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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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the good old days before google were dark and involved horses
children of dune - leto 1
I am celebrating the fact that this time next week, this testing cycle is over and I will have glorious not terrifyingly days at work in which I will not be in a constant state of panic. Which also coincides with payday, so really, what can be better than that? A pony, that's what. Though not by much.

So I was reading about how the internet now sucks since facebook came in and all these people who aren't, you know, whatever they aren't (I am unclear, but I will admit hilarity that I hate facebook but am also required to instruct people now finding it on what privacy settings mean and what they do and why more is better), but okay, we're going to do a flashback to the year 2000 and go forward, when I discovered google and the world changed.

This is where our journey begins.

Google took six weeks to update with new material. Six weeks. I will not tell you how or why I know that, or why I tested that, or even how I tested that; suffice to say at that period of my life I had a lot of time on my hands and loved spreadsheets--check my fic output for X-Men fandom and you'll see I really did not have more important things to do. By March 2001, they'd shaved it to about a month. It was 2003 before it dropped under a week (I want to say five days, but I don't have those notes and yes, at one time, there were in fact notes). Now it's almost instantaneous.

Finding fic with google was hit or miss in a really horrifying, confusing way. You weren't more likely to find porn. You wish it was more likely to find porn. I have no idea what some of that I found was, but it was not porn. Those were sad days.

You still thought altavista and yahoo were the most awesome search engines ever. Yes, you did.

A lot of fic was still behind password protected walls and good luck getting anyone to answer your emails. (not all fic. Not even most fic. but a lot of fic. especially in certain fandoms you wanted to read in.)

Pre-lolcats. There was a time we did not have cat macros. Think about that one and shiver.

Journaling sites were still new and bizarre. If you had one, there's a fair to good chance you did not yet know about the magic of comments unless you were an early adopter of LJ or waitlisted for sites that offered to install comments on your diaryland account (I was waitlisted for comment function), and fandom was still mailing list based. This was your only source of fic. Moderators were tiny gods with magical hammers. If you pissed off the mod of ClarkLex*, you had the SSA and also, you were fucked. Have fun with that!

(* example mailing list. Not meant to reflect actual ClarkLex mod policy.)

You knew Television Without Pity when it was MightyBigTV and when it was sane and awesome but less likely to be hilariously wanky. So you know, there's a trade there.

Handcoding entire archives was still normal. Handcoding entire archives without CSS was normal. And it was formatted for 800X600 or below.

You were involved with or watched a flamewar that involved or was about thete1 and/or harriet_spy and/or liviapenn. Sometimes weekly.

You know what an intellislasher is and at one time mocked it. If you were one, you were above that sort of thing.

You learned HTML because you were desperate for a page that wasn't a red blackground with black text. Or you fell desperately in love with it. The latter was disturbingly more likely. Those were dark, dark days.

At some point, you owned buttons on your site illustrating your affiliations, your friends, and who you hated.

You hear Godawful Fanfiction and sigh a little at what could have been. And wonder what the fuck happened there.

YIM and AIM let you paste up to 2000 words of fic into chatboxes. God I miss those days.

You used ICQ and IRC both. (I know IRC is still in use.)

You were involved in at least one mailing list deletion, or you were the mod of a list you deleted in a fit of flounce and God willing, that will never end up on Fanlore. It will. Just give it time.

You remember the culture shock of a dozen fandoms hitting each other for the first time in LJ and RPS dropping on top of it all like a goddamn atom bomb. You remember writing about the morality of RPS until your friends started coming out as readers and writers of it. You got over it. You participated in the first Slashing the Slashers without any sense of irony.

You remember the first Fandom Wank in LJ and how that was totally shocking. You meta'ed about it while you watched it. Lotrips was still but a gleam in someone's eye. Everyone hated HP. Or so they said.

Michael Rosenbaum was sent a sex box. You're still not entirely over that.

Mpreg, slavefic, and extreme AUs were edgy. You then probably ended up in SGA reading about John and Rodney as ice cubes, girl scout cookies, and plants, and think in wonder about those days of innocence. Mpreg girl scout cookies who are enslaved by plants, that's what's edgy now, people.

We discovered panfandom stories that scraped across our flists like meteors and smushed all fic beneath them. We learned to hate that shit as we secretly read them, because hey, they were good.

You read the MsScribe saga live with your friends. And dear God did you boggle.

The term "His wife? A horse" was not yet meme. (hint: google if you don't know. And don't stare at me in betrayal, I did not hit Search for you. It's on your head.)

There was no Adam Lambert slash.

I'm saying, it's better now. Though granted, horsefucker, we could have lived without him. Anything anyone wants to add?

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haha, I remember all of that. I hit X-Files fandom just after the switch over to mailing lists from alt. circles. Remember searching for fanfiction on yahoo? Somewhere around 13 pages in you could find the first glimmerings of fic. But we learned, and with the right modifiers we could trim out all the merch sites in favor of the fic. Those days are the origin my google-fu.

Remember when people were excited about fanfiction.net?

I didn't really hit Smallville in it's hay day, but a sex box? Really? Do we have pictures of his face? Oh MR, I'm glad you yourself are a bit crazy, otherwise this might have traumatized you.

Lived the drama that was HP: The veela boobies, r.i.d.d.l.e., intellislashers, Cassie Clair, the first Severus Snape Fuh-Q-Fest, the my fic can out-horrify your fic, the porn offs. The good, the bad, and the Oh-my-God-my-brain-may-never-recover-from-that-non-con-necro-incest-fic.

*sighs* good times.

Fandom retrospective is fun!

Lived the drama that was HP: The veela boobies, r.i.d.d.l.e., intellislashers, Cassie Clair, the first Severus Snape Fuh-Q-Fest, the my fic can out-horrify your fic, the porn offs. The good, the bad, and the Oh-my-God-my-brain-may-never-recover-from-that-non-con-necro-incest-fic.

Oh my god, the Veela Boobies! *laughs* Yes, and the whole wankery around Aja & co. It felt like there was wank every week...


Damn. Word. *laughs* HP fandom, you were batshit crazy, but you were still my first love. ♥

People can say what they like, but there was no fandom like HP fandom. That level of insanity, wankery, and manic energy could only be recreated by massive application of drugs to the internet using populace. So many of the authors I follow today I first met there, and I don't think there will ever be another fandom that causes that level of creative convergence.

*sighs* Sometimes I miss the old days. Remember before the anime girls flocked to HP? at one point I had read every single fic on Fiction Alley, as well as all the stuff on ff.n. Now it would require a bulldozer just to get through the layers of crap before you reached something worth reading. Even in fandom you can never go back home.

I totally agree. It was the fandom of all fandoms. Even the SPN fandom doesn't come close. And you could literally (okay, this probably still applies today) find anything you wanted and if not, you just settled down and wrote it, and would be hailed a new BNF asap. ;-)

Oh yeah. *nods* The movies then brought another influx of fangirls to the fandom who wrote a Harry with blue eyes and tousled brown hair. *snorts* Thanks, Daniel Radcliffe. And I totally hear you - you've been longer in the HP fandom than me, it seems, but I still remember the time when there was a manageable list of authors on FictionAlley and you could be reasonably sure that about 50% of the stuff on Schnoogle would be okay-ish. Now? Forget about it. *sighs*

Oh, and Irresistible Poison! Man. It was like the introductory fic that you simply HAD to read. Ah, these were the times. And all the 'OMGREALLY???'ing when Rhysenn revealed that the whole plot was written just on the back of a shopping note or whatever it was. *laughs*

Ooh! Remember the one where Draco woke up convinced he was in an alternate universe so all his actions didn't count? Can't remember the name of it for the life of me, but to this day I occasionally crack up over the idea of Harry taking Draco cow tipping for a first date.

It's the crack I really miss. About 3 computer crashes ago I had a picture of Harry attacking Draco with cheese - BEST DESKTOP EVER. And Potter puppet pals! No one can top that.

Aaaah... this one does seem familiar, especially the cow tipping. *giggles* The crack really was strong in this fandom, bless it. To this day I still love 'Draco Malfoy the Amazing Rat' or whatever it's called by Maya. It's het, but the premise is amazing, Draco as a rat in the Gryffindors' rooms. And dancing to catchy tunes. Ahahahahaha.

*snickers* Now that's an awesome desktop. Was it an illustration for a story or what? *is curious*

I think it might have been an illustration made from a throw away line in the Draco trillogy... maybe. It's been a while, and I really can't recall. But yeah, it made the best desktop and I wish I still had it.

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