I'm joking, I'm joking! I'm jealous. Do you remember the general time period you were an active member, waitress? there were certainly a lot of awful things from the real old days. lotsa prolly prot-incels on the internet at the time, but I also think there were things of value from then as well.
I think I was probably extremely active from about 2003 to 2010? after that, not so much. I definitely ditched the whole admin thing towards the very end, and I feel like that was around 2009 or so. I think by then I was just aging out of the place, and a lot of people I used to talk to had moved on as well. I also just like... didn't want to be the internet persona headphonics, so I spent a number of years avoiding any socializing in internet communities whatsoever. it was like a cleanse. I remember catamites showing up and being way too cool for anyone else here, and after that other people started coming around and it seemed like a cooler place, but I was already gone so I mostly just felt good about the community developing into something better and more interesting and considerably stranger. I didn't feel like I had any real place in it, but I thought that the people who did were probably a lot less terrible than I was. unlike other members I feel like this place so consistently incentivized sneering critiques of ________ that it actively stifled my ability to think creatively. I think that probably changed a lot after I left tho
but yeah, what I remember most at this point was the incel-adjacent shit. it seems obvious in hindsight. there was a lot of dope shit, though; I'm not trying to say there wasn't. I learned to love video games and began developing a critical lens for art in general here, I had friends and a place to kick it. I've spent a large majority of my life being incredibly certain I don't entirely belong in the room I'm in, and that's fine, but this was one of two places where I was able to feel like I was in the right room, even if I'm embarrassed about it.
maybe the most important thing is that this place left me discontent with my real life friendships and I think it taught me to expect more from connections off the internet, and to try to feel less hostility towards strangers because they didn't get me or whatever. also, steel dying was of the most important points in my early adulthood. I remember sitting around finding it strange that I couldn't talk to him and eventually coming to terms with the fact that it was such a waste to feel ashamed of loving people and of loving other men and of refusing to accept the vulnerability that came with that. so the place was toxic, but I think I came away from it with a better sense of how my anxieties and insecurities about all that stuff had ultimately been the cause of my needing this community to begin with, and that paradoxically the community itself was probably the biggest source of loneliness. so I guess you could say the ~most important lesson~ that I learned here was that I should leave immediately
so all of that was cool, but I can't bring myself to feel any nostalgia, like, at all. even with everything I said above, I remember the doxxing and borderline-hate speech and rampant misogyny and the actual child pornography the most vividly. it's hard for me to talk about that shit with people while still being able to credibly articulate any positive impact being here could have had, and at a certain point you kinda start to understand where they're coming from. I'm glad other people don't necessarily feel the same, though
love ya headphonics, you still write kind of similar so I figured it was either you or esiann in a dark mood finally venting how much she secretly fucking hated this place all along. genuinely glad it sounds like you're doing well and are successful! still remember you posting about how you found out you couldn't eat gluten. my stomach got completely fucked at the beginning of this year and I thought of you several times while going to the doctor and getting scoped and trying eliminating stuff from my diet.
I think if you had stuck around maybe you'd see this place and what it became differently, but it makes sense why you wanted to leave and doesn't sound like you needed it anymore. I'm sure I romanticize academia but it's long been a fantasy of mine. myself, it's really rare anything ever stimulates me creatively or intellectually, and that's largely my fault for being depressed, introverted and overworking myself, but it would certainly help knowing people looking for the same thing. god bless the people I work with but they're just not interested in anything not dealing with work, college football, home-ownership, stocks/money, netflix shows and music if I'm lucky. that's a long boring story tho.