Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tara the Android

       Tara the Android has been floating around the internet so long, you have probably already heard the truth behind her origins. But it is all still an interesting story to tell. The uneasy feeling you get from watching “I Feel Fantastic” will always cast a little doubt on whether she was simply a creative engineering project or something more sinister.
       “I Feel Fantastic' was first posted on YouTube in 2009 by user CreeyBlog. CreepyBlog never uploaded any other content. It may not matter. “I Feel Fantastic” has collected six million views and counting. The video has appeared on countless lists of creepy things found on the internet in order to rack up those numbers.
       Little was known about the video. The only text associated with it was a reference to the Greek myth of Pygmalion. Pygmalion was a sculptor who believed all women were tainted and unworthy of love. He made his own vision of the perfect woman out of ivory and fell deeply in love with her. The goddess Aphrodite took pity on Pygmalion and brought the statue to life. How can this story relate to Tara the Android?
       The internet being a wild frontier of untruths, rumors spread quickly after “I Feel Fantastic” was posted. The most popular is Tara the Android was built by a serial killer who dressed her up in his victims' clothes. He alleged hated their fearful screams of pain, so Tara the Android says “I feel fantastic” instead. The choice of “Please leave! Run! Run! Run!'” should be obvious. The shot of the backyard from the video—an odd inclusion, admittedly—is where the victims are supposed buried. Some rumors added the grotesque element the victims were buried alive with a microphone. Tara's singing is to the sounds of their screams as they suffocate.
       The truth is much more mundane. Tara the android was created by John Bergeron to be the first artificial pop singer. He built her for about $2,000 using a dental school's mannequin. Bergeron originally advertised Tara the Android on a website hosted by the now defunct GeoCities servers. It would appear Tara the Android did not sell, as nothing appears to have been any updates or developments since.
       So how did CreepyBlog acquire the video? Your guess is as good as anyone else's. Considering the user name, one can assume CreepyBlog wanted to preserve the mystery and so posted as little as possible about it. Perhaps CreepyBlog even spliced in the odd fitting shot of the backyard in order to boost the serial killer rumor. As noted, the truth is out there and not hard to find. Tara was a failed business venture by Bergeron. But do not expect to hear it from him. The poor fellow, who lives in Vermont, has been routinely contacted by curiosity seekers from the internet over the last few years and refuses to talk to them these days. Questions of whether he is a serial killer appear to have annoyed him. Go figure.
       Even knowing the truth, I still think the video is disturbing. The primitiver voice synthesize the tonal music, and weird lyrics are enough to make me uneasy. Tara is too artificial in her appearance and movements. The video was filmed at night with the unexplained cutaway to the backyard. It is no wonder Tara the android did not sell. Who would want her around? She is nothing but nightmare fuel.

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