Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Al Gore's Got Nothing On Me. . .
Here’s the thing.
I purchased my first modern PC in 1996. By modern, I mean a computer with a little pointy/clicky thing and the ability to display pictures not composed of asterisks, parenthesis and other punctuation marks. My first computer was a Radio Shack Model 4P (and the P stands for Portable, which means the beast came with a handle, a necessary option for toting a 30 pound behemoth).
But let’s stay in the Nineties, shall we.
The first thing I did with my PC –after playing the requisite number of Solitaire hands and nurturing my inner artist with Microsoft Paint- was connect to the Internet. Then, I searched for boobies, which didn’t take long, because as we all know, the Web is teeming with naked mammary glands. I like breasts. I like their symmetry. I like their asymmetry. I like them au natural, both in presentation and composition, but this isn’t a Vent about breasts. We’re talking about the former Vice President, who I believe probably likes breasts too.
But that’s not the topic either.
According to Al, he invented the Internet. The validity of his claim is moot. The running jokes concerning his claim are likewise moot. For that matter, Al Gore –for all intents and purposes- is now moot. But the claim lives on, especially when Leno, Letterman or Stewart needs material to fill out their nightly monologues. But trust me, we’ve moved beyond the Gore threshold for now, and I promise not to mention him any more, now that we’ve reached the point: My own equally ridiculous claim to Internet fame.
I invented the Blog.
I heard that. I know what you’re probably thinking and I’m aware of what you’re undoubtedly saying. That’s good; get it all out of your system. When you’ve finished, perhaps you’ll allow me to retort.
Check the copyright. Go ahead, check out the main Blogger page. It’s there at the bottom of the page, in small enough print to get your attention but large enough type to be clearly readable. 1999-2005. Those are the dates. Now, scroll back up. Second paragraph, first line. See it?
Do the math.
After connecting my inaugural PC to the Internet and exhausting Alta Vista’s catalog of nakedness, I decided to avail myself of Geocities free homepage policy and exercise my long-dormant writing muscles. And thus, The Vents were born.
Eventually, Steve’s Vent gave way to a serious attempt at novel-writing and that attempt gave way to a successful serious attempt at novel-writing, but in between Genesis and Revelation, I published quite a few slice-of-life vignettes that garnered tens of regular readers and fans and were ultimately collected in printed form.
Somewhere around the Second Coming of the Vents (which coincided with the publication announcement of Oogie Boogie Central) I noticed that a lot of other net denizens had abandoned the annoying habit of publicly announcing their favorite movies and television shows in favor of journaling about their favorite movies and television shows. Occasionally, other subjects found their way into these journals and lo and behold, a new form of expression had arrived.
Hell, CNN and MSNBC and FOX regularly feature and even quote Blogs now, which legitimizes it to a certain extent, even if MS Word’s spell-checker doesn’t recognize “Blog” as a valid word. Give it time; it’ll happen.
Blogs are now a viable entity on the literary landscape, and I invented them. I may not have named it, but I did it first, and that’s got to be worth something. I figure maybe a nickel. Each.
Now pay up.
But Then Again, You’ll Have This . . .
P.S. In case you still don’t believe me, hit Google and search for “Steves Vent.” When Yahoo purchased Geocities, my file access bookmark got fouled up and I lost the ability to get into my account. Yeah, I didn’t write the password down and a million emails to Geocities customer service haven’t prompted any response, so the original Vents –warts and all- are still floating around cyberspace, in direct contradiction to Geocities stated policy of deleting any account without activity every thirty days. It’s been about three thousand days, and the damn thing’s still there. So, if there are any <ahem> hackers out there who want to do a brother a solid, get in there and delete those files for me. I’d really appreciate it.