Kathy Sierra left Twitter again today, because of other peoples’ abhorrent behavior. She wrote all about it here. If you care at all about the Internet as the modern Commons, it’s worth a read. One warning, though: if you’re not already familiar with the specifics, you’ll probably come away feeling depressed and not a little confused. Because none of it makes any sense to normal people who interact with other normal people via a normal range of means, rather than posting their SSNs online, photoshopping pictures of their kids into porn, and raining down an endless barrage of death & dismemberment threats upon them. Due, essentially, to a difference of opinion.
As a cis-het white male, I’m automatically insulated from a lot of the risks inherent in being [on the internet | alive in America]. Even so, while I speak up frequently about shitty behavior, particularly towards women in the tech community, I’m still afraid to speak too loudly or to poke too deep into certain areas. This despite the fact that I’m essentially nobody of any importance. They don’t care.
Unrelated: For some reason I decided to change my Twitter bio today, which led to me Googling myself, which in turn reminded me that selected freelance pieces I wrote in 1994 are available on the Houston Press website.
If this were Europe I suppose I could use their bizarre Right to be Forgotten legislation to force Google to remove links to that stuff, but where would be the fun in that? Besides, I could list literally hundreds of things that I’m more embarrassed about than that writing, being the type of person who is visited, unbidden, at odd hours by vivid recollections of embarrassing moments from nearly the entire 44 years of my existence on this earth.
But dang, I sure was wrong about stuff.
I had actually been thinking the other day about revisiting some reviews from 1994 – making a list of the records without re-reading the whole things, then listening & re-evaluating them before reading the reviews. But the review I wanted to start with wasn’t in my binder of clips, and anyway, who really cares?
It was a review of the Motocaster album, Stay Loaded, one of many that I screwed up the first time around. Who the hell lets a 24-year-old review records? These goddamn Houston Press clips reminded me that I dismissed Polvo’s Celebrate the New Dark Age, which has for a long time been one of my favorite records. Here, listen to it, how stupid was I?
I dismissed this fine, fine EP without ever, as far as I can recall, having heard Marquee Moon, even.
WHO LETS A 24-YEAR-OLD REVIEW MUSIC?
At the very least, 24-year-olds should be restricted to show previews, glowing features, and the occasional laudatory review. Let them think they’re doing real work for, say, 10 years or so before you really give them the keys to something substantial.
It’s for their own good.