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Rule 34

Rule 34 specifies that for any conceivable subject, pornography or sexually-related material exists on the internet.

However recondite or just plain opaque to the rest of us it may be ...

My name is Ulrich Haarburste and I like to write stories about Roy Orbison being wrapped up in cling-film[*]. If you have written any stories about Roy being completely wrapped in clingfilm please send them to me and I may put them up on the site. If you have a site with stories about other pop stars being wrapped in cling-film mail me and we can exchange links.
Oh, and he's written a book (about Roy Orbison being wrapped in cling-film).

This leads me to postulate a rule 34.1: Anything on the internet can be construed as filth, by a mind that's sufficiently warped.

(Hmm. Does anyone write fanfic about the Home Secretary being wrapped in cling-film for her own protection? Added bonus points if you can find an excuse to link in obsolete digital technology like, oh, PDAs.)

(Saran wrap, for American readers.)




Well I did once see a guy wrapped in clingfilm at a dodgy club - but he liked to be kicked in the balls by women - so obviously a completely different kink.


I really don't have anything else to input...

Strange post from Mr Stross.


Hmmmm, weird. his Family name Haarbuerste means Hairbrush in
German... When I chose pseudonyms to hide myself behind during my practices of some perversion or the other, I try to make myself sound cooler...


Ulrich Haarbeurste (yes, "Hairbrush") is a creation of Michael Kelly's - a pseudonym he created for his parody of slash fiction.

Kelly writes a lot of very funny stuff, it's worth going to the top level of his domain and working your way though. I highly recommend his "Free Prussia" campaign: http://www.michaelkelly.fsnet.co.uk/clep.htm


I've always understood that Herr Haarburste is an amusing fake perpetuated by the site's owner to spoof bad slash...

After all, here's his Freud/Jung masterpiece.


Anyone know how thick a layer of cling wrap it takes to prevent being shamed when hit by the sole of a shoe?


Without reading the referenced website (I don't want to have to scrub my brain with a floor brush) I can only wonder at the complexity and variety of the human psyche.


I first heard about this one when Kingdom of Loathing created an entire outfit made of clingfilm and called it the Roy Orbison Disguise (http://kol.coldfront.net/thekolwiki/index.php/Roy_Orbison_Disguise). Even by Rule 34 standards, this one has always disturbed me.

That said, I hardly thing a fetish built around using clingfilm will ever seem, well, opaque. :-)


As Tom Lehrer put it, 40-odd years ago

"All books can be indecent books
Though recent books are bolder
For filth, I'm glad to say, is in
The mind of the beholder
When correctly viewed
Everything is lewd
I could tell you things about Peter Pan
And the Wizard of Oz, there's a dirty old man"

I should point out that your pathetic efforts to find Cthulhu armpit erotica last night in the pub did fail miserably. It seems My minions lack imagination.


Oz and Wicked.

The musical Wicked in the West End (Lodon, not Jinx, a much better atmosphere) at present goes on that theme. Good show.


I read as far as the "Orbison in Cling-Film Adventure Game" and retreated in disarray, my mind partially bent from the Teh Wierd.

You are in a small theater dressing room, seated in a chair in front of a large, lighted mirror. On the table before you are a hairbrush, emblematic of the author, a comb, a jar of pomade, and a half-empty bottle of Southern Comfort. You are wrapped in a thin, flexible plastic that clings to itself.

> get hairbrush

You can't; you're all wrapped up.

> get bottle

Sorry, you could use a jolt, but you're still wrapped up.

> unwrap

You struggle briefly with the film, then relax, panting with effort and the difficulty breathing with plastic over your face.


I don't know about you, but I'm not getting any charge out of this. In fact, it reminds me rather too much of some serious nightmares I've had.


Um, it's obviously a joke.


The other interesting question is: who is Michael Kelly?


Actually, I believe the lesser known rules 35 and 43 accounts for that already, kind of:

Rule 34, as you know: There is porn of it.
Rule 35: If no porn is found at the moment, it will be made.
Rule 43: The more beautiful and pure a thing is - the more satisfying it is to destroy it.


I suspect this particular post is Madeline's fault, for raising the spectre of Rule 34 in the PDA* thread. But I do remember the Roy Orbison Wrapped In Clingfilm meme from, hmm, before I lived in London, so that's going to put it a good 5 years back.

I do recommend checking out the musical version -- at least, if you're a fan of the Blue Jam radio series, which it somewhat resembles in style. And if you're not, shame on you :P

(* or narrative closure thread, if you like. But there's a limit to what most of us can say about that: "Yup, that's a narrative closure, alright... I'd recognise that neatly-trimmed denouement anywhere!")


The novel is an amazingly sustained piece of comic writing.


Oh yeah, and you should buy the novel from here:


(You realise it's all a spoof, right?)


Predating Rule 34 by a couple of decades was my own modest contribution to human knowledge, Evan's Law of Human Sexuality, which states, in its simplest form: "If you can think of it, somebody wants to fuck it."

But you know, even I, who first discovered (and, of course, named) Evan's Law, am frequently astonished by new and ever-more-creative examples of it. "Roy Orbison in clingwrap" may be the most astonishing yet (though "naked pictures of Fred Flinstone and Barney Rubble" is awfully hard to beat...).


I was recently introduced to the Rules of LARP:

Rule 7: Don't take the piss.
Rule 7a: .. unless it's funny.


Bruce@8: escaping from cling film is pretty easy, really. Just takes perseverance... and is much more fun than the sex scene from Accelerando, even if that was written for comic effect :-)


I was just re-reading Iron Sun, and wondered if the Rachel and Idi Amin scene ever got nominated for the Literay Review Bad Sex awards, Charlie.
As for rule 34.1, very true - being invited to add your picture to odd-sounding groups on Flickr is not just for pictures of shoes any more.


@Canis: Yes, yes, the porn is always my fault. I'm a terrible influence, clearly.

...Is this about to turn into 120 Days of Suffrage, with a cast of everyone's least favourite leaders?


So does this mean there is Charlie Stross porn on the internet somewhere?


Martin: Probably, but there is no way I am going looking for it.

(I already know there is Laundry fanfic out there; I don't really have a problem with fanfic based on fictional characters, but real-people fanfic is another matter.)


Oz and Wicked.

The musical Wicked in the West End (London, not Jinx, a much better atmosphere) at present goes on that theme. Good show.



No worries; I looked, hoping to prove the rule again. I'm not sure if you should feel comforted or insulted at the lack of said porn. (Or if I should start doubting my research skills...)


The internet is not only weirder than you imagine, it's weirder than you *can* imagine.

N.B. Here in Australia the dominant brand of cling-film/Saran Wrap is called Glad Wrap - now I know why...


This has me wondering what number is the rule (or is it an adage?): "Any new technology will first be adopted by the military, and soon after by the porn industry." Or something to that effect.


Charlie @24: Marion Zimmer Bradley had to stop writing Darkover books (IIRC) at one stage because a fanfic author sued her for copyright infringement. Is there an IP version of Rule 34?


#10, you happened upon some spoiler doc for the bizarre online role-playing game, Kingdom of Loathing (http://kingdomofloathing.com). KOL was where I first heard of the clingfilm guy. Oddly enough, you're actually one page off from the doc on the Roy Orbison disguise (http://kol.coldfront.net/thekolwiki/index.php/Roy_Orbison_Disguise), which consists of a turban, trousers, and slippers that you craft out of clingfilm. Clingfilm is an item of treasure occasionally dropped by a clingy pirate when you kill him.
The forums contain some startingling gems of economic reasoning. There's a fabulous funology paper to be written on the motivations of KOL players.
It's free. If you're just starting out, Seal Clubber is probably the easiest class to play.


When ever I think of cling wrapping people, I immediately think of Bad Boy Bubby. It's a totally bent but brilliant film if you haven't seen it.


I can't recommend the Ulrich Haarburste novel highly enough. Found it in a bookshop last year, and is awesome. Not sure whether you noticed it or not, but Mr Kelly has also already written political slash fic - check out this piece on Blair/Brown...

"'I yield to the right honourable member,' said Tony, sitting.

"(And you'll be yielding to mine in a while, you gorgeous brute, thought Gordon wryly.)"


Chris @29: my understanding is that the MZB case is a bit more complicated than that, but I don't have the facts at my fingertips so I shouldn't comment. Suffice to say, there is a received wisdom among authors (possibly due to misunderstanding a garbled account of Marvel's problems with lawsuits by comic authors) that if you permit fanfic set in your own fictional universes, you will inevitably be sued into a smoking hole in the ground by your own fans.

I find this implausible and paranoid to say the least (although I'm not about to hang a sign on my back saying SUE ME).


Isn't Rule 43 the procedure to have yourself placed in the segregation wing of a British jail for fear of the other inmates, usually because you're a nonce or a grass?


James reminds me that I have long wished for "Cheney" to become a verb for, ahem, shooting someone in the face, if you take my meaning.


Evan@16: I found a photcopied Flintstones porn comic on a desk at Marconi Space & Defense. In 1983. It belonged to their BOFH, so that was OK. I think.


36: that's not OK, that's disgraceful. Pirating copyrighted materials is like supporting terrorism, didn't you know that?


This reminds me of the Rule 34 drinking game:



I had a friend in the late '90s who played on one of the text-based MUDs, and she made a character who was a sentient colony of disease-ridden cockroaches, in hopes that people would stop hitting on her.

They didn't.


Following on from Rule 34, we find:

Quantum Fetish Dynamics: positing the existence of a PhD thesis devoted
to punctuation in Robinson Crusoe will instantly bring into existence
websites devoted to that concept as a sexual fetish *in its own right*.
And somewhere someone is masturbating to the image. -- DCS



Bruce @8: Have you considered lucid dreaming techniques to combat your nightmares? A plastic wrap dream prison is easily defeated by teleportation -- or for more advanced lucidites -- a fireball spell. (Accompanied by some type of fire resistance ability.)


Majel Barrett Roddenberry died Thursday after a long battle with leukemia.

As the Los Angeles times comments: "In the original Trek pilot, shot in 1964, Roddenberry was Number One, the Enterprise's No. 1-ranking officer after its then-captain, Christopher Pike (played by Jeffrey Hunter). Number One was smart, competent, and just so happened to be a woman, not to mention a brunette. The network executives at NBC balked—truth be told, they weren't big fans of the weird-looking guy with the pointy ears, either."

"To get his show on the air, Gene Roddenberry consented to lose Number One. But he kept the actress on as Nurse Chapel, albeit a much lower-profile role, and married her portrayer in December 1969. In a final twist to the suits, he gave Number One's old job to the weird-looking guy with the pointy ears, Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy)."

"Majel Barrett Roddenberry reprised Nurse Chapel for brief appearances in 1979's Star Trek: The Motion Picture and 1986's Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. She played the recurring role of Counselor Deanna Troi's mother on Star Trek: The Next Generation."

So, one perversion of American TV Network Executives is that they prefer beautful women to be nurses than in command of an armed antimatter warp-drive starship.

With or without shrinkwrap.

I send this during my coffee break from chaperoning a high school formal dance that goes on until midnight. Not my kind of music, either. But, to be fair, my science students look at least 2 years older when dressed up than when they slouch in their seats hoping not to be called on to say whether an element is or is not a metalloid.


So does this mean there is Charlie Stross porn on the internet somewhere?

The truly evil question is: Is there Feorag porn on the internet somewhere?

(Play the home game: insert your own spouse's name above. It's tough on me-- my wife has a porn star name already.)



While it's fun to tease someone, it can be creepy to joke about their loved ones.

Returning to the discussion, Warren Ellis is worried about turning into a meme; could our gracious host be next?


Charlie, if you haven't read Why I Hate the Internet, by the guy who did the cling-wrap spoof, do.

And damn you, Alta Vista, for that shameless lie:
'Ask me a question. Example: "What name did Achilles assume when he hid himself among the women?"'
A good question. Against my better judgement, I will ask it.
'Here is what I have found for you: Here is a picture of my tortoise, Achilles. Richard Assume, U.S. Congressman. When, Alaska, population 325. Women women naked whores XXX shaved mules cum throb dong. Ignored the rest.' May rats gnaw at your innards, you worthless son of a ZX81 and a slide rule.

And on and on.


Glenn@43: I suspect Googling on my name and "porn" would bring up my article on a book-burning in Edinburgh by alleged feminists, Prattle stories relating to censorship of etotica, and stuff related to Feminists Against Censorship.


Yep, that's about it. Plus your comment, too.


I'm not sure how to work in saran wrap yet, but this reg article was interesting:
"Ohio prof develops CCTV people-tracker 'ware"

"[Dr.] Davis and [Grad Student] Sankaranarayanan's code works by using a pan-tilt-zoom camera to create a panoramic image of its entire field of view, and then linking each ground pixel in the picture to a georeferenced location on a map. This means that when the camera sees a person or vehicle, the computer also knows in terms of map coordinates where it is looking.

That in turn makes it possible for a new camera to be trained on the target as he/she/it passes out of the first one's field of view. In this way, a subject can be followed automatically anywhere that the monitoring computer has CCTV coverage."


This example should also lead us to postulate that fetish material on the internet is subject to Poe's Law (you can't create a parody of religious fundamentalism that can't be confused with the real thing).

Incidentally, Michael Kelly's lateral thinking test is fantastic.


Last round of the whole Rule 34 triumphalist thing, a few years ago, I decided to look for a counterexample. It was pretty easy: Bond/Blofeld. You'd think, right?

There still doesn't seem to be any up at the James Bond slash LJ site (incidentally, I found this there: http://temve.livejournal.com/405429.html [SFW]).

The gauntlet has been thrown, Charlie.


A group of friends of mine used to have a running joke about what we called 'quantum fetish theory' - Mentioning a sexual fetish, no matter how outlandish, immediately causes a website dedicated to it to spring into existence.

(A Copenhagen, rather than Many Worlds take on porn...)


Oops. Sorry, just noticed Cadbury Moose has said exactly the same thing above...


I've worked at the Kinsey Institute, and, believe me, if you can think of it, somebody's done it.


Sebastien Bailard: Yes, it can be creepy, but the question had to be asked.

Feorag, glad you came up clean. The same check on me brings up federal lawsuits and Supreme Court cases.