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OVERVIEW

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The Slender Man is a faceless, dapper gentleman that lurks in the quiet places of suburbs and bedroom communities. Like a Stretch Armstrong pulled to its breaking point the Slender Man is a body horror of distended limbs, pallid flesh, and business formal attire. The Slender Man does not kill…he delegates, a malicious middle manager that identifies pliable tweens with a team first attitude that are open to murderous enterprise. Once brought into his thrall the Slender Man would help the tween examine their four quadrant goals, all of which were murder, and direct them in the best manner in which to achieve them.

If insufficient progress was made in a timely fashion the Slender Man would drive the child insane and find a new victim. Or lure someone into the wood himself, where maybe he murdered them. Or not. The lore is all over the place of this one.

 

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN : U.S.A

IS IT SCARY

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The myth itself is bargain basement Boogieman stuff, Baba Yaga’s hut has more swag than the whole of the Slender Man canon, but the real world spill over of the myth makes it a whole lot scarier. I’ll lay out the gist direct from the wikipedia article

On May 31, 2014, two 12-year-old girls in WaukeshaWisconsin allegedly held down and stabbed a 12-year-old classmate 19 times. When questioned later by authorities, they reportedly claimed that they wished to commit a murder as a first step to becoming proxies for the Slender Man, having read about it online.[34] They also state that they were afraid that Slender Man would kill their families if they did not commit the murder

Jesus fucking Christ, I’d rather not editorialize on this particular quote as a child nearly died, but the idea that a haphazardly constructed bit of creepy pasta incited actual brutality is terrifying. The next quote from the article I will editorialize, and the shift in tone will be jarring, so in lieu of a proper segue allow me present a key element of one of the assailants legal defense

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“Experts testified in court that she also said she’d conversed with Lord Voldemort and one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  “

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Were I the prosecution, I would object on grounds of relevance. I might give them Voldemort[1], he’s lanky, dark suited, more face-light than faceless, but could go as Slender Man for Halloween with very little effort…but you cannot just introduce a conversation with a nameless[2] ninja turtle and expect it to go unchallenged. And I’m not saying it didn’t happen, but unless said turtle was an accessory after the fact to the murder, I see his introduction as a brazen nostalgia ploy to try and bring the jury onside.

 

WHAT DOES THIS SAY ABOUT AMERICA

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A monster born of the wrath of callous, gullible, media obsessed children: I feel like I am walking though an orchard of low hanging fruit on a windy day. I’ll pass on the easy joke for once and say no assumptions were challenged. Though recent events make it clear that far from slender men can also be quite problematic. God damn it…I’m not proud of that, but sometimes the sweetest plum is lying on the ground.

WHAT IS THE LESSON

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Like most fairly tales the story involves children but is about parenting. Oh sure, I was a latch key kid that set a few fires, but I developed sound critical thinking skills by having my mother repeatedly dismantle my lies and force a confession. Did this make me a better liar? Absolutely. But I also learned how to assess the plausibility of a claim and not get taken in by obvious hoaxes.

The Slender Man does not steal children, he lures their judgment and empathy into the woods, and the only defense is to walk beside them and explain the value and cost of any given path. Could twelve year old AJ have been convinced of the Slender Man’s existence? Possibly. But I would have hunted him as a foe, not joined his confederacy, as I was raised to be kind and defiant.

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[1] Obviously I wouldn’t say his name in court, but I’d make it clear of whom I was speaking.

[2] It does beg the question, which one? And does he also murder human children? The natural assumption is Raphael, due to his rage issues, but I suspect Leonardo. He’s tightly wound, moralistic, and desperate to join human society. That dude is one bad day from flaying himself a people suit and asking April O’Neil to prom.

 

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The Cherubim

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The Alp

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