Next to the red crabs, this site is how most people became aware of Christmas Island.
April 10, 2012 11:39 AM   Subscribe

It's time for a trip down the memory hole of the Internet. Investigative journalism still lives online, as Gawker penetrates the mystery behind the man who was Goatse. (Surprisingly safe-for-work, though please heed the warnings in the actual article itself.)
posted by stannate (96 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Gawker

Agggh! No! etc...

/I kid...
posted by Artw at 11:40 AM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


On the same day Santorum drops out? Coincidence?
posted by drezdn at 11:40 AM on April 10, 2012 [28 favorites]


That's probably just linked to sliding on polls.
posted by Artw at 11:42 AM on April 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Great work, now go identify tubgirl.jpg!
posted by Renoroc at 11:45 AM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Santorum had stretched his donors pretty thin no matter how much Romney-hate had lubricated their checkbooks.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:45 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wait. You're just trying to get me to click that link, aren't you?
posted by Ron Thanagar at 11:48 AM on April 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Wow, jeez, I hadn't thought of Rotten.com in years. Years.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:53 AM on April 10, 2012


Metafilter: You're improving the muscle tone by doing this.
posted by poe at 11:54 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's time for a trip down the memory hole of the Internet.

I see what you did there.
posted by Earthtopus at 11:59 AM on April 10, 2012 [9 favorites]


penetrates the mystery behind...
lulz
posted by hypersloth at 11:59 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Cool article. I still remember introducing my ex-wife to goatse. I'm not sure she's ever recovered.

@ jeffburdges: I think you're stretching that idea just a little too far :>)
posted by cybrcamper at 12:02 PM on April 10, 2012


Some say it's an approximation of "Got Sex?" a play on the Got Milk campaigns popular at the time, or an acronym for "Guy Opens Ass To Show Everyone."
Uh... "goat sex"?
posted by delmoi at 12:02 PM on April 10, 2012


All the kids today probably show their friends 2girls1cup. Goatse will probably be lost to the ages.
posted by delmoi at 12:03 PM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


To call someone a Goatse is to say that they are not only the biggest asshole in the room, they are very proud of it. I've been using this definition for well over a decade.

It's also worth noting this logo, that Mel Brooks used in The Silent Movie -- Engulf and Devour "Our fingers are in everything!"
posted by Catblack at 12:03 PM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


My eyes have managed to keep their Goatse-virginity despite the hours I spend on the Web. Should I get a purity ring to remind me to stay strong? Perhaps a claddagh-style one?
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:03 PM on April 10, 2012 [13 favorites]


15 posts tagged with goatse

Still haven't seen the picture. Perhaps it's time I turn off the monitor and walk away slowly..or maybe seeing it is a necessary rite of ...passage.
posted by obscurator at 12:03 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pop quiz! Who spoke the only words in The Silent Movie?
posted by obscurator at 12:05 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Warning: if you scroll down far enough, there's a picture of Anil Dash.
posted by Curious Artificer at 12:06 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


The mystery is ruined. Still, there is a weird and morbid sort of nostalgia brought up by reading this: a nostalgia for the totally fucked-up, unsafe, wild west web of yore.
posted by asnider at 12:07 PM on April 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


four fingers deep

uh....I think if you count them you will find eight, not four.
posted by Fnarf at 12:07 PM on April 10, 2012


Before clicking you need to read this.
posted by Artw at 12:07 PM on April 10, 2012


Marcel Marceau
posted by Billiken at 12:09 PM on April 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


And if thou draw out thy arsehole to the unwary, and afflict the satisfied soul; then shall thy muscle have been trained in obscurity, and thy darkness gape as the noonday eclipse.
posted by Abiezer at 12:09 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


The eight phases of goatse (sfw)
posted by hypersloth at 12:11 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


"For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow."
-King James Bible

Witnessing goatse for the first time is the closest I've felt to experiencing eldritch horror. It simply can't be unseen. Even now, six years since my last viewing the image is immediately recalled and the appeal of a lunchtime meal, so fresh in my mind, has suddenly lost a bit of its shine. I think I'll go for a walk instead.

Strange Confession: Of all the Web 1.0 shock images my personal, er, favorite, was meatspin. So unexpected, so hypnotic.
posted by Doleful Creature at 12:12 PM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Interestingly, there is a "high" error correction mode for QR codes that let's you play games like this. Also, goatse.info permits arbitrary text after the url, ala http://goatse.info/metafilter. Isn't it about time we had a goatse QR code that linked to goatse.info?
posted by jeffburdges at 12:15 PM on April 10, 2012


I had pretty much forgotten about Goatse until a few weeks ago when my son was showing me a Minecraft video on YouTube. In the "Related videos" was something like "ultimate Minecraft fart machine" so, being The World's Most Awesome Dad, I suggested we check it out. I don't even remember what the fart machine was all about because one of the related videos for that one was "Minecraft Goatse."

"What's goatse?"

"Don't click it. Trust me. Hit the back button. Never mention this to your mom."

Some day I will certainly sit him down and give him The Talk about the elasticity of the human sphincter, but that was not the time nor the place.
posted by bondcliff at 12:15 PM on April 10, 2012 [16 favorites]


Having seen that which one can never erase from their memory many years ago, I am still afraid to click any link in this thread.
posted by Big_B at 12:17 PM on April 10, 2012 [8 favorites]


"I got burnt out after doing it for 12 years," he said. "I wake up and I'm eating an omelet while looking at girls shitting in people's mouths and I was like, 'this is not how I want to spend my morning.' I'm done with this shit."
I've been there, brother.
posted by empath at 12:18 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not going to click through ('cause, you know, Gawker), but do they actually portray it as difficult to have figured out who the guy was? It was never terribly tough; a friend of mine did so years ago and exchanged e-mails with him. And I know of at least one other person who knew who he was, too.
posted by asterix at 12:20 PM on April 10, 2012


Never mention this to your mom.

You just know that, because you said that, he was back on the computer checking out goatse as soon as you weren't looking. He thought he'd find porn. Instead, he found...well...I'm sure some people would consider it pornographic.
posted by asnider at 12:21 PM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


There's an extreme penetration community?????
posted by Thorzdad at 12:21 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd totally forgotten about Stile Project.

You know, I was okay with that.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:23 PM on April 10, 2012 [12 favorites]


There's an extreme penetration community?????

Certainly. The practice is widespread.

sorry
posted by dephlogisticated at 12:24 PM on April 10, 2012 [36 favorites]


There's an extreme penetration community?????

It's a natural extension of Rule 32. If you can imagine it, there is porn of it. If there is porn of it, there is a community dedicated to it.
posted by asnider at 12:24 PM on April 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


This would not be how the average person would wish to become a forever remembered historical figure.
posted by y2karl at 12:26 PM on April 10, 2012


In stereo
posted by hypersloth at 12:28 PM on April 10, 2012


Seriously. As I began reading this, Zappa's Keep it Greasy came up in iTunes shuffle and I was filled with a strange sense of foreboding.
posted by usonian at 12:29 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


asterix - agreed, I recall something from like 2002 where someone published an interview with the goatse man .. (also not reading a gawker site)..
posted by k5.user at 12:30 PM on April 10, 2012


That was actually... really interesting. It was like reliving the late 90's all over again.
posted by charred husk at 12:35 PM on April 10, 2012


I first saw goatse in 2000. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing at the time.

2girls1cup grossed me out a lot worse, though.
posted by double block and bleed at 12:36 PM on April 10, 2012


Is this the same guy that "found" horse_ebooks? Because this is the same thing: a competent write-up with very little finding or original journalism taking place.
posted by codacorolla at 12:40 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Great work, now go identify tubgirl.jpg!

The most amazing thing about Tubgirl, if you can stand to look at it for more than 1/4 second, is that her ladyparts are pixelated.

Because you wouldn't want to offend anyone.
posted by bondcliff at 12:41 PM on April 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


This filled me with the bittersweet nostalgia of being a young asshole terrifying my friends with Goatse.

Now when I get hit with Goatse, it's like a sweet reminder of the past, like a visit from an old friend with his asshole stretched out.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 12:41 PM on April 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


asterix: "I'm not going to click through ('cause, you know, Gawker), but do they actually portray it as difficult to have figured out who the guy was?"

Nope, it's acknowledged that everyone's known it's 'Kirk Johnson' for years (I'm pretty sure he was identified even before goatse.cx was registered?). It's not a bad piece at all, and not especially 'Gawkerish' - just an overview of the history of the image.
posted by jack_mo at 12:43 PM on April 10, 2012


Funny, but what's shocking now isn't the image so much as finding out the guy apparently suffers no long-term issues despite what he (frequently, it would seem) does with his body.
posted by tommasz at 12:44 PM on April 10, 2012


Warning: if you scroll down far enough, there's a picture of Anil Dash.

The goatse t-shirt, a year later
posted by homunculus at 12:57 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


For some reason, Goatse never really freaked me out. My reaction was more of an "oh my. ok." Tubgirl was different and disturbing on many different levels, and 2 Girls, 1 Cup I couldn't watch the whole thing. Goatse? Child's play.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:06 PM on April 10, 2012


I have a horrible fear of seeing shock photos like some people have arachnophobia. What's this called?
posted by desjardins at 1:10 PM on April 10, 2012


What's this called?

common sense
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:12 PM on April 10, 2012 [19 favorites]


Also ...

MetaFilter: I wake up and I'm eating an omelet while looking at girls shitting in people's mouths and I'm like, "This is not how I want to spend my morning."
posted by mrgrimm at 1:12 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Pioneering internet culture blog Boing Boing posted so much about Goatse that some of its readers quit the site

Yeah Cory's seemingly endless 'oh this looks a bit like Goatse' shtick was a significant factor in me walking away

I used to be pretty much immune to shock sites until something I kinda tripped in my head and now I stay well away, never seen tubgirl, never seen 2girls and I never plan never to.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:29 PM on April 10, 2012


Ah, first goatse experiences... I was using moderator points on Slashdot. I'm betting that is one of the less unique "first goatse experience" stories out there. One of a few precious signs of personal growth I can point to is that when the internet tells me not to look at something or I'll regret it, I actually heed this warning. Ignoring curiosity becomes surprisingly easy with practice, particularly when its object is just uniform, wholly unredeemed grossness.
posted by nanojath at 1:31 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]




Goatse? You folks are still looking at that same old distended anus? Porkse is way better.
posted by neckro23 at 1:45 PM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


The author comes across as a real douche, with the endless THIS IS THE MOST HORRIFYING VISUAL YOU COULD EVER IMAGINE talk. It's gross-looking and I sure as hell wouldn't want to try it myself, but grow the fuck up already.
posted by psoas at 2:03 PM on April 10, 2012


My teenaged daughter was determined that I see Goatse. I was aware of what it was and successful in avoiding it until that Christmas when she gave me a purse, with a print-out of Kirk Johnson's distended anus on it tucked into a side pocket. I love that kid. Incidentally, there was a commercial running a couple of years back where a young boy was taunting his kid sister by saying "you love kirk johnson". It made us laugh and laugh and I always wondered if it was slyly intentional or just a coincidence. Also, it was thank to MeFi inline images that I first saw tubgirl. Thanks guys.
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 2:06 PM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


The BBC asked its viewers to come up with a better 2012 Olympic logo than the (admittedly ghastly) official one. Fun ensued (skip to around 0:52 if impatient).
posted by gdav at 2:08 PM on April 10, 2012


My favourite stealth Goatse is the entry in the Bioshock logo competition.

It's even got the wedding ring.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:08 PM on April 10, 2012 [9 favorites]


The goatse t-shirt, a year later

And several more years later:
Media tip: If you ever get a funny pic of yourself in the NY Times, do it *after* you lose 25 pounds, not before. The photos live forever.
posted by dhartung at 2:11 PM on April 10, 2012


My old roommate once asked me why I seemed to delight in goatse so much. I realized I hadn't really given much thought to my instinctive love of hello.jpg, but that after my first exposure to it, I'd kind of felt like:

Hey, here's some guy who's got this talent that nobody else he knows IRL has! And it's not like he can tell new friends at a party, "Oh, speaking of 401k planning, guess what I can do with my anus?" Obviously, he wants to show it off a little, but he's got enough sense not to subject people to it on the regular. So. He goes onto the internet, he displays what's special about him, and the image takes off, totally catches like wildfire.

Something about it just warms my heart. He opened up and showed the whole world what was inside him all along.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:23 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


My earlier comment about Rule 32 should actually be a reference to Rule 34. I failed at the Internet today. :(
posted by asnider at 2:24 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mr. Goatse's wedding ring should serve as a beacon of hope to all those lonely hearts out there.
posted by dr_dank at 2:30 PM on April 10, 2012


/bOd\

There. Now you've ALL seen it.
posted by ymgve at 2:39 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Reader, I examined the moles. They match.

+1 for evoking Dear Abby.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:48 PM on April 10, 2012


+1 for evoking Dear Abby.

More distressingly, I assumed it was a Jane Eyre reference. "Reader, I married him."

Yikes.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:55 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


For the record this IS by the same guy who wrote this non-story about horse_ebooks.

Fucking Gawker.
posted by codacorolla at 2:55 PM on April 10, 2012


EO3
  u
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 2:56 PM on April 10, 2012


But what about The Giver?
posted by timshel at 3:07 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


It is better to give than to receive.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:21 PM on April 10, 2012


Yeah, I like how the Gawker version of investigative journalism is "there was a rumor it was this guy Kirk Johnson. We talked to some guy who doesn't have personal knowledge that it was Johnson, but he looks at a lot of porn and thinks it is. Then I saw a 2006 post (not linked) from a different guy who claimed it was Johnson. Then I emailed Johnson but he didn't email me back. Case closed."
posted by whir at 3:32 PM on April 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


What I find really odd is that this is offensive. As in on your work monitor seen by the wrong person you will get fired fast. And yet the most popular movie in the nation is a movie about a reality television show where teenagers hunt and kill each other. goatsex or tubgirl pops up on your monitor for a nanosecond and you reach for your mouse and rid yourself of it.

People paying ten dollars or more to sit still for two hours watching some kind of realistic portraying of thrill killing is fucking mainstream.
posted by bukvich at 3:56 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I had no idea anyone called that site anything but "goat sex." I thought bestiality was a theme, once you got past the front page. I specifically remember an article about how to have sex with dolphins, which was enlightening. Yes, I have read goatse.cx.
posted by rlk at 4:08 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Nothing has changed.

I STILL don't want to be exposed to .....well, you know.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:37 PM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


I uses a hosts file to block ads, and it helpfully blocks shock sites.
posted by msbrauer at 4:39 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure I saw my first goatse courtesy of Metafilter, I think before I was a member. There was a thread somewhere where someone had figured out there was a test account with some painfully easy to guess username and password and everybody was going nuts posting all kinds of heinous stuff. This was back in the day before Matt had help moderating the site.

Or did I hallucinate that?
posted by marxchivist at 4:49 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Marxchivist: if memory serves, someone had logged in as "login/login" and posted something about :ahem: watermelon. I remember reading the first two comments, seeing the direction in which the thread was heading, and hitting the back button very quickly.
posted by pxe2000 at 4:56 PM on April 10, 2012


I know I'm supposed to hate Gawker, but this article's pretty good. I particularly like how they put it in context of the late 90s Internet, with Usenet and the difficulty of hosting images and stuff. Also this article was the first time I'd heard of Hick.org, which surprised me. It also strikes me as sort of sweet that Kirk Johnson prefers his privacy, particularly for a man who has so many enthusiastic videos on Xtube.
posted by Nelson at 4:58 PM on April 10, 2012


Ceci n’est pas une goatse.cx (sfw)
posted by madamjujujive at 5:21 PM on April 10, 2012


I specifically remember an article about how to have sex with dolphins, which was enlightening. Yes, I have read goatse.cx.

I'm pretty sure the dolphin sex thing was on a different website. I want to say that it was dolphin.cx, but I'm not 100% about that.
posted by asnider at 5:22 PM on April 10, 2012


I'm pretty sure it was dolphinsex.org. (Yes, I am that guy with the arsenal of shock sites).
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 6:17 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aw see, now I've gone and conflated a site about dolphin sex with a site which one would assume is about goat sex but which is in fact only an image of a distended anus.

This is just like the time I publicly noted that the editors of the New York Review of Books insist upon the use of the diaeresis.
posted by rlk at 6:43 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure I saw my first goatse courtesy of Metafilter, I think before I was a member.....Or did I hallucinate that?

You definitely didn't; that was my first goatse, too!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:20 PM on April 10, 2012


This article is wonderful because I'd never heard "Guy Opens Ass To Show Everyone".

This will be my go-to example of a backronym for the rest of my days.
posted by chaff at 7:42 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's an extreme penetration community?????

Sure, there's room for everyone.
posted by 445supermag at 7:56 PM on April 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm so glad MetaFilter doesn't allow inline images anymore.
posted by slogger at 7:57 PM on April 10, 2012


On the same day Santorum drops out?

drezdn, I see what you ... ewwwwwwwww. Just ewww.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:05 PM on April 10, 2012


I'm pretty sure the dolphin sex thing was on a different website.
Dolphin sex thread.
posted by unliteral at 8:36 PM on April 10, 2012


My favorite part was the disclaimer on the site.

Attention! The goatse.cx lawyer has informed us that we need a warning! So... if you are under the age of 18 or find this photograph offensive, please don't look at it. Thank you!
posted by infinitewindow at 11:05 PM on April 10, 2012


dolphin sex thing

You probably really don't want to read this comic.
posted by Artw at 11:13 PM on April 10, 2012


Should I be more worried that:
a) I don't remember my first goatse
b) I've never really been shocked by a shock site or
c) they had to explain what Usenet is

Because right now, it's C. And I feel old.
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 11:54 PM on April 10, 2012


I liked the atmospheric scene-setting of "old-world" internet in this. It reminded me a little bit of The Cybergypsies, a book I sort of loved... and then loaned to someone and thereby lost (and no ebook version available that I'm aware of, *sob*).
posted by taz at 3:39 AM on April 11, 2012


> The BBC asked its viewers to come up with a better 2012 Olympic logo than the (admittedly ghastly) official one. Fun ensued (skip to around 0:52 if impatient).

Oddly, once you know that the official 2012 Olympics logo is Lisa Simpson giving head, you can never unsee that either. Who need the internet?
posted by stonepharisee at 12:48 PM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


For the record this IS by the same guy who wrote this non-story about horse_ebooks.

Fucking Gawker.
posted by codacorolla at 11:55 AM on April 10 [+] [!]


CC, I know being Internet Grumpy Person is sort of your thing, but could you maybe ease back with the sourness and the spite? Your ulcer will thank you!
posted by Sebmojo at 7:39 PM on April 11, 2012


Did anyone notice that one of the links in the article goes to this MeFi thread?
posted by TedW at 4:48 PM on April 12, 2012




« Older "I do indeed in greed explore the plump mellow...   |   Santorum drops out. Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments