A CHAOTIC ONLINE ENTITY
This piece is a visually-rich resource for my forthcoming article on the magic of egregore entities, to be published in the Weiser anthology This Is Chaos.
It also serves as a resource for a forthcoming booklet on Egregores and Memetics.
KEANU REEVES IS JOHN MASTODON
In 2023 after Eldritch Musk had owned Twitter for a few months, he started suspending accounts that he felt threatened by.
One of these accounts was one that had the name tag @joinmastodon, promoting the anarchist-leaning federated social media platform Mastodon. This tag was misread by a social media columnist as @johnmastodon.
The error was corrected later, but by then it was too late. People had already produced John Mastodon memes; something had sprung into life on the Internet.
The rest is history, written by devoted followers. Here are a few more of the memes they made. I couldn't find the original source of all of them; the links I give are where I found them.
Things did not stand still; soon, John Mastodon manifested a second gender:
- and even a religious dimension:
John-Joan Mastodon interests me because it arose by a lucky accident but was then taken up by people who saw it as ready-made for the task of popularizing Mastodon. If this entity can be said to have had a purpose, it was to boost the uptake of Mastodon, which went from 2.5 million users in November 2022 to 10.04 in March 2023. It seems that most of those were people who abandoned Twitter after Space Karen messed it up, so the exodus had a strong mundane driving force. But having an heroic collectively-generated figure that made people feel good and made them laugh surely helped.
See what's going on in those memes? People are telling a story about a person, a being. And thereby bringing to some kind of life.
I don’t think of John Mastodon as a conscious egregore entity, not like IOT's healing spirit Kawa Pohr for instance. Its importance is that it illustrates how entities can rapidly assemble into something with a life story. And people provided the entity with a mythic history
John Mastodon seems to me to occupy a position somewhere between a social media meme and a servitor. It certainly had some magical input - I know magicians who were working with it.
Thank you to the Mastodon creators who made these magical memes!
There's a longer piece about a current egregore working, the entity WABRI, here.