CaptainCook's Misguided Adventures

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2022-05-23 05:00:08

Whenever I tell people I'm nostalgic for the "old internet", we go to the Space Jam website as a point of refence. This site is a recent causality of the 2021 reboot staring LeBron James, but luckily the original is maintained in all its 1996 splendor. Visually, it is a nightmare. The repeated cosmic background, the Times New Roman text, the red font on a mostly black background. All of it is an assault on my 2022 sensibilities of what makes a website "look good." Going to this site has always been nostalgic (all it's missing is a visitor counter at the bottom and a broken link with an "under construction" graphic), but now it's become inspiring. It inspires me because I feel like "I could make that." I could make a weird website.

I want the web to weird. I want the web to feel like I'm wandering into a different worlds. I want my time on the internet to be memorable, not something that feels ruthlessly optimized to hold my attention. I think Reddit is neat. I think it's a great aggregator of content, but I want to experience a more generative web. Reddit often feels derivative and gamed. You can learn the unwritten rules and the social norms, and fit in.

In my 20s, that felt good. It felt good to know the language and get the references. It felt like I was in on a joke, but I didn't create anything or bring anything new (except for answering people's questions about industrial wood finishing and house painting). Now, I want to do something, to share my limited knowledge and experiences and help the web be weird.

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