>be me - a collection of greentexts

4chan is often perceived as the cesspool of the internet: the misogynist, homophobic, hateful and racist online community known to the masses from the negative and sensational headlines.

Its popularity is based on anonymity and the lack of censorship, which largely contributes to the negative aspects of the site. However, we should not forget that 4chan is a community of millions of users and 63 different boards. At the same moment when a broye white hetero net nerd is using anonymity in /b/ to call others faggots, a confused, lost and bullied lgbt-teen can find support from the /lgbt/ board.

Even if statistically 4chan’s most prominent user is the young white male, it would be wrong to represent 4chan through him, as it would be wrong to portray the site through a middle-aged female anime fan. In the end 4chan only has one user: Anonymous, a collective hive mind everything contributes to, and contributes from. Although easily buried under the uninviting content of /b/, 4chan actually does foster creativity, and does it ego-free. Collective anonymity is the opposite of trying to get Instafamous, and while looking at meme of Pepe (no matter how rare) can feel that it doesn’t provide much value, there is something to be said about creativity that doesn’t aim to benefit one single user. It is more raw and more real, more dynamic and more original, and it can only be brought about by collectively destroying ones status and joining into a global persona.

Unfortunately for the outside observer, a big part of Anonymous is that awkward, outsider adolescent geek that wants to troll and see tits, but for Anonymous, there is only Anonymous.

The ‘greentexts’ presented in the book are short stories posted in 4chan during 2010-2015. They are written in an internet evolved language that can be characterised as abrupt, statement-like internet slang and get their name from the use of 4chan’s quote-function that colors the text green. Conceptually ‘be me’ can be seen as the first book dealing with an actual Internet-borne literary genre.

The protagonist in the stories is most often a young male and due to its anonymous online source gives an exceptional insight to a young mans psyche. The stories describe absurd, once in a lifetime moments that we can all relate to, but for the most part hope will never have to actually face.

Free download from: 
www.greentext.org

See also:
Article in DIS Magazine
Feature in OFluxo 
Interview in the Art Markets