Several years ago, before the signal-to-noise ratio of USENET got too low, I sometimes lurked in "alt.cuddle". It was a gentle, friendly place, full of virtual smiles and hugs ... a pleasant refuge from competitiveness and one-upsmanship ... a newsgroup where anybody who felt lonely or stressed-out could post a cry for help and quickly get in response multiple expressions of genuine sympathy, reassurance, and hope.

Such a zone of niceness apparently gave offense to some, especially hard-boiled "Goths", a subculture famous for their dark outlook, their harsh language, and their piercings (real and metaphorical). The story is told that, sporadically, roaming bands of irate Goths would launch an assault on alt.cuddle, raining down message threads of ridicule and scorn. The Cuddleniks replied with sweetness, joy, love, and lots of their trademarked *cuddle* *hug* *snuggle* *tickle* *wave* *hugga* *nuzzle* plus :-) smileys — and thus they invariably won, driving their negative opponents from the field within a few days.

Which brings to mind a memorable line from an underappreciated movie, The Golden Child:

"Do not underestimate the Power of Good."

TopicLife - 2001-12-14

(correlates: ObitCode, StrawberryFields, FourHoursDaily, ...)