My very first occult fetish was with the Magic 8-ball. I first encountered the 8-ball at a friend’s house, hiding in the bottom of his closet. “What’s this?” I asked. “A Magic 8-ball,” he replied. “What do you do with it?” He looked singularly uninterested, and said, “You’re supposed to ask it questions, and it tells you the answers.” Really, I thought, that’s amazing! “You can have it if you want,” he said, “I never use it.” So began my love affair with the Magic 8-ball.
As time went by, it seemed I eventually invested more time in trying to trick the 8-ball into revealing an answer that was obviously inaccurate. The 8-ball was appallingly good. While not always giving up pearls of wisdom, it would skirt just shy of any glaring falsehoods. I’m not sure what eventually became of it and it retreated to a mere memory. Until Facebook.
I must admit I spend too much time on Facebook. I try to justify it by telling myself time spent on Facebook is “research” for that killer Facebook application I’m working on, but the fact is, sometimes I just like to kill time there. Most of the applications developed by third parties are at the very least boring and stupid, and at worst make me want to strangle the developers, especially the ones that won’t work unless you spam all your friends first, or worse yet, fill up my Inbox and notifications as they spam me. Not so with the Magic 8-ball application. It installed without a hitch and didn’t even have all of my friends checked to invite by default. Nice!
The first question I asked was about a certain Facebook friend, one of my “hottest friends” and whether there was any prospect of anything interesting developing between us. “Doesn’t look good” was the reply. Hmmm. Let’s ask again. “Highly unlikely.” What about any of my Facebook friends, “hottie” or not? “It is better not to say at this time.”
Hmmmmm. Is there truly not one of my “hot friends” with whom I have the slightest chance?
“Outlook not so good.”
Now, here’s where I always tried to outsmart the 8-ball in my youth, to prove that it is far from an infallible oracle, and that I am therefore free to ignore its dire pronouncements.
“So, Magic 8-ball,” I begin coyly, “Do you ever give positive answers?”
“To be sure.”
“Can I really believe a word you tell me?”
“You may rely on it.”
I never could get the 8-ball to give me bad advice in my youth, at least not obviously so, and it seems to have retained it’s potency in its digital incarnation. Of course, now that I’ve been around the block a few times, I surmise that it is I who actually empower the 8-ball with its divinatory powers, my subconscious Self manifesting through this quirky interface.
And that is exactly why I love it!
Thank you Magic 8-ball.