Maybe you’re searching for a coven of witches to put a hex on that obnoxious coworker who habitually steals your lunch from the office fridge. Or perhaps you need the services of a professional cleaner to, um, tidy up that little disagreement that turned a bit uglier than anticipated. Or maybe it’s something simply as innocent as wanting to chill out in San Sebastián for a couple of weeks without damaging your own credit rating.
Where do you turn?
The dark web.
At least that’s what I’ve learned from streaming perhaps a few too many Scandinavian Noirs and other assorted European crime series.
So just how the heck do I get on the dark web? If all these television shows are to be believed (and why wouldn’t they be?), it seems everyone on earth knows the secret handshake except me.
I’m reasonably certain that step 1 is to get myself a decent VPN to obscure both my identity and my location. Most Canadians did just that back when it was possible to trick Netflix into streaming U.S. content north of the border. Alas, I was so awash in the aforementioned Scandinavian Noir crime thrillers that I had no interest in American content. So I’m already behind the curve.
I recon too that I’ll need a browser that’s perhaps a bit more ‘specialized’ than Safari. Google Chrome maybe? And I’ll obviously want some Bitcoins or other cryptocurrency to pay for my nefarious purchases. Actually, come to think of it, Kodak has recently entered the cryptocurrency game. So maybe I’ll just buy a few kodacoins next time I visit the local camera store for another brick of Tri-X.
Beyond that? I’m not sure what to do.
Mind you, I’m not actually looking to put a hex on anybody — though I will reluctantly admit that my dating prospects are so abysmal that I‘ve recently moved “witches” from the ‘unacceptable companions’ list to the ‘acceptable’ list.
No, the reason I want to get on the dark web is that I’m fairly sure it’s where most of the ULTRAsomething readers are. It must be, ’cause there certainly aren’t many visiting this site on the “light web” any more. And since I’m nothing if not a servant to my readers, how can I obey without knowing which content they find most engaging? What photos do they like? What music? What articles? Are people praising me on the dark forums or bashing me? Sure, I’ve received my fair share of vitriol on the light web, and I couldn’t care less. But dark web vitriol? I mean, you know, they’ve got assassins!
So obviously, accessing the dark web is imperative. But until I gain the necessary knowledge to do so, I’m erring on the side of caution — guessing what sort of content its dark denizens prefer; and publishing only content of that sort. It’s a decision that might just save my life. And if it happens to increase my odds of bewitchment? Well, that’s what I’d call a ‘win-win.’
©2018 grEGORy simpson
ABOUT THE PHOTOS:
Funny thing — the older I get, the less interest I have in shades of grey. Maybe it’s the subliminal result of calling myself a “black & white” photographer for so many years. If I’d been cultured enough to call myself a “monochromatic” photographer, maybe I’d still be partial to the subtle nuances between greys. But it just never felt right to describe my work as “monochromatic” — particularly since I had no desire to produce photos in any one hue other than “none.” The same thing happened to Bill Brandt late in his career — the older he got, the more his photos skewed toward blacks, whites, and no greys. Consequently, there is a rather pronounced difference between photos he printed earlier in his life and those same photos that he printed later. I’m not too worried about it. I’ll leave it to the art historians to categorize my different photographic stages… assuming that I ever produce any photos that pique the interest of an art historian, that is.