Time wasn't on our side...

It's been one year. One year since the demise of the Time Online bulletin boards. One year since Pathfinder's Politics closed its doors.

When it went down, it was like all the doors flew off an exploding crapper. Up till the demise, it was a cohesive, albeit, argumentative and bickering little community. There was a central control unit that reigned in, and regulated most of the activity. Most moderated their behavior and maintained a level of relative reasonableness. And we came together to make a community.

With any and all restraints gone and punitive consequences to actions being non existent, a portion of the community just got nasty. A weird happy nasty. Go figure. Maybe they were just so shaken by the loss of the venue where they had targeted with such fevor, they had to lash out. Screaming at the top of your lungs on how some person, place or thing is oppressing you or is evil incarnate IS probably an addicting kind of activity. To have your reason for living disappear like that would make anybody go out of whack.

I tended to be in the maudlin, crying, sad group, but with one big difference. A lot of them were desperately handing out olive branches and forgiving/being forgiven for whatever attrocities the had committed or attitudes they harbored or grudges they had acted on. I, myself, felt no need to cleave to my bosom the people I disliked and pooped on during the time of TIME ONLINE. I said my tearful, DRUNK goodbyes to those friends I came to love and tried to keep a civil tongue in my head. The tongue thing lasted about 10 minutes. I did, however, have a civil conversation with the lizzard about our time at TIME. IN spite of the differences, and the loathing, she was the only one online at the time the could actually understand the loss I was feeling for TOL, although she had been ostracized from the site long ago. She must have felt the same way, for she had come back time and time again, till finally she ended up as one of those people who left late night nastygrams that would be deleted in the morning. Maybe, for her it was her, as for a lot of others, a stage. A place where they found the attention they needed. People went there to talk, and argue, and just to be. Some went to become something virtually that they could never hope to achieve in real life. Still others, just hung around more and more till they (me) found it taking up more of their (my) time that they (me) would like to admit.

The end brought about a plethora of new boards, new meeting places, none with the feel or the history of TOL. I have VIVID memories of some great and grand times trodding on the boards, interacting with friends, arguing with the opposition and fighting with my foes. Most of the new boards suffer from a stagnant incestuous feel - the same, small number of people frequenting them. So many have sprouted up like weeds, it feels like we should have hired someone to spray. A lot of the later ones, in my opinion were just outgrowths of ego or some need for control - being the god of ones own little universe is tempting and brings out the weird in a lot of people, weird you never knew was there till all the shackles were off.

I ended up just about chucking the whole thing. Better to live with the memories of TOL, than to spoil them by trying in vain to substitute a vastly inferior experience. Everytime I tried to participate, I would just grow more heartsick. So I just pop in on ONE board, occasionally posting some pro Macintosh comment. I only keep in contact with two or three of my Time friends, since the others have evidently decided that I wasn't worth keeping up even the cyber bonds that held us together before. It is easier to leave behind friends when you don't interact with them like you use to - plus real life eventually invades again to dominate your attention. New job, new activities, new opportunities, real and cyber.

I redid the pictures, and "touched" again on all the people to whom I used to have a relationship with online. Some have died or were killed. Some got married, some had children. And some just drifted out of my life like the fall leaves that just blow away without notice. I have determined that the "memorial" I created was mainly for me - to relive some small part of that time in my life. To remember the early days and wonder where NoCable is now, or where did TheIncredibleME get to, or did NakedEyes get a venereal disease, or what happened that made Sundance such a dink. Where is Davegin, or Ol'Professor, or Smartalix? Dan'l, Capt. Hardigan, or Jim? Did McDuffy ever gain a clue? Did Kariannehopes and Regal ever finally get institutionalized?

My favorite archived thread is the Introduce Yourself one - names I long forgot bring a smile to my lips. Little soap operas and cyber meltdowns will make me laugh out loud. Reliving some of the sadder moments make me morose.

I wish I could just get a hold of some of the earlier memories from '95-96 when I first came to AllPolitics. That would be something I really would pour over and something I would treasure dearly.

I'm just sitting barefoot on the beach, retracing old footsteps in the sand.

Posted on 04-11-02