The River

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The old days

I used to think the Happy Tutor was a young, bearded, post-graduate livin off his inheritance. Maybe you had to read the site back then. It was different than it is today. Short, sharp and a bit odd.

Five minutes at Golby’s would give you a headache. Small type on a black background. That was Golby’s template. If you saw it somewhere else, it was, “that guy’s using Golby’s template.” They say the music just poured out of Jerry Garcia. He couldn’t stop it if he wanted to. Same thing with Golby’s site, except words. Gave you eyestrain, but you were high so you didn’t care.

Frank Paynter used to make the rounds, always supplying an idiosyncratic comment out of left field. He was outstanding in the field of commentary, that’s for sure. Did his best writing in comment boxes. Some of his turns of phrase became Internet hits, at least among a few people I know. “Wherever there’s a coherent signal, these fuckers have instrumentation.” That was his.

Chris Locke used to get into fights with the old crone of blogdom. That would be Elaine Frankonis. Everybody would be beside themselves. “You can’t fight in here. This is the blogosphere!” At any given time back then, 65% of all blog posts were about what the hell was the matter with Chris and Elaine.

Ray joined the fray. Nice guy poet, everybody loved him. He caught streams of our words, in and out of the blogosphere, and showed them to us. We laughed, we cried. It was a service few could provide. We were happy and grateful he showed up.

Jeneane was inspired. She helped define the medium, such as it was back then. Actually, she didn’t believe in definitions, boxes or limits, and so each post burned with an independent spirit. She was a shot in the arm, Janis Joplin with a laptop.

Shuggie let it roll with honest ruminations of the most elegant sort.

Bill never took breaks and/or hiatuses, and had no pet trolls either.

Marek "J" was tuned in.

It all felt like we'd dropped out, or just dropped in. And nobody was drivin the bus. Which was maybe the best part.

I’m not sayin it was better. But it was different.

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