The other night I met with a meatspace friend of mine while he sat at his computer visiting the sort of websites where people download crisp, clear, copyright-violating copies of movies and DVDs. [Insert standard disclaimer here about how you shouldn’t commit acts of copyright violation because they are Wrong.]
I don’t actually download things myself, but I know from watching others do it that a single large file is broken down into smaller numbered files with the same name. There’s also something called a “par” file, which you’ll use to put the smaller files back together into a single coherent whole.
So when you look at the listings of movies and TV shows available, you’ll generally see each title repeated multiple times, like this:Stupid Teen Movie 1Stupid Teen Movie 2Stupid Teen Movie 3Stupid Teen Movie 4Stupid Teen Movie 5Stupid Teen Movie 6Stupid Teen Movie 7Stupid Teen Movie 8Stupid Teen Movie PARCheesy Sitcom Season One 1Cheesy Sitcom Season One 2Cheesy Sitcom Season One 3Cheesy Sitcom Season One 4Cheesy Sitcom Season One 5Cheesy Sitcom Season One 6Cheesy Sitcom Season One 7Cheesy Sitcom Season One 8Cheesy Sitcom Season One 9Cheesy Sitcom Season One PARChick Flick Romance 1Chick Flick Romance 2Chick Flick Romance 3Chick Flick Romance 4Chick Flick Romance 5Chick Flick Romance PAR
And so forth. This is further broken down into categories, so you get one page with repeated names of science-fiction movies, one pageful of action TV dramas and a third with nothing but history-channel Hitler documentaries.
But the other night, there was something strange. No matter what category my friend visited, each list had at its beginning a single small file whose name was never repeated.
So the science fiction page looked something like this:16 Year Old RapeGeneric Space Opera 1Generic Space Opera 2Generic Space Opera 3Generic Space Opera 4Generic Space Opera 5Generic Space Opera PARThe Star Wars Holiday Special 1The Star Wars Holiday Special 2The Star Wars Holiday Special 3The Star Wars Holiday Special 4The Star Wars Holiday Special 5The Star Wars Holiday Special PAR
And the horror-movie page started as follows:Oral Sex Lolita 14 Years OldZombie Brain Eaters 1Zombie Brain Eaters 2Zombie Brain Eaters 3Zombie Brain Eaters 4Zombie Brain Eaters 5Zombie Brain Eaters PARYou Think You Killed The Bad Guy But He’s Not Really Dead 1You Think You Killed The Bad Guy But He’s Not Really Dead 2You Think You Killed The Bad Guy But He’s Not Really Dead 3You Think You Killed The Bad Guy But He’s Not Really Dead 4You Think You Killed The Bad Guy But He’s Not Really Dead 5You Think You Killed The Bad Guy But He’s Not Really Dead PAR
Even the cartoon page:Two 13-Year-Olds Having SexOld Looney Tunes Shorts 1Old Looney Tunes Shorts 2Old Looney Tunes Shorts 3Old Looney Tunes Shorts 4Old Looney Tunes Shorts 5Old Looney Tunes Shorts PARGo Smurf Yourself, Smurfhead 1Go Smurf Yourself, Smurfhead 2 Go Smurf Yourself, Smurfhead 3Go Smurf Yourself, Smurfhead 4Go Smurf Yourself, Smurfhead 5Go Smurf Yourself, Smurfhead PAR
“Why is there a kiddie porn file at the top of every page?” I asked my friend.
“Those files have been appearing for a couple weeks now,” he told me. “Always just one file.”
“Is it the Russian hacker mafia or the FBI?” I asked but of course there's no way of knowing, since we’re neither of us fool enough to click the mouse anywhere near a file with such a name.