I've found all kinds of things while rootling through old entries -- snark comparing Uruk Hai to Essex men, fandom insanity, weird news stories, continuity of yellow, the German arse-psychic, abysmal icons, wee bits of fiction I'd forgotten that I had ever written...
I started this journal back in July 2001, feeling it was very unlikely that I would ever say anything. I gave myself the name 'infinitemonkeys' because that's what I thought about LJ then -- that it was roughly analogous to what would be produced by an infinite number of monkeys in a giant room of typewriters. Of course, that's not true. Some of the most thought-provoking analysis of politics and media has happened in this medium, written by you people. Some 90% of the times I've been caught laughing like a drain at work were caused by something I'd read by one of you.
The first entry was a simple two snarky lines. The first two replies were from coffeeandink and Revely before she was sucked into LJ on her own account. Those first months are all about pulling the form on like a jersey, seeing where it fits and where it does not.
I was different in 2001 and the same. I was certainly much more open early on and a bit gauche. I've not grown much wiser but I'm not sure I expect to any more. Back then, it was mostly about trying to make people laugh. I was more reckless about what I said politically then, but I think I still tried to couch it in acceptable terms. Well, I called Saddam Hussein's government "a vile coven of diseased monkey scrotums" but that's just reportage.
I wrote very little about music -- that didn't become my default conversation-starter until perhaps 2003.
I think it felt less like broadcasting in 2001 and more like chatting on a wide-ish mailing list. I think there was more of a sense of interconnection, of a web. I had a friends list then, rather than a reading list. I wish I still had that but I don't have so much in common with many of you any more.
Apparently I wrote a lot about The X-Files, Farscape and Buffy -- and fanfic -- which were our shared touchstones then.
Back then, I was still rather infatuated with America, the background fandom of my early life, spinning out from the memories of being seven and staring out at the lights of New York from a tanker on the frozen river one January night and being totally awestruck, leading through several university courses on US government, one awful thesis on American foreign policy in Latin America and then that first solo trip around the United States, which was all trains, planes and automobile rides up to Yosemite.
(Still, there was an election in 2004 and hallelujah, I'm cured)
It's strange to read that person in 2001 who was about to have all her personal and political certainties thoroughly shaken up.
I want to tell her that the rest of 2001 is going to be dire on a world level and really fucking *awful* on a personal level, and she's going to believe that if one more bad thing happens she'll break, but it all turns out all right in the end. Once it's over things will be better.
I want to give her a hug and chide her for being an idiot and tell her to listen to the wise coffeeandink when she wrote back in 2001 "You've been trying to talk yourself into this job for weeks. If it would be good for you, I kinda tend to think you wouldn't need so much convincing." After all, I did last in that job for all of three months.
I want to tell her that the dread I can glimpse between the lines of some of those posts is misplaced. The worst didn't happen.
I want to sing "I Will Survive" at her in a lovingly mocking way. I want to tell her that four years on, she'll still be listening to everything the Finn Brothers ever wrote and will no longer know any of the bands in the NME.
And that will be all right.