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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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(Deleted comment)
You forgot the incredible fruit-based sex code. Limes, Lemons, Oranges . . . I think I saw Grapefruit once, and I know I saw general Citrus all over the place.

Sephiroth's GW fanfic also deserves it's place in history.

And the great yaoi censoring conspiracies, where people passed around rumours that various scenes proving the boylove had been cut out of various series due to North American icky-icky prejudice. The best thing about those was that sometimes it was actually true, so you could never tell when someone was making shit up.

the incredible fruit-based sex code

::howls with laughter:: Oh, YES! And sometimes things labelled "sorta lemon-lime," and it was like, is this soda, or reading material?

(Deleted comment)
Lemon - Graphic sex
Lime - Sexual content involved, probably mostly of the they-start-to-have-sex-but-fade-to-black sort
Citrus - I think just implied that they were in a relationship?

I can't really remember exactly either, but I know lemons were the "highest."

... And I never saw oranges, ahah. Though I think I did also see "grapefruit" and wondered what the heck that meant.

(Deleted comment)
I wonder what Oranges were, too. I think largely, except for "lemons" they were difficult to tell apart... You couldn't really ever tell how far a "lime" went, even, since sometimes people labeled things "limes" because the characters kissed, and sometimes it went quite a bit further.

I kind of miss GW fandom, in that "I was so young and naive" way.

I still see lemon used once in a blue moon. Someone started posting prompts asking for "lemons" on the kink meme I frequent, and I was like wtf people still use that? I thought it died with the old-guard anime fandoms.

Ahah, there's also the massive amounts of YYH crossovers with GW. And, I think, Ranma. But mostly YYH.

And "Is Heero Yuy Toast?"

Some on the generic anime (well, more of the webmaster collectives, which is what I was involved in) end:

--The whole amazingness of anime being on television and watching the anime sections in video stores increase.

--Buying VHS tapes with two episodes on each tape for like, 30+ USD and having to choose between dubbed or subbed (or shelling out that much more to get both) because you could only have one.

--Fansubs suddenly being offered over the internet and spending hours and hours (and sometimes days, if you were on really slow dial-up) to download those episodes to watch.

--The "anime collectives" and all the BNF domain wielders like Val (sakurazukamori.net), who always set the standard for web design on everyone's sites. (If Val used DHTML scrolling, EVERYONE started using DHTML scrolling.)

--Elite design cliques.

--Blog wars, half inspired by "sister" sites (and the occasional unsistering that happened), back when half of us either literally handcoded the blog or used Greymatter or Moveable Type and "pitas" was the other great rage. (The self-styled "anime community" of domain collective blogs seemed to have been kind of slow to move to LJ. It had invite codes, and a lot of us were resistant to change/hated the idea of not being able to maximize control over content appearance. I remember there being mild wank over people moving to LJ, anyway.)

--Gundam Wing versus Original Gundam, aka the Great Continuity Wars (still ongoing, I think.)

Oh, it is. It is. Gundam fandom will be wanking to the end of time with that one. (It just started up again thanks to Gundam UC, actually.)

GW Addiction? Yeah, it's still there. And still being updated until pretty recently:


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