I, Howie Newsberkman, am a mysterious man haunted by many secrets. For example, did you know that if you press up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-B-A-Start on the title screen of Contra, you’ll get extra lives? Did you know that the Pizza Planet truck is on the witch’s woodcarving table in Pixar’s Brave? Did you know that I once shot a man in Reno…just to watch him die? It’s all horrifyingly true. Late at night, I toss and turn, terrified by these grisly specters of my past.
Luckily, last year an answer arrived to combat my perpetual turmoil. As previously reported in The Stony Brook Press, Stony Brook Secrets is a Facebook page where the campus community can share their innermost doubts and fears. Yes, originally we weren’t sharing these posts anonymously—oh, the publicizing was anonymous, so yes, the world at large still doesn’t know that I am the man who really kidnapped Lindbergh’s baby—but it wasn’t anonymous to submit secrets, considering we just all used Facebook personal messaging to do so.
That was okay with me. The faceless mastermind behind the campus’s scandal network seemed trustworthy enough to hear that I, Howie Newsberkman, am sexually aroused by onions and that talking newt from The Boring Rocks. That definitely makes sense to me. Then again, I never saw Gossip Girl, so maybe there’s something I’m missing. Sure, he later switched to anonymous Tumblr submissions. My guess is he just missed that GIFset explaining how those aren’t really anonymous either, but maybe I just spend too much time on Tumblr.
Whatever. I’m just a journalist, so who am I to judge the campus’s ultimate humanitarian? Yes, humanitarian. Rumor has it that the Lord of Secrets himself was starting a non-profit secret organization, and that rumor is true. Although its original launch date of April 25 has been delayed, news of Shbink, as it has been ingeniously dubbed, still has reached my ears. You may be asking: Besides a name that sounds like a comic strip sound effect or the world’s most-forgettable Pokémon, what makes Shbink different than the old Stony Brook Secrets page, or even, say, Post Secret?
Oh, ye of little faith! So much is different! Because Shbink is a business, Shbink has its own website, T-shirts, and pens. It also has the endorsement of the Elton John-esque head of the Quidditch World Cup. Shbink’s employees are known as ambassadors, a name that suggests that the United States may soon have a new trading partner. Shbink’s ambassadors are all around us, presumably doing something important. Whatever it is, they’re not sharing it, but they have been smiling and staring at computer screens in a series of remarkable staged photos.
That is most of what is different about Shbink. At its core, Shbink was a very large text box in which poor wastrels like you could type their innermost passions. Then you would hit submit, give your email (which of course ensures maximum confidentiality) and you’d be done. Then you just sit around and wait until Shbink actually launches, at which point your secret would go live. Or, as Shbink actually, honestly, said before a clever edit: “Exposing you bitches in…” And that gave me nothing but hope.
As we speak, Shbink’s global reach is expanding. Over 15 colleges—or at least 15 other ambitious delvers of secrets—are on board, and boy, are they all excited to do whatever it is a Shbink does. It’s great to see so many with so much faith in a purple text box.
It’s a Shbink world, everybody. Our secrets are now pawns in a global empire, and that is beautiful. And now that the Shbinkmaster is a public figure, it won’t be long before journalists like me begin printing some of his secrets, or at least having some fun with the Shbink premise. We’re not the only bitches with secrets to expose, are we? And in the Shbink world, we’re all equally pathetic.

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