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In our country, goodbye looks just like hello

I bought into a lie - we are always told that the internet is this huge repository, that a blog entry is stored forever in Google, and a hastily-chosen sentence come back to haunt you for years to come (right "wise Latina" Sonia Sotomayor?). A digital camera at the wrong party can take a picture of you laying in a sling covered in goo, and all of a sudden your future political career is over. Everything electronic is permanent, everything is searchable, and in cyberspace nobody knows you're not the same person you were when you opened that account years ago.

But this idea isn't true. In fact, I don't know of anything that can disappear faster than a website. A power surge, a mistyped DSN entry, a single press of a delete key, and entire novels of words can be gone. And I'm saying this is doubly true for social community websites - places where people congregate online. Those meeting places seem to be extremely ephemeral. Here is a list of websites that meant a lot to me at one time, and now they're gone:

greasetank.com (hot, HOT transgressive art and fiction)
yahoo groups (still there, but a shell of what they once were)
Armpits website (can't remember this one, but it was extremely good)
Google groups (again, these died when they started removing gay content)
nastybids.com (used to auction *anything* {grin})
suck.com (just gone)
raremusic.com (again, MIA)
In Passing (a better version of "Overhead In...")
360.yahoo.com (really kinky gay personal ads)
AOL Hometown webpages (hope you didn't invest much time or effort into creating a homepage here, 'cause it's gone now)
Tabula Rasa (a great sci-fi MMORPG by Richard Garriott)

Any other deleted websites you can think of?

The reason I'm posting this is because I've been playing a lot of "Second Life" lately. (http://www.secondlife.com/) Well, I'm not sure "playing" is the right word - the thing isn't as much a videogames as an immersive art experience. I'm a big fan of installation art, when an artist takes over a gallery and turns each room - even the idea of what a "room" is - into the art itself. For example, Master Thor flew with me to Denver earlier this month, and we visited the amazing Denver Art Museum. There, we saw this piece by Sandy Skoglund.

Individually, the fox statues aren't much to look at, and look kind of fake and plastic, like statues on a trailer park lawn. But the effect of seeing so many of them together with the stunning unusual gray-and-red color scheme is amazing. I spent as much time as I could walking through the room, noticing different details every time. if you are in Denver, I highly recommend visiting the DAM to see the piece. I definitely love installation art. I loved the videogame Myst and all games inspired in the same vein. I'll play first-person shooters in God Mode just to see the scenery without the bad guys and monsters bothering me.

Anyway, at its best, Second Life is like that. There are no dragons to kill, unlike World of Warcraft. It's just a bunch of people creating atmospheric worlds for people to explore. Alice in Wonderland-themed amusement park rides. Scary houses where the walls move and drip blood. Giant chatrooms with furries discussing pop culture while lounging on beanbag chairs. And (my favorite) kinky BDSM dungeons where have sex each other in outer space. The latter place actually existed, called "Black Gazza" and I would hang out there to see the inventive torture devices that could never exist in real life - bondage platforms which would make the victim spank themselves for hours helplessly, huge pinball machines that used human slaves as balls to hit around.

So, imagine my surprise when I logged into Second Life last night, and the whole dungeon was gone. Just missing, and my character was falling though the air and clouds to finally hit the ground. Don't worry, I wasn't injured - characters can fly in Second Life. But I had invested a lot of energy into hanging out there, and I felt oddly hurt when I was left plummeting through space, as if I had lost my actual house in a fire, or someone had stole my identity.

The problem is that nothing is free, even in cyberspace. Someone has to pay for the computers and processing power needed to create all those pretty castles and dungeons. Second Life uses the idea of "prims", which is shorthand for the number of polygons that make up an object. Each money, the manager of the dungeon has to pay actual money to the owner of the Second Life region. Some people are actually paying several *thousands* of dollars per month to keep their virtual worlds afloat. I paid a few hundred "Linden dollars" to the Black Gazza dungeon which cost about $50 on my VISA card. And now it's gone.

Maybe it will come back. Maybe all the other websites I hit each day will go away one by one: Facebook, Recon, Bear411, Twitter, Nifty, Fetlife. Maybe they will be replaced by new, better communities where gay people gather and talk about life, and sex, and love. Maybe they won't... maybe some things are gone forever. Maybe this is what the human experience will be like from now on in the computer age - people building castles in the air, only to have them taken down as soon as they are created, with nothing tangible to show for the work. Not even ruins of building for future civilizations to dig and examine and amaze.

You realize LiveJournal is slowly dying, don't you? That all of your blogs will eventually be lost. Even if you download all of your entries and store them on your own, they will merely be preserved, dead, on bits of files on a backup DVD in a box on a shelf. No body will bother to read your brilliant insights, so your thoughts might as will be frozen in amber. And then when one day you die, your physical mail trickles to a stop, friends stop calling one by one as they find out you're gone, and you will get spam emails until they close your account for lack of payment. Nothing is forever, not even ones and zeros.

I agree with your observation -there's a part of me that grieves every time something disappears online.

I had my own website (set up by an ex) which was gone when they pulled AOL Hometown without notice.

Such is the nature of our disposable society.

So, is there anything you currently value online? Anything better than a temporary thrill?

Mine is stories that I lost and figured, "well, they are on the internet I will just find them again."

Cigar Dad, about a guy who huge dad finally proves he's the only man in the house at the end of the story by using his son as his toilet.

One that I called "What would you do?" because it was the last line of the story. A guy who gets jealous of his wife being flirted with by his boss at a Christmas party. Then his wife begins to dominate him and makes him go back and beg for his job. Turns out the wife and boss had this planned to get him to submit to them. Raising the stakes as it goes. Involving the man submitting to his boss as well as his wife. Boss moves in and he begins giving them toilet service. Finally, he is fired and thrown out of the house. Story ends with him being asked to meet with his boss and wife for a proposal. And he asks his readers about going to meet them. "What would you do?"

I think I had it both on a floppy disc and it disappeared. There are a few more like that. I've contacted old BBS operators over the years and no luck.

And trying to get the author "Alexis" to continue on his stories of future institutional slavery called "Dad buys a doglave", "Ponyslaves" and "my first year as pigslave." I have those stories, but, could never get a hold of the author to encourage him to write more. He reposted via a moderator at alt.sex.stories,gay.moderated.


If I thought about all of it, I would cry. I know I should be backing this stuff up to keep.

oh, photos of a straight guy that his gay buddy called "Tomcat" from Texas. Bondage photos and more. He had a website at one point. The guy got married and had a kid. Right after the kid, the site disappears and the photos. It is really hard to find the photos now. And most are re-compressed badly.

I hope the stories I sent you a while back would soften the blow :)

Since none of this matters, the conclusion one must reach, of course, is to eat more cupcakes. But make them really good ones.

i sent You a leather band that said, "Love me, love my cupcakes"!

I lost my AOL Hometown site. It was pretty detailed. Some of the pages can be found on the wayback machine.

Your NYC weekly leather event postings remind me of "The Daily Show". Wait, wait... work this out with me. I love Jon Stewart, and have laughed incredibly hard at his tv show, but it doesn't have a very long shelf life. I don't think we'll ever see a compiled DVD box set of every Daily Show episode over the years. So, the best I can do is Tivo them, watch them when I can, and then move on with a minimum or regret at missing the shows that "went stale".

Anyway, you do such a great job at regularly posting kinky things to do in the big apple. You really are an american treasure, or a valuable resource, or something. And yet, if you add up all the text and hot photos you've blogged over the years, it would fill a book. Unfortunately, all that text is temporary - simply attached to a temporal blog entry that will be forgotten the next week.

Strange, isn't? But I just wanted to say "thanks" for doing it nevertheless.

In our country, this is the way we say Hello.
It is a diagram of movement between two people.
It is a sweep on the dial.
In our country, this is also the way we say Goodbye.

Laurie Anderson

I would also add bootjaq.com (sp?) to your list.

bootjac's still there (bootjac.org). Granted, he hasn't updated the site since March of 2002, but some of my favorite stories are still there (mmmmm, "City Jail", droooooool).

I have given money to and attended quite a few screenings put on by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, a nonprofit group that helps conservation efforts and creates screenings for little-seen as well as newly restored silent films from around the world. They gave an estimate that anywhere from 25-75% of the world's silent films may have already been lost (and some surviving only as reproductions or edited versions.)

So perhaps someday there will be an archivist somewhere wondering who this well-written 'Mudcub' person was, once he figured out the archaic "DOS" filing system on the CD he was able to salvage--one of the few which didn't suffer from optical disk oxidation.

I wish there was a way to get Out-Of-Print Gay Porn -much of the early Joe Gage, although "re-released" has been edited and censored. [namely the GREAT Watersports Scenes].

I remember one movie titled: "Big Men on Campus" had a few hot (controversial) scenes - it's now resurfaced with those scenes missing - yawn...

Edited at 2009-07-21 08:47 pm (UTC)

I have un-expurgated copies of Kansas City Trucking and El Paso Wrecking - thanks to a friend of a former co-worker who had the original GageTape releases ... on a well preserved Betamax tape. ;) I haven't DVD-ified KCT yet - my video editing PC died before I could process it, though I DO have the capture. I put the DVD edition of EPW up on www.GayTorrent.ru, if you're interested.

For what it's worth - EPW suffered massive footage loss, not just the piss scenes. It was originally about 90 minutes - the currently available commercial version is barely 60! A full third of it's just - gone, except for old copies like the one I found.

All that's missing from KCT is the piss scene, as far as I know, but I haven't actually done a comparison.

I miss the original "Bear.net" site that dwindled away long ago. I met some great friends through that site!

I'll cop to missing CDNow.com before it morphed into Amazon!

We need to get into the DAM again... for the first time in oh, decades, for either of us. Sad. Haven't even been inside the new Libeskind addition.

Google Groups is dead? I use it all the time. Strange that they remove gay content but not other (how to describe it?) I dunno - "potentially disturbing to uptight suburban Republican mothers"? ... content.

Have you looked up the owners of that dungeon or island or whatever and asked them what happened? Maybe they moved it, maybe they couldn't pay the taxes on the land, who knows?

I have to say, not much of this strikes me as too disturbing, just facts of life.

Having a depressed day are ya?

Actually, I'm doing good today. This post was based on a conversation with a good friend (hello good friend! You know who you are! Hope you are well!) I finally got around to making a screen capture last night when I found myself accidentally skydiving without a parachute.

Dunno anybody to contact. They're all on the server which was deleted. I don't know their real name, nor their emails address. Funny isn't it? All these internet friends? You chat and email with them intimately for hours, but don't know the smallest thing about them in reality?

(Deleted comment)
I think you're right. It's easy to build a website. But to create a place where people want to gather and communicate - that takes a bit of magic that I think large corporations can't seem to figure out. The same thing could be said about creating a sucessful community center versus a Starbucks, but it seems to me to be more apt in this electronic world.

I have Max Manlove in a box. It is on 50 floppy disks. I suppose it doesn't make much sense to keep it but there you go. (For those who don't know, I ran a computer bulletin board called Max Manlove for five years. It was so popular that when I shut it down another board created a refugee area.)

I have 5 1/4 inch floppy disks which I can still read. I have two 8 inch floppy disks which I never had a reader for. I have fifty or so floppy disk with data from my Apple ][. All of these are effectively lost. What those techheads don't realize is that devices like the Kindle will be lost along with everything that was saved there. We can still read books written in the 1st century. There will be great holes in history where digital information will never be reserected.

Sometimes it is important to print things to paper.

Re: Digital Archeology

Your site as my first foray into Fidonet (pre-Internet - circa 1992)

"And (my favorite) kinky BDSM dungeons where have sex each other in outer space. The latter place actually existed, called "Black Gazza" and I would hang out there to see the inventive torture devices that could never exist in real life - bondage platforms which would make the victim spank themselves for hours helplessly, huge pinball machines that used human slaves as balls to hit around."

Black Gazza still exists! I was there this morning.

I'm there now as I write this.

Now this morning someone complained to me that his landmark did not work, so I checked on something. Someone had checked the land-management checkbox to disallow access to anyone not age-verified. I unchecked it ... you should have access again.

Thanks! See? Problem fixed. Everything's ok again.

...until the next time. Sorry to be negative, but you are currently spending so much time and energy on this project, it makes me wonder how long it will last. Will you get burned out? And without all your direction and focus, will the place hold together? Are we still making the budget every month? the "BDSM Capture" place has had money problems lately, I've heard.

I'd still love to be improcessed by you sometime! What can I give you? Linden dollars? Real ones? Donate volunteer hours? I can program and code. I just want to be hurt and abused and humiliated virtually {grin}

Black Gazza is still here (or there, depending on which way you look at it) :)

I'll check it out again tonight. Thanks!

Ack I loved Greasetank. The amount of time spent just trawling through everything and getting hot and bothered at the same time...I was quite annoyed that they just packed up and left: One, because it was a total wankfest, and two because I always thought of it as an avenue for 'alternative' art (you know what I mean). Nothing today seems to come close :o(

P.S I promise to get to the five words in due time!

Now that he's dead (yes, he died), it's not hard to find other sites and groups that have collected all his work.

I used to be big on Second Life. I picked up an interesting collection of avatars, a high quality virtual cock, and liked to do things on there that were either physically impossible, or highly illegal in the flesh. Then the higher ups changed the rules and many of the fun spaces went up in smoke. I don't have the energy to do all the hunting again.

But maybe if Master approves you and I could have some fun in a quiet backwater sim.