In keeping with the current “Throwback Thursday” theme that is all the rage with the kids these days, here is my contribution: a (true) story I wrote in 2001, thirteen years ago! (Did I really just say 13 years?)
Even though it was written after the internet was well on its way to being a ubiquitous staple of everyday modern life, this story is showing some signs of age, a little rust here and there. For instance, iPods were not invented and CDs were still all the rage. (A little Googling revealed that the first iPods hit the market in October of 2001.) Also, this gem of a story hit the internet 2 1/2 years before MySpace opened its doors and 3 years before Facebook began its intended world domination. (What’s MySpace?) This story was published during the era of “online journals.” We didn’t have “blogs.” Blogs didn’t catch on until after some of us toyed around with “weblogs” first. Same difference, “blog” just sounds cuter. There was Diaryland back then, a site were you could sign up for a free online diary. It was pretty basic and you had to “host” your images elsewhere. But there are some of us still around who went hardcore and built our own websites. We told our stories, recounted our days. We made image galleries, resizing photos and making thumbnails and html pages and we “ftp’ed” all of it to our servers (for which we either paid a monthly fee or we got free hosting, for which we had to tolerate ads on the headers and footers of all our pages). Facebook has combined all that and, unfortunately, has conditioned (reduced) us into primarily writing brief statuses and witty comments. Who writes stories online anymore? Who has the attention span to read them?
But, you know what? All that great stuff aside. Growing up, what the hell was an internet? Who thought about the “World Wide Web” in 1975, except the Army? Who cared about computers? We had bikes, and footballs, and BB guns, and the outdoors, and imaginations. And, as a rite of passage into our teenage years, we all discovered the true opiate of the masses: Rock-n-roll.
I want to go back! I will willingly turn in my iPhone, walk away from the entire internet without even glancing over my shoulder, hand write all my letters for now on, if… if you will let me go back to those years when I first discovered rock music. I don’t want to go all the way back to the days of GI Joes and playing hide and seek. Not that far back. Just back to the days when I first grew my hair long (when it was still an act of rebellion), when girls lost their cooties and became the most intriguing of God’s creatures, and Led Zepellin had just released “Stairway to Heaven,” and the sound of electric guitars and drums brought me to life. I want to go THERE.
This story from January 30, 2001 is about the beginning of those days for my cousin, Patrick, and me. I miss those days. I miss my cousin. (And some of the trouble we got into.) This story is a reminiscence of those days.
I didn’t really mean all that crap about giving up the internet!
Hand me my iPhone, would ya?