back in the early ’60s, the first thing we did was try to figure out a way that we could take over the world.
as time passed we realized that we were not the ones who were going to really use the web to take over the world, we were going to use it to look at nudie pics, download free music, and show off to the world at how fucking badass we were.
along the way killer companies like netscape and webtv and progressive networks and nullsoft and zillions of others showed up and everyone got rich except me.
my dream was to work for netscape but i ended up working through a high tech temp agency for webtv as an “evangelist” of sorts. i kicked ass at that gig but the mothership did not want me to climb aboard as a permanent employee even though i had been around since day two.
the day webtv got bought by microsoft for a half billion dollars was a good day and a bad day for me because all the cool kids at webtv who had webtv stock options, i assumed, would have that transferred over to microsoft shares, etc. etc.(jealousy anger bitterness whatever.)
so the high tech temp agency renewed their contract with webtv but now their checks were being signed by microsoft and the polo shirt that i was sent had the familiar logo from the lil company that could from redmond.
and tony pierce was shilling for microsoft.
if you were lucky enough to go to comdex in the late 90s when the web was seriously gaining some steam you would have seen me right there in the middle of the gigantic microsoft booth of the convention center right next to the porsche we were giving away, surrounded by tv cameras pitching and answering questions about the new webtv box, the webtv plus.
i believed in that box then, and i believe in that box now. im bummed that gates & company decided to ignore it, but with the advent of digital tv, perhaps they will put the steve perlman-designed Solo chip inside those tvs and Ultimate TV will someday simply be a feature that you’ll see listed on the Circuit City description cards like the ones that currently boast features like “Stereo” or “Comb Filter”.
back in the days of marc brown and netscape 2.0, microsoft didn’t even have a fucking browser. and when they did finally get one it sucked. we were all very very happy to use this punk rock netscape software that was distributed free (a novelty at the time) that somehow always had a step or two on their sleeping giant of a competitor.
yes, it was politics, but it was more like supporting the underdog.
fuck nike when you can sport pumas.
today is all different. theres no more competition. microsoft is huge, aol/time warner is huge, i suppose Opera and Linux are the underdogs, but im too old to keep fighting these losing battles, i’ll leave those to the true geeks, the ones who like to spend all night turning their X-Boxes into mp3 servers. me, ive got skirts to chase and opportunities to squander.
people write in and tell me that my page doesn’t load on Mozilla on a Mac or that it looks like shit on a linux box and i appreciate the feedback but really people, since the marc brown days i have always been fully committed to making my page look good on my computer and my computer only – which is work enough, trust me.
maybe one day i can form a posse of mac loyalists and netscape users, and aol hackers who want to tweak what i do and make it more palatable to the wide spectrum of variables out there, but shit man, i got three pornos that are due tonight yet to be duped before i go to softball practice, and you want me to worry about mozilla?
fuck aol fuck microshaft fuck them all, but mostly fuck aol and here’s why.
they are a company who had a great thing with netscape and they squashed it. i am as loyal as can be and they never took the magic that was behind that browser and helped use it to radiate the rest of that company. all aol has ever done is lie.
back in the day with one aol account you got 5 screen names so when they said they had a million users, they really only had 200,000 users who each had 5 screen names. what they were secretly saying is, “we have a million spam addresses that we are willing to sell to every smut peddler who is willing to meet our price.”
im shocked that they’ve basically been able to take something free like the Internet and charge people for being lazy ignorant asswipes who are willing to pay top dollar so that the three people who have their email address will always know where to forward the chain letters.
aol time warner is huge as fuck and yet where’s AOL DSL? wheres AOL TV? wheres the AOL channel on tv? we’re more than halfway through 2002, motherfucking backstreet boy is about to fly to the moon, and AOL is still hustling dial-up through mailing cds to people?
aol has never graduated itself as being anything more than the web with training wheels and lucky for them most of their users are satisfied – or not dissatisfied enough to switch. it reminds me of all my high school friends from illinois who visit me in the winter and say, “God, California is awesome,” and then fly back to the snow and shit and pay the same rent that i pay and suffer and age and die in their own filth.
the internet is no mystery. im a fucking poetry major. i show all of you sites like leah’s and nay’s and chelle’s because i can not put it to you any simpler than to say that little girls are kicking your ass in major ways. you, who figured out life enough to buy a house, and land a great job, and raise kids. you, who can fix cars and bake lasagna and read tolstoy. if these strawberry shortcake super nintendo loving barely teen girls can figure out all sorts of java html and photoshop tricks while twirling their hair, then why cant you?
i know you have stories to tell. i know you have an arty way to show it. i know the music’s inside you.
i don’t use netscape because it is the rotting corpse of an unfulfilled promise demolished by white men in white suits who took something brilliant on one coast and rubbed shit all over it on the other coast and its existence only causes trouble and brings about sad memories.
the beauty of those early days of the web was the result of thousands of people trying new things and exploring the ends of cyberspace.
i invite each of you to come with us now and return to those magical days of yesteryear when grad students obsessed with sumo wrestling and bookmarking neato sites goofed off and created “yahoo!”
allen greenspan, death himself, and all the other talking heads on cable news networks who never loved computers anyway may tell you that those days of glory are history but as always they are so so wrong.
those days may be behind us but theyre not forgotten and its not too late to use them as springboards into the future, which is where you should be aiming.
aol and netscape and mozilla and greenspan are behind us, it’s time to soar into infinity.
and you might start by making that dumbass meter turn red.