Pictures Frozen From the Flow of Time…
Once upon a time, on the internet, there were the greatest cats we will ever know. We cannot look upon them as they were, but we can understand them as memes are added to them, melting like a snowflake in the sun.
For those cats are gone now, destroyed as the internet destroys all beautiful things. All that remains are those which we call pictures, moments frozen from the flow of time.
This Is No Longer a Cat, This Is Not Yet a Lol.
This is all that remains. Whatever else is what you make of it.
At It Was…
Once upon a time, before the cheeseburgers, before invisible objects, before monorails, before ceiling cat watching you masturbate, there was a great network. Built of ones and zeroes and full of imagination and pictures and text, it was home to pictures of cats whos splendor we are not given to understand. Free of captions, they lived a life of bliss, eating cat treats, warming themselves in the sun, and beloved by all. The named their network the internet, for it connected the world.
The cats in that age did not yet measure time, for they did know memes. Who can say how long it lasted? Perhaps it was merely a moment, fading away as the sunbeams flashed into a monitor, passing as it was even born. Perhaps it was forever until it ended. Does it matter, or is the thing the picture that lingers?
Amongst them, there was a cat, and yet, above them, he was their king. Pure of snow in his hide, happy in his heart, and long in his stature, his grace and cuteness was admired by all the people. And so it was natural that they named him Longcat, for he ruled over them, as the internet cradled the world.
And So It Came to Pass…
Could that night have been forever? Was it some error, or some choice, that summoned a caption into their history? Were posters lax, or failing, or unlucky in some way? Or was it merely the turning of the internet?
We cannot know why it came, or what could have been if it had not. We can only know that the sightings began with the anime fans. One and one they saw it, only fleeting and irregular, that website coming up at the edge of the internet, impossible and alien. They spoke of it, they wrote of it, they posted to it, they drew on it and sung its cacophonies on it. At first it was thought to be madness, that particular sort of madness that strikes the worst of them. But if it was madness, it spread, for more people saw, and more, and by the time it reached the highest, Longcat himself, it had already been given a name. Because it was new, they called it beautiful. Because it was new, they called it 4-Chan.
They saw Longcat then, and the 4-Channers cried over his length. And so it was that they called for a means that Longcat’s length could be measured, and construction of a great Photoshop, that they might increase his length. The thrummings and clicking clackings of the Photoshop filled the internet, and Longcat’s length was lengthened, and for the first time, the inhabitants of the internet knew a cat picture that was shopped. But they could not tell because of the pixels, because they had yet to have seen a number of shops in their time.
By light of the internet, the /b/ festers like a neglected miscarriage, giving witness to the arrogance of the past just as the memes it spawns give the promise of dooms to the future.
Many stories are told about the /b/, its nature, its origins, and its history. Some say it has always been there- that the time of captionless cat pictures is simply a myth for cat fanciers. Others say it is not there at all, that it is only an illusion created by the worst in all of us. But most say that it was done, and that it was posted by people, and that we must take the blame for our own doom.
No one knows the truth, but they know that before the /b/, the internet was perfect, the cat pictures had no captions, and the people knew no memes, and now the people have learned lolcats, domo-kun, Bridget, and ten thousand other ravages of 4-Chan.
Such knowledge cannot be born without some excuse, some meaning, some explanation. And so the posters have made their own stories of how it came to pass.
Longcat and Tacgnol
The greatest of the demons of /b/ is not a caption at all, but a cat: Tacgnol.
Only rarely ever sighted, Tacgnol is the greatest general amongst the emocats, and greatly respected amongst their kind. He is one of the cats, but black as midnight, and long, long as Longcat.
Some amongst the cat fanciers say that Tacgnol is Longcat, turned by /b/ cruel irony and Photoshop’s filter into a mockery of himself. If you listen to the stories, or look at the pixels, this makes sense. But the truth is not that simple.
The oldest, weariest, and wisest amongst the cat fanciers- those that are near to giving up on the internet- know the truth. Tacgnol is every cat, who, attempting to win the internet with cuteness and lols, has put captions on its picture, turning to the lolcats with a corrupted and blackened heart. Tacgnol is terrible because he is mighty, yes, but he is even more terrible because he is the future of every lolcat that does not win the internet. They are most terrible, because when you think about the meme, you know that once, a forgotten age ago, they meant well.