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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
seperis
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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Oh man. This takes me back to my early internet days. *laughs* When we had the internet at home (dial-up, though, so I always had to rightclicksave the fics as soon as I opened them so I could read them offline, and GAH if someone had saved them as long chaptered WIPs... *sighs*), I ended up on nifty.org (come on, I couldn't be the only one) because I wanted to read gay fiction, and well, it took a roundabout way from there via RPS slash to discover LJ.

Yahoo!groups, yes. Anyone still remember waiting for the next Draco Sinister chapter? And then Draco Veritas? With the Draco/Harry outtakes Cassie so graciously wrote for us D/H slashers? *laughs*

Aw, fandom. ♥

Oh God, nifty... As I mentioned here, I ended up on the Whiteshaddow section of the nifty archive. Fortunately fandom pulled me away from that cess pit.

Haha, after our comment trading I tracked down a copy of the Draco series. One of these days I may even read it again, but I had to have the leather pants on my hard drive.

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http://static.btmon.com/Other/Unsorted/Draco_Trilogy_-_By_Cassandra_Claire.torrent or if you want to email me - jlynngrrl at gmail dot com I'll email them to you.


I'm pretty sure it can't be as good as I remember, but then again, what is? Still enjoy having a piece of fandom history on your hard drive

I love your fandom valentine. I'm always interested in the winding road people travel over the internet. So many stories, fandoms, experiences. It's fun to look back and reflect.

I'm glad it's helped you along the way. Thank you for sharing.

Glad you liked it. That post was quite the labor of love for me, but I think it sums up my own fandom experience quite well. I really enjoy seeing others experiences with fandom, which is why I've been thrilled to read the replies to this post. I keep running across comments that give me such flashbacks (Lemons and Limes in sailor moon - I'd totally forgotten those!), it's so cool.

Yeah, it is fun to look back and go whoooooa.

Whiteshaddow section? Now I never ventured there... I just frequented the, er, RPS section. I was young! I didn't know what it was about! There was just a shitload of stories about N*Sync fucking each other! *lol* (This is also how I got into LJ, actually - through one of zarah5's stories. Heh.)

Awwww! Yeah, I still have these stored on my harddrive. Been with me now eight years or longer. *pets them fondly* The leather pants... they made Draco infamous and got him an own trope on TV Tropes. *snickers*

*raises hand sheepishly*

I started out at Nifty Archive when I first got on the internet (yup, dial up) searching for gay fiction. It was pretty disappointing on the whole.

Luckily I found slash eventually with the coming of LOTR.

Oh god, totally the same with me. *laughs* You can't imagine how happy I was when I discovered slash! ;-)

Oh, LOTR. Yeaaaaah. That was another fandom with the batshit crazy. Remember a fan handing Dom and Billy fanart with them in rather, er, NC-17 positions? *facepalms*

Oh yes, I do remember the fanart incident now. LOTR was my first so | thought it was always that nutty. I had no idea there were more well behaved fandoms.

Also remember joining Andre's group where he was holding forth as OB's best friend/lover and having writers asking him what his favorite endearments were so that they could make their Andre/Orli slash more realistic.

The fact that he liked the fics was perhaps the first red flag that Andre was so batshit crazy he made the rest of the fandom seem perfectly sane.

Good times. :D

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Oh yeah - and when there was an update, everyone and their grandmother would pounce on it and squee without end and... ah. *g* Heh! Good for you. ;-)

Same here. I really got into HP just via a very short detour of boybandslash (thank you, nifty.org), and stayed a big lurker there for a long time, and I was around 17/18 at the time when I started out. I eventually ended up betaing a story but that was the extent of my involvement in that fandom. Still, HP. Can't beat it. :-)

Anyone still remember waiting for the next Draco Sinister chapter? And then Draco Veritas?

*Shamefacedly raises hand* That was in the days before I had seen BtVS. Oh, how differently those fics read now.

Ah yeah, the wholehand lifting of dialogue from this show (and also some from Red Dwarf, if I remember rightly) - wasn't there a time, then, when Cassie then listed the various sources at the bottom of her fic and said that it had just been 'fun' for her and her friends before to see who would recognize where the dialogue was from? Yeah, sure. *wry grin*

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