Fireland At Two: A Dissection / 6 November 1997
So Fireland turned two on Halloween. Actually, when you get down to it, I can’t say exactly what this website’s birthday really is, so call me a bad parent. I know it was late October, 1995, but those chilly, autumnal days were just a rabid, angry blur of nonstop creation and pinpointing specific dates and times was the last thing on my mind. When constructing the FAQ earlier this year, however, I was forced to commit to a birthdate for posterity’s sake and decided just to call it Halloween and be done with it. Why not? Alls I know is that evil spirits were present, working their nefarious whims upon my feeble, primitive, retarded HTML.
All I wanted to do was present my Vision to the world.
And I thought, what better way to present this Vision than by creating a personal homepage? People are always giddy with excitement when a new personal homepage hits the internet. It’s like: Ooh, here’s someone ELSE I can learn about! You know? It’s this whole community spirit thing that frankly gets me a little misty. It’s like: Say, I wonder what kind of music THIS person likes! I wonder if they have any pictures of their cats! Omigod! How do you get that 3D email logo to spin around? So I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring, as it were, wrapping my Vision up in a nice, palatable, user-friendly, coated-for-easy-swallowing package.
It was all innocent enough.
I had rudimentary, pre-Photoshop graphics. I had a soothing periwinkle background color (“#7028AE”). I had a table with visible borders. I had a picture of Sally Struthers. And I had a bunch of text.
For you see, that was the Vision. Pummel the general public with an overwhelming amount of text (what the kids these days call “content”), but in small, bite-sized pieces. Like a bag of chips. If someone put three potatoes in front of you, you might not eat them all, but if you chop them up into thin, oily, salted slices and put them in a bag and call them Lay’s … then you just might make your way through the whole bag. Then afterwards you’d feel bloated, slow, sluggish, maybe even full of self-loathing. That’s the effect I wanted Fireland to have. I wanted someone to read every single line of text on the entire website without being able to stop and then afterwards, stagger to the couch, brain weighted down with words, eyes red and pulsating, an ever-growing sense of heaviness, weakness, and debilitation filling the air, seeping into the very marrow of their bones. That’s when I’ve won. That’s when I’ve struck with the Iron Fist of Writing, as some call it, or the Death Touch of the Ballbusterati. That’s when I heave my desk end over end into the air, sending pricey computer equipment and stolen office supplies skyward, arms akimbo, every cell humming with life, Victory and Domination being my personal concubines.
Fireland has grown from those humble beginnings over the years, going through cosmetic and attitude changes, as we all have, but never losing sight, not for a second, of that Vision.
Has that Vision been realized? you may be asking. Has that desk-flipping occurred or are you, Josh, still stabbing blindly into the dark, cold realm of the internet, hoping to someday connect with warm animal flesh and puncture it, cause severe bleeding, subdural hematoma, blown pupils, diaphoresis, cardiac tamponade, urethral disruption, and/or intra-abdominal hemorrhaging? The answer is a simple No. No, friends, my Vision is a lifelong pursuit, perhaps even a dead-end street, and maybe on my deathbed, as I cough up mucus and sully my squalid Motel 6 suite with my foul stench, maybe only then, as I turn my swollen and sweaty head towards my one remaining friend, the inflatable sex doll that I call “Bjork,” and stroke her limp, rubbery arms with shaking fingers, maybe only then will I realize that the Vision was just that: a vision, a dream, something that was never going to actually happen. But will I be bitter? Will I spend my final moments in quiet, dry sobbing for a wasted life? Will I regret all of the things I accomplished while pursuing this vision? All of the great deeds, all of the little moments of happiness and contentment, all of the friends and lovers I met along the way, all of the songs and dances and smiles and chuckles of delight? Damn right I’ll regret it.