Jennicam. Mahir Çağrı. CIndy Margolis. The Trojan Room coffee pot. Admit it — things were better when all there was to the web was Web 1.0.
And so, following the rule that the rate of nostalgia-mongering increases proportionally to the square of technological change, herewith are the definitive top ten Web 1.0 moments.
10. Gawker wanted nothing more than to be Suck.com. We loved it especially for that one picture. You know the one. "A fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun". Damn straight.
9. Before there was the Browser and Brainpicker, there was the Arts and Letters Daily, the first great middle-brow aggregator. It’s still going, but it hasn’t been the same since its founder, philosopher Dennis Dutton, died too soon.
8. The Visual Thesaurus. They’ve ruined it now, but when it first launched it was magnificent. Search any word and see its relationships to the rest the language mapped out in a dancing, playful semantic web. Absolutely mesmerizing.
7. Hot Chicks with Douchebags. There’s not much to it. Pictures of hot chicks with douchebags, with extended captions written like prose poems from the gutter. The founder was a graduate student in literature, naturally.
6. The precursor to College Humor and Funny or Die, Brunching Shuttlecocks was one of the first great humour sites. Your roommate plays the Indigo Girls.
4. If there was ever a site that was too smart for its time, it was Fametracker, the “Farmer’s Almanac of Celebrity Worth.” Along with its sister site, Television Without Pity, Fametracker was run by Adam Sternbergh and Tara Ariano. I wish it were still up just so I could link to the Fame Audit of William Shatner, one of the greatest short hits on celebrity ever written.
3. They had a website. They had a plan. Generals Jenny and Claire even had T-shirts promoting their goal of Canada World Domination. I interviewed one of them, sort of, by email. We all had crushes on them, back when I was part of the gang running This Magazine in Toronto.
2. You can do anything at Zombo.com. The only limit is yourself.
1. Sometimes, the culture is poorer because people aren’t willing to sell out. What could we have had, if the brothers Chaps had been less interested in just amusing themselves, and more interested in making more lucre? I suppose what we have is plenty enough: Halloween cartoons, Sbemail, Marzipan’s answering machine. At the core of it all was Homestar, a lisping, moronic, fantastically endearing cartoon knockoff of a Japanese popsicle. Everybody! Everybody!
I work in the newsroom at the Ottawa Citizen. A member of the maintenance staff who has been there for ages has this amazing archive of print journalism going back decades. The other day he brought in a copy the Toronto Telegram’s TV guide from 1971.
Here is the cover:
Fashion-wise, this could be the cover of the next issue of The Brooklyn Times. But here’s the inside page:
This is clearly some sort of Page-Three-Girl prototype. Note that Diane Derry has a “wide range of spare time activities” that involve sewing, singing, acting and gymnastics.
Oh, and in the future, she “hopes to work helping mentally retarded children.”
I get about one of these a week. Usually from Obama, but occasionally from the Queen. Authentic? Hard to say.
STATEMENT RELEASED BY THE BRITISH QUEEN
India, in March 2013 the newly revised Criminal Law, apply to this all occurred before the rape and gang rape and violence causing death.
Please Indian government strictly in accordance with national law have occurred black bus gang rape and violence caused the victim’s death case to trial according to law, have occurred more than gang rape and rape trial according to law, must be punished criminals, and according to law, victims and their family economic and spiritual compensation.
India’s government in accordance with national laws, please investigate black bus earlier criminal suspect the real cause of death in the prison, and the results made public.
Please the government strictly in accordance with state laws, follow the principle of equality between men and women, in accordance with the law, safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of women and children, in accordance with the law, the protection of women and children are not violated, in accordance with the law to ensure the safety of women and children.
The government of India must be in strict accordance with the implementation of the declaration, otherwise it will punish with due severity.
In a new column for Maclean’s, Colby Cosh warns against simply branding Pauline Marois and her proposed Charter of Quebec Values as “racist”, and assuming that settles the issue. As he rightly points out, anglos in the ROC and Quebec nationalists are talking past one another to a large extent — using “secularism” to mean two very different things. Further, he suggests that pushing one version onto a Quebec that is proposing the other will probably backfire.
I made pretty much the same argument during the election campaign, when Marois was driving anglophones in Quebec and ROC mental. The argument I made in that column is about as charitable as I was (and am) willing to be toward Marois. But it is important not to make the equal and opposite error that Cosh warns against: Just because Quebecers might be operating with a different conception of secularism, it does not follow that there is nothing to choose between them, that one is not better suited for the Quebec of 2013.
In fact, I’m pretty sure that the “anglosphere” conception of secularism is superior, and that it is one that Quebec (and, for that matter, France) need to work their way towards. That is why I think that the single best statement on this whole Quebec secularism debate was written by Joe Heath in a column for the Ottawa Citizen back in June. Here are the key parts, but you should read the whole thing.
It is, however, important to recognize that when it comes to “reasonable accommodation” there are really no issues of substance still open for debate. Informed discussion is structured by two incontrovertible facts, first, that in the world today, Canadian multiculturalism offers the most successful template for the management of the specific type of cultural pluralism produced through mass immigration, and second, that no one has the faintest idea how to do any better.
Because of this, we already know how the argument in Quebec is going to end. So why waste time and energy? Marois could spare us all some grief, and save the Sikh community a lot more agony, by dusting off the Bouchard-Taylor report and getting to work on solving some of the problems that are confronting her province.