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    Oh Groove, you’re just like me!

    I’ve been visiting Groove’s MySpace profile on a daily basis. Thanks to me, the number of his profile views has risen from roughly 300 to 573 in the past couple of months. Groove must be glad to notice some interest in him at last. I check his profile several times in the morning, afternoon and evening, just to increase the number of views. And of course, I hope to catch him online. It’s happened on a few occasions, and then I get all nervous and my heart starts racing, and I wonder if I should send him a message, just to say hello or something, tell him how much I like his music, and that he is the best bass player I know, and his pics are so cool, and I wish he would write a blog and provide more details about himself… But I never do anything. I just stare at the screen and see how long he stays online.

    Why should I bother Groove anyway? He might think I’m pretty lame. Perhaps he wouldn’t like my profile at all. Nobody does. I’ve got only 121 views and I’ve been a member of MySpace for almost a year now.

    Groove has been a member for five months. I was so excited when I found his profile, I felt my prayers had been answered! I’ve been mad about him ever since my cousin Matt gave me this CD last Christmas of an old punk band called Dystopia. It is so cool, I can listen to it endlessly. Groove was the bass player, and he was the most gorgeous of them all, in my opinion. The band was relatively successful until it broke up about ten years ago. Back then I didn’t listen to punk, I was just a kid. I thought punks were ugly. Now I think they’re great, especially Dystopia, they were loud and angry and really sexy! They’re probably the best band in the world. Nowadays people are still raving about Fox, the vocalist and leader, who has become tremendously famous as a solo artist. He sells millions of albums, even though they’re absolutely boring. I hate Fox, he’s just another sell-out. Whereas my cousin Matt likes Fox more than Dystopia! It’s probably because of all the airtime Fox gets: wherever you go, to a supermarket, shopping mall, petrol station or public toilet, there he is, singing “Love, don’t leave me” in a really mellow voice, with screeching guitars in the background, which are supposed to represent “the horrifying chaos of urban loneliness” according to some stupid article I read the other day.

    Matt has become Fox’s friend on MySpace. My cousin’s eternally bragging about all his celebrity connections via MySpace. He has even posted a comment on Fox’s page, saying “Hey man, you rock! Thanks for being my friend. Luv from Matt”, which pretty much shows you how original he can be. There are hundreds of comments just like that on Fox’s page. He’s had 1060814 profile views so far. He has 48758 friends. Some of them are famous artists and musicians, like his new Fox Band members. But most are just musician wannabes and drooling fans. Matt himself likes to imagine that he fits into the “musician” category, because he plays the guitar and is always involved in one or the other “project”. Three weeks ago my cousin sent a message to Fox, inviting him to “Check out my latest project, I think it’s really your type!”. Of course he never got a reply. I bet Fox doesn’t have anything to do with his page, you see the “online” sign and presume he’s there, but he’s not, it’s just some lowly secretary employed by his management firm. Fox himself is too busy being a superstar. The Fox Band has just finished a mega-world-tour and there are all sorts of fan pics and videos of their concerts and TV show appearances on MySpace and YouTube. It makes me sick.

    Among Fox’s 48758 friends you will find most ex-Dystopia members (the ones who didn’t overdose)… except Groove! I don’t know what happened between them. They used to be such close friends, you can see it in the old band pictures. (I have five big posters of Dystopia on my walls, so I should know.) There was real empathy back then. You can still hear it in the music, too, how everything falls perfectly into place. I’ve surfed the web for articles about Dystopia’s split, but you can’t really find any relevant info, it’s as if the world didn’t care. So long as Fox makes his multimedia appearances, everything is fine. I even considered becoming Fox’s 48759th friend – if he accepts Matt, he accepts anyone – just to be able to post a really nasty comment on his page, asking him out front why he behaves like such a snotty bastard and forgets about old friends. That would at least add some colour to his profile. Though I’m sure my comment would be conveniently erased and I would be blocked from his circle of friends.

    I suppose I could also just write a private message to Groove and ask him about the split. I could pretend to be a reporter, or claim that I’m writing a big essay about Dystopia for my Pop Culture and Sexuality class at college. I could create a whole new profile on MySpace, with fake info and pictures, who could stop me? I’d introduce myself as “Maya, freelance journalist, 25 years old, California”. That sounds cool. I would publish a blog with lots of interesting links about relevant matters concerning world hunger, the environment, the war in Iraq, but also music and film and modern art. I would send random invitations to thousands of people and collect lots of friends, so as not to appear totally alienated. In the “Music” section of my “Interests” I would place Dystopia on top, immediately followed by Groove’s new band, Feel the Groove (he hasn’t released any album yet, but I’m sure he will soon). It would take me weeks, if not months, to produce a presentable profile.

    And who could guarantee that Groove would ever reply? He seems to be such a shy guy. His profile is really underdeveloped, no wonder he doesn’t get many views. He doesn’t even let out his age or location. All you can read is “Feel the Groove, Rock/Punk/Electronica, 573 views”. At least he’s uploaded four superb songs. Two of them are actually cover versions of Dystopia’s greatest hits. But you can hear Groove himself singing, which is so beautiful. He’s much better than Fox. And he looks cuter, too. He must be in his forties, but you hardly notice that in the 5 pics he provides. He’s in great shape. Of course, the photos are a bit amateurish, taken from a rehearsal or something. I actually saved one of them, where you see his profile from waist up, and tried to zoom in on it with my photoshop program, but it only got more blurred. Obviously Groove doesn’t dig much about pixels. That’s what I like about him, he’s so above these things, as if he lived on another planet! I think that’s really cute.

    Sometimes I’m tempted to comment on Groove’s pics and ask him to upload new ones, it takes him ages to update his profile! But I’m hoping that one of his friends will call his attention to this. Groove has got 33 friends and 12 comments on his page. The latest one is about a month old, and it’s just an ad for some concert that one of these semi-anonymous musicians was organizing. All the other comments aren’t much better: “That’s a cool song you’ve got there, my friend, come check out my latest!” is about as intimate as it gets. Groove isn’t like that at all, if he doesn’t have anything really important to say, he just keeps quiet. He hasn’t posted a single comment to any of his 33 friends. I’ve checked them all. Most of them are befriended with Fox, too.

     

    I really understand Groove, though. It can be such a drag to spend hours working on your profile. I myself am getting a bit sloppy, although I was so excited when I first joined MySpace. I uploaded my favourite 40 pics (not only of myself but also beautiful landscapes, places I’ve travelled to and all, a few friends from school, a funny photo of my dad with my cat Snuggles). I made a huge list of my favourite CDs and movies and TV programs in alphabetical order. I tried to describe myself in a funny but honest way (“I can share intimate secrets with an absolute stranger, which usually means that I’m pretty drunk!JJ”). And of course I selected a song from Dystopia as background music. Every time you visit me, it explodes into your loudspeakers (no really, the song starts with an explosion, which is a fabulous idea!). I’ve always wanted to upload a video, but haven’t found anything suitable yet. Lots of people fill up their profile pages with junk, anything they get their hands on, like dogs riding bicycles or whatever, which really gets on my nerves. I think every bit of my profile should be unique. Like life itself.

    Anyway, once I was all set up, I invited my closest friends, so they’re all there. We exchanged lots of comments during the first few months, which was fun. We would meet up at school and discuss our profiles. It was especially nice to communicate with my best friend Laura, who lives in another city ever since her parents got divorced, so we hardly get to see each other. Laura is pretty popular on MySpace, she has 1964 views, 471 friends, and 218 comments. She also keeps a successful blog, mainly with jokes. Once she was accused by some visitor of telling anti-Semitic jokes, which started this really lively debate on her blog’s comments section. Sometimes I think she only gets so much attention because she’s pretty and uploads all these photos of herself in a bikini. Of course she doesn’t mention her eating disorder. Most comments on her page are praises of her looks, some of them quite obscene. But Laura doesn’t seem to mind. At least she’s never complained towards me. We haven’t networked for a long time, though. Lately nobody has bothered much about my page, except to send me Merry Christmas wishes. My cousin Matt is my friend on MySpace, but we see each other almost every day, so what’s the point. He usually sends me embarrassing jokes and pictures. I suspect he does it on purpose. Then again, he sends them to his 519 celebrity friends, too.

    Apart from these connections, I selected a number of interesting profiles, some of them as far away as Asia or South America, and sent friendship invitations. There was this guy I liked a lot, from Oslo, he’s a punk like me. I was so glad that he accepted my invitation, so I immediately showered his comments page with quotations from my favourite songs, and cool pics of all the bands we both like, and even a link to one of my blog posts where I wrote a pretty punkish poem. I never got an answer. He probably doesn’t speak very good English, all his 237 friends seem to be Norwegian. And then I started getting invitations from countless bands all over the world. I visited their pages and became friends with a few (when I liked their music). I praised them and wished them lots of luck. They only write when they want to advertise their latest song or whatever. So now I have 143 friends, of which I know 8 personally. I have no idea who the other ones are, I get them all mixed up. I actually find it puzzling that I have more friends than profile views.

    But I can’t complain. I was looking for a platform to share my ideas, so I’m happy about MySpace. It has given me a chance to express myself, find out who I am. I’ve been keeping a blog from the beginning, that’s one of the most exciting features. I love composing poems, revealing my thoughts, adding interesting links (usually to other blogs). Sometimes I can sound really depressed, when I’ve had another stupid fight with my parents or I’m feeling uselessly bored because nothing ever happens in my life. But mostly I try to be witty and upbeat. I also review lots of movies. I’m really anxious to get some feedback. Maybe it all takes time. Or I haven’t met the right people yet.

     

    I bet that’s how Groove feels, too. I would like to assure him that he will soon have the success he deserves. It’s just so hard to get noticed these days, everyone is screaming “Look at me!” wherever you turn. It gets rather noisy. I also know that he’s the right friend for me, he would really understand me. In fact, I’m convinced that Groove and I are communicating on a higher level right now. The signs are so obvious! Just five days ago, when I was feeling very low, I posted a long blog entitled “The Void”, half in poetry, half in prose. It’s difficult to sum up, but it basically described this hole I have inside me, spiritually, this empty black space that nobody has ever managed to fill, which sometimes swells up and threatens to swallow me. It can be very scary. I’ve never told anyone about it, because I don’t think they would understand. My friends would probably laugh at me and call me insane. And my mother would just drag me to a psychiatrist again and ask for some pills. She thinks chemistry solves everything. But my void cannot be eliminated, it is a part of me, my dark side. All I can do is love the void, even though it hurts so much. Deep inside I know that my void is my most reliable friend. Because it is always there.

    And then this afternoon something happened, a true miracle. When I checked out Groove’s MySpace profile, there was this brand new song, which he must have uploaded only hours or even minutes before I went online. It’s called “Welcome to the Void”. That really blew my mind! It is absolutely wonderful, none of that “Love, don’t leave me” bullshit, it’s about real pain. The lyrics are rather simple, just “all alone, all alone” repeated over and again, I think. It’s not easy to make it out, because his voice is all distorted. But it doesn’t matter, what counts is the mood, this amazing emotion Groove was able to put into it… I started crying, although I was actually happier than ever before. It was the first time that I felt totally in tune with another human being.

     

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