Reminded of this project’s existence via Bruce Sterling
That last post reminded me of my old gateway drug to internet time-wasting: X-Entertainment.com. And it’s surprisingly not porn!
The proprietor of said storehouse of half-remembered pop culture is a gent named Matt who describes his domain thusly:
Basically, the entire site is a tribute to anything I feel, or have felt, passionately about in my life. It’s really not an ’80s nostalgia site,’ the reason it’s garnered that reputation is because I’m big on nostalgia and I was a child in that decade. To say it’s by design though would overstate it a bit. The main purpose of X-E is to bring to light many of the more obscure, geeky parts of pop-culture that often get buried as years go by. Whether it’s an old movie, toy, video game, television show, or candy bar – if I feel strongly enough to write about it, I probably will.
Things look a wee bit out of date (that about page has been saying Matt’s 23 for… well, since I was younger than 23 at least) but there’s nearly no end to the site with all its back articles about whatever pop culture flotsam has been rattling around Matt’s brains since the 80s. What distinguishes it and makes it so addicting is Matt’s personal take and odd mini-dramas acted out by action figures and other inanimate objects towards the purpose of describing something else equally obscure.
Remember, this site was up and running a few years before social networking and Youtube combined to create the perfect storm of nostalgia composting. The past wasn’t always so immediately available. Matt was paying for our sins of forgetting by spending many a night bleeding cash while drunk on eBay.
Yes, that’s a video of a man jerking of a rhino. With good intentions. On the BBC.
There is no Pop Science linking gold like the words “penis” or “sperm“. Sure, nine times out of ten it baits and switches with some barely multicellular organism’s sex habits but every now and again there’s a linked video of two moose exchanging handjobs with an orca for a carton of cigarettes. The write-up is to die for on that one.
But I swear I had a point. I think it was…
Somewhere along the way, loving Pop Sci stopped being something you’d whisper at the newstand and wrap in a plain brown wrapper. It’s not hard to know what did it: same as porno, the internet sloughed the shame off the sticky, nerdy surface of loving reports of animals banging and new non-lethal weapons that make a guy shit himself. In the privacy of our own homes, finally we could all admit to each other that we secretly wished we paid attention during biology.
So glory, glory be, to all the half-pervy come-ons from the Discovery Channel, telling me through my Gmail news ticker that prehistoric swizzle sticks made from juvenile raccoon penis bones have been carbon-dated to prove that Neanderthal man was an alcoholic inter-species pederast. (Wait for it… they’re still factchecking that one)
Fun for staring into the bored thoughts of those around you, or in cities you miss. Still doesn’t fix the problem of most people’s tweets being boring. It’d be cool to have filters on this or an option to just map those in your network/users you follow.
Something of this type, on a phone, that displayed people’s tweets around you, sounds like the next step. Or one of many next steps.
From All News Web:
Barack Obama is in almost daily contact with SETI and is communicating with the aliens directly.
The aliens indirectly contributed to the development of internet search engines and they are in limited contact with Google through SETI. They are able to access the internet currently and their involvement in search engine research is for the purpose of allowing them to understand as much about earth as possible prior to their next arrival.
Awesome. Not only is Barack Obama in constant contact with them but they both contribute and learn from the Internet.
Just keep that in mind whenever you spread a meme: cultural emissaries from several light years away will be basing every picture of a cat as what it means to be human.
This has been the homepage on at least one of my browsers since 1998. I remember plumbing its depths on a dial-up, making animated GIF-laden homages with AOLPress in the wee hours of the night through high school. I basically spent my college career as ‘guy in the dorm who knows computers’ stealing code off this thing and turning it to woefully conventional purposes for skinny blondes and pointless presentations. For such a sin, I owe penance.
Apparently, this is the work of a fella named Ben Benjamin, a decomissioned code ammunition dump and something that could be tagged with that dusty, decrepit tag of ‘net art’. (Hey, are any of you old enough to remember when the infowebhighwaysurfnet had Artist(e)s?)
No, there’s no point. But that’s the point. Remember possibility? Remember when pointless was simple? Remember back when the web was slow enough where we all felt alone and no one talked about building their own personal brand? Here’s the zen garden for your ADD.