Trying to create a visual analogy for the Internet is a fool’s errand, although it’s one I’ve taken a couple times. I usually fall back on space as my metaphor of choice — the idea of isolated blinking beacons of whatever, separated by cold distances and surrounded by weightless garbage and discarded things. That’s not really any more informative than “not a truck/series of tubes,” admittedly, but it does let me roll out the adjectives.

But when it comes to attempting to map the internet’s innumerable layers of hilariously scurrilous and unsubstantiated/unsubstantiatable rumor-generation, the metaphor I keep coming back to is of a tall building with thousands of basement levels. Like the underground city in Kansas City, kind of, but really more like in Steven Millhauser’s Martin Dressler, except instead of each level being home to some increasingly grandiose subterranean pleasure dome, these notional basement tiers are full of cackling buttheads implying that Cuttino Mobley is gay because he was photographed in a scarf.

The stuff that foams up out of these basements, CHUD-style, isn’t usually any more pleasant-looking than, for example, the actual movie CHUD. But periodically the monstrous weirdness of what hauls itself from the internet’s lower levels is weird enough to confound even the lowest expectations. (In that way, maybe the stuff in question is more like CHUD 2: Bud The Chud) Such is the case, for example, with a particular gem of internet sub-basement turdery, which arrived in my inbox courtesy of my brother-in-law, Ben Tausig.

Ben, a Cavs fan from Akron, was presumably looking for an explanation beyond the obvious — the obvious being both whatever is wrong with LeBron’s elbow and the godawfulness and overuse of end-stage Shaquille O’Neal — for the Cavaliers’ disintegration against the Celtics in the Eastern Conference semis. Suffice to say that the explanation offered by the hip-hop-leaning sports gossip site with the barfo name Terez Owens (I’m not linking to it) went beyond the obvious. Very far beyond, very far beneath. So, here’s a recapitulation of the TO story, from CW Post University’s sports blog:

In what is truly a disturbing story, comes exclusive Terez Owens news that LeBron™s teammate Delonte West is sleeping with LeBron™s Mother Gloria James. Yes, this is the purported story coming from my source in Cleveland…

[The source reports] “My uncle has been told that Delonte has been banging Gloria James (Lebron™s Mom) for some time now. Somehow Lebron found out before game four and it destroyed their chemistry and divided the team. I am not making this up, I wish it wasn™t true but it happened.

With Delonte West™s checkered past, LeBron can be none too pleased with his teammate and good friend hanging with his Mother.

That is indeed truly disturbing, and certainly explains why LeBron was avoiding using his right hand so much later in the series, if you think about it. Kudos to fearless reporter deep-sea monster Terez Owens for getting the story, though. Honestly, I didn’t know the elevator went down that far.