Oakland-based artist Cortney Cassidy’s has mastered the self-deprecating, self-referential, semi-relatable hilarity of the internet. Fully titled I Have 99 Problems and the Internet Is All of Them, the risograph-printed paperback begins with a brief “Browsing History,” or chronicle of Cassidy’s internet interactions from 1995 to 2018, before proceeding into its main body of cyberspace quips. Printed in bold white against a bright red background, these one-liners would be hysterically, or LOL, funny if they weren’t tempered by droll desperation into an LOLO — “laugh out loud once,” to use Cassidy’s own slang.
In this perfect-bound publication, she dissects emoticon usage, shares resigned fears about data surveillance, discusses student debt and financial plight, recounts the cases in her history of internet addiction, professes selfie anxiety, describes losing followers because of weird memes. The list of problems is basically pure comedic and put-down gold — gems include, but certainly are not limited to: “I’m walking on the thin line of all-thoughts-as-content,” “Face swapping is sad when you’re the only face,” “Nothing brings me more joy than turning my personal crisis into a personal meme,” “Nothing brings me more despair than my personal meme going viral without me,” “Selfie-conscious,” “Sharing is not caring,” “Holding hands with my phone in bed all morning,” and so many more. Who would have thought that entering the internet headspace again through a print platform could be so deadpan funny and charismatically insightful?