#trollcats and NSFW chocolate mousse: updated!

#trollcats and NSFW chocolate mousse: updated!

Where do I start?

Outside the library it's a cold, still and sunny winter's morning. Inside, I'm out the back sitting in front of two screens. One's my work PC, logged into Twitter, and the other is laptop logged in to Zoom with the camera light shining.

I'm participating in a video conference. Librarians and academics talking about online behaviour in the contemporary post-truth era. All calm and rational. Nice and collegiate. Heads and torsos in little rectangles aligned on the right side of the screen. Some slides as the backdrop and a floating chat box for questions and comments. People talk, people listen, people write comments, questions and responses.

Swimmingly hassle-free.


What was that? A collective shrug and we press on.


It sounds like a human cat impersonator. A little distortion.  Some feedbacking, perhaps.


The conference host says she'll try to track down who's causing the sound. I post a comment in the chat box: #trollcats. 

Over the next few minutes, it gets worse. The caterwauling gets more frequent and the sounds from the pretend (I imagine, undead) feline start overlapping. Is there more than one?

Things start getting chaotic now. Letters on a slide start disappearing and rearranging. I'm answering a question, somewhat distracted by the scintillating letters POO forming on the screen. I'm not sure that I'm doing a good job at being relevant.

It gets worse. Two women in bikinis appear on the screen. There's nothing wrong with women in swimwear, but it's entirely out of context, unwanted and inappropriate to the event. But it's what they're doing with each other that grabs my attention more than their scanty attire. There are smearing each other with something brown. Maybe it's chocolate mousse. Maybe not. Someone's idea of a fun prank or a misogynist intervention into this mostly female workplace environment?

It's kind of like vertical mud wrestling with handfuls of brown stuff,  but then the women start doing unhygienic things with the chocolate-coloured substance and I'm doing my best to avert my eyes to the little rectangles of people looking on. Some appear shocked and stunned, some appalled and others just annoyed. Maybe some are bemused by the imposition of our scattalogical Loki.  None of us were expecting a NSFW experience that's sub-Library Vixen.

I wrap up my distracted answer and the alarmed host apologises for the conference being hijacked and calls a halting code brown on the proceedings. The apology is appreciated but hardly needed. It's not their fault. 

Some of us stumble on for a few minutes via a Twitter hashtag. An academic wag suggests that there was a paper in what just happened. I'm thinking of a Whispering .

Ask a library officer! Actually, no, I didn't ask a library officer, I merely described (in polite terms) the questionable video intervention to her and she knew the answer to the unasked question. "Oh, that will be 2 Girls 1 Cup," she said, or words to that effect. I recalled the title from distant memory as something that had caused a moral commotion years ago. A quick Google search presented a Wikipedia page for said viral video of yore and yep, I reckon our helpful library officer got in one. I'll leave the rest for you to explore if you dare.

Dysentery and crossbows

Dysentery and crossbows