, in a low voice, as he went about tagging and captioning the new photos he was adding into her Facebook Profile, «…the damn bitch, look at these assholes she was spending time with».
And he posted an entire triple-xxx album of her on Facebook. 30 out of 73 pictures had the tag «Bend over and say Ahh!» I remember years ago, that was the title of a truly tacky porno film, and among all the tags he wrote on her boudoir pix, that was one of the nicer ones.
Later, after all the damage had been done, he deactivated all her accounts – email, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and all the rest, and that was how he killed her on all the social networks.
The girl, when she saw all the pictures in all the obscene albums he had posted on her profile – each of which contained exaggerated boasts about certain of her sexual talents – sliced her wrists on her 21st birthday. But she didn’t do a good job of it and they took her to the hospital and I don’t really know what’s become of her.
They fired him, of course. And I heard somewhere (on Facebook, I think) that she wound up going off to Honduras, or Tahiti, or the Falkland Islands, one of those places where no one has ever heard of the Internet.
In case you’re wondering, after they fired my loser ex-co-worker, I was the one who got assigned to hack his accounts. And you’ll never guess what I found… Turns out he and my boyfriend were best bros back in high school, something my «let’s-never-have-secrets» b.f. never bothered to mention to me. And their favorite movie was, wouldn’t you know it, «Closer». And, surprise, surprise, for decades the two of them were sending each other explicit photos of all their latest roofie conquests, sluts, ho’s, etcetera, another little item my soon-to-be former «you’re-the-only-one-I’ve-ever-loved» guy also forgot to share with me. Whoever said revenge is a dish best served cold didn’t have a clue: my farewell present to both of these losers, which I’m on the verge of publishing (don’t you love that word? ‘publish’ – it sounds so serious, but it can be so sleazy) onto their respective profiles, involves, among other salacious tidbits, a photoshopped best bros remake of «Bend over and say Ahh!» which may fuel the collective Internet Hive-Mind with some hitherto unknown and unsuspectedly creative variations on male bonding.
But – sorry – I’ve gotta run, now. Espresso and whisky break is over, and I’ve got to get back to work.
Original text Muerte por red social by Adriana Degetau* (March 16, 2010)
Revised text by Miguel Tejada-Flores** (May 5, 2018)
* ** both of these aforementioned accounts have been permanently closed by Facebook, which continues to insist that neither of these individuals was ever ‘on’ Facebook, or ever even alive, for that matter.