Picture this: a gangly guy about 6’3", dressed in a green suit with a matching hat and yellow tights, making his way through New York City in the most bizarre fashion, hopping happily across busy streets, giddily racing around in revolving doors to the point of heaving into a trash bin, plucking wads of already-chewed gum from a railing and "recycling" them, so to speak.
What is he up to? You’d expect people to be entertained by this silly spectacle, sickened by it, or maybe suspecting some kind of publicity stunt.
These are a few of the reactions to one truly jolly (or truly warped) fellow in Elf (*** out of four), a fanciful holiday comedy starring Will Ferrell. This is a movie that starts out a little slow and predictable, but more than lives up to its promise when it unleashes its protagonist on an unsuspecting world, letting him act out his jovial, wacky elf self.
Guilty thoughts: we all have them, but not all of us are willing to share them. What makes some of us more predisposed to spilling the beans on our most shameful, shocking secrets? And if anonymity is guaranteed, are people more likely to be completely honest with their sordid pasts, or will they abuse this privilege by stretching the truth with exaggeration or cover-ups?
One website, www.grouphug.us, poses some of these questions, offering a cross-section of guilt and shame, a portrait of remorse, laid out over the course of over 400 pages. The layout of the site, still in "beta," couldn’t be simpler: a column along the left contains the main content- a random 9-digit number and a brief text message; on the right are the site’s motto and basic information: "the idea is for anyone to anonymously confess to anything. It actually feels kind of good to know that someone will read it."
This promise of anonymous catharsis is what has drawn countless surfers to the site, with the hope to release their inner demons across the World Wide Web. The results of this mass confession are occasionally funny or scary, often pitiful, but always strangely fascinating.
Please don't blame me for misspelling mischievous.
I no how to spell good, mmkay? ;-P
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