Since my earliest days on the Internet, in those legendary halcyon Usenet days before dubya-dubya-dubya entered our spoken language, I used to fire up my telephone modem (remember those?), log into whichever ISP was offering a flat-rate deal this month, fire up a news robot, and start downloading all the pictures of one or another Usenet Newsgroup. Generally that lasted until whomever was charged with enforcing the hidden limits on the “unlimited connection” noticed my 47-hour connection in the logs and terminated it with extreme prejudice.

Reviewing the visual plunder at a later time, I quickly learned something: there are images, once seen, that cannot be unseen. No matter how much you wish you could scrub your brain until they were gone.

I think that’s the “fun” behind internet grossout links — once your victim follows the link, it’s to late for them; the psychic damage is done.

Trouble is, once once these things “catches on” and gets talked about, people get curious, so they decide to have a look. Regret it later? Very possibly, but it’s too late.

The march of time being what it is, some of these have gotten almost unimaginably gross. There’s one going around right now — I’m not even going to name it — that’s… no, I’m not going to describe it, either. Seeing the first several seconds of it did not enrich my life, that’s about all I care to say.

So there’s a real service to be done in offering spoilers on these things, so that folks who don’t want to be ignorant can be informed about the current grossout links, without having to, you know, actually look at them.

All of which is by way of explaining this link, to such a collection of spoilers at Gawker. May you find it useful.

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