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You knew this would happen.
LiveJournal, the popular site where you can post daily updates of your life and keep up on the lives of your friends, has turned into a slash role playing mecca. Interacting with each other via comments, "friends lists" and AOL Instant Messenger, fake celebrities update several times a week on their slashy interactions with each other. Behind the masks, or at least behind most of them, are slashers, and a good 90 per cent of the men in the community hub, Must Be Pop, are bisexual. Not only are they willing to shag each other into oblivion, but they do, and quite often in front of an audience.
The concept of fake celebrity journals is not new or even that scandalous. Kate Moss, Christian Slater and Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys (who has since been replaced in the Must Be Pop community with a kinder, gentler Nick Carter) have been around for awhile, as have Jesus Christ, The Pope and the Easter Bunny. It was Lance Bass from 'N Sync who started the Must Be Pop community, and if you build it, they will come. The celebrities have been appearing in droves, and the game now includes the Backstreet Boys, nearly the entire Buffy cast (including a bisexual James Marsters and David Boreanaz and a Seth Green who lost me after his third entry), Matt Damon/Ben Affleck (the only ones I have deemed interesting enough to add to my friends list), and even Damon Albarn from Blur. If they're popular, especially with the boy band crowd, they have a journal. Teen pop stars of the moment like Michelle Branch and Alicia Keyes have journals, as do some of the wrestlers. There are hecklers, i.e. journals obviously there for humor, such as Lou Pearlman and Tim Burton (who of course comes with Danny Elfman, Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro). At this point, just about every relative, wife, girlfriend, sibling and pet (see Lance's ferret) of a boy band member has a journal, to the point where seeing which journal pops up next has become part of the hilarity.
But the question is, is it good fiction?
For the most part, it's not. It's really, really not. In the beginning, the journals seemed designed to cater to an audience, but more and more the fake celebrities seem concerned with playing with themselves, if you'll pardon the phrase. The journals are becoming harder to follow and harder to understand simply because many of the entries now contain private jokes and referrences to events that you have to be part of the game to understand. There is also no real semblance of reality there. Why is Seth Green engaged to Joey Fatone's ex-girlfriend, living with David Boreanaz and asking 'N Sync choreographer Wade Robson to be his best man when he gets married in March? Why is Sarah Michelle Gellar dating Christina Arguilera? Wouldn't Eliza Dushku be a better choice for some femme slash action? If you start picking apart the threads like that, the entire game will unravel, so unless you have suspension of disbelief, it's best not to baffle yourself. The point of the game seems to be action and drama at any cost, and it is a combination of fun and annoying if you pop in and decide to start reading.
Of course, just like stories, some journals are more fun than others, and there are as many different styles of keeping them as there are people writing them. The 'N Sync crew use asterisk-heavy action like *walks over and kisses you on the lips*, which can have a heavy squick factor and make you feel embarrassed for reading it. Tony Lucca (a relatively unknown musician who is friends with 'N Sync and therefore has a journal) declares his love for Ryan Phillippe (yes, Ryan Phillippe, but see, you just have to roll with it) through long, song lyric-driven diatribes that are hands down the best reading in the fake journal world. Tony Lucca also talks about getting his heat cut off and owing people money, which fits seeing as he's a starving artist. I'd like to see this kind of thing in all of the journals - slice of life vignettes and the crafting of a well-researched, fleshed-out personality as opposed to 100 per cent slash action, but what can you do. Damon and Affleck, with their step-by-step account of getting along, fighting and then trying to be boyfriends, are probably the easiest to follow if only because the people playing them are as articulate as the real thing and seem the least distracted by the chaos of what's going on around them.
If you are squicked by RPS, these journals will squick you at least three times more than actual fiction does. There is an incredible amount of gall involved in putting words into the mouth of someone you don't know. All of the journals have a link on each entry that leads to a disclaimer declaring that the journal is fiction. Some of them reiterate on their profile page, such as Matt Damon, who says "By the way, this journal is completely fake and for entertainment purposes only. It's a work of fiction and should be taken as such." Affleck even went so far as to slip out of character long enough to say "If you're going to have a problem with 'Ben' being...Not totally straight, I suggest you remove this journal from your friends list. No, I don't hate the guy. No, I'm not trying to make him look bad. Hell, there's nothing wrong with playing for both sides." Having said that, if RPS bothers you, the journals will make you irate, so it's probably best to not even go there.
It's really hard to draw a conclusion about how entertaining or not entertaining the fake journals are, simply because they don't seem to be for the viewing public. None of the celebrities seem to care if we're following along or whether or not they're creating a valid piece of interactive fiction. They seem to be a slashy time waster for the people with the time on their hands to do it, and I suppose there's nothing wrong with that. Most of them aren't very well done, but it doesn't really matter what I think anyway.