The 10th Anniversary Guide

April 15th, 2001. That’s when I put together with my friend in Baltimore, who wrote under the name “Leff.”

Leff had a goal that was fairly cutting edge ten years ago – he wanted to create a content management system that was easy to use and would pave the way for idiot bloggers. There was stuff like that around in 1999 and 2000, but it was a far cry from the world we have today where a goldfish can set up a blog and get going with daily complaints about feeding time and assholes who tap on the glass.

He lived above an attorney’s office just outside of Fell’s Point, with a back deck that took in the Baltimore skyline, and we’d sit out there and drink ourselves into a quiet oblivion each weekend. He suffered from a crippling sort of depression born out of the malaise of modern America – a sick society even before the terrorists came and bloodied our noses – and was going through an extended period of clumsy soul searching. I, as always, was in the realm of pain management and general angst-riddled horror at the way of things.

He’d talk about designing a CMS and I’d talk about all the crazy shit I was writing down in notebooks while languishing at my idiot wage slave job. He’d hatch ideas that were years ahead of their time, and I’d go on about book ideas and weird, Pagan Kennedy-esque participatory journalism projects.

Then we had this “you got your chocolate in my peanut butter!” moment and I suggested what should have been obvious from the get-go – let’s put together a webpage where we just vomit all these crazy ideas out to the public. And maybe do something constructive along the way. Or not. Whatever. was purchased in the summer of 2000, and work began on the design over the winter. While I waited for the technology to catch up with the writing, I decided to recruit other friends into the fold. I approached filmmaker Lonnie Martin and encouraged him to come let off steam on the front page. He took the name “Rotting Corpse,” as homage to his taste for horror films. His girlfriend, “Jezebel,” signed up. Leff’s pseudo-girlfriend, “X10,” joined the team, and we were off. Ideas were thrown about (you’ll get to read the original list of topics in a couple of days), and we started composing our introductory rants.

Come April of 2001, the site went live…

Since then, it seems like millennia have passed. became in 2002, to avoid being blocked at my day job where I did most of my writing, and Leff and X10 both had post-9/11 breakdowns and vanished. Jezebel retired. She’s having babies now or something. The front page is now just me, and Cassander, who joined Greatsociety a little over five years ago.

This week, we’ll be looking at the archives. Tuesday and Wednesday will feature the fifth anniversary article, “Building a Great Society,” by Rotting Corpse. Then we’ll look at the first articles posted – the page’s original mission statement – and some other goodies.

Next week, we’ll focus on something that has come to dominate the page over the last few years – our love for “cult culture,” namely genre films and television. Rotting Corpse, Cassander and I will discuss what we believe to be the top 20 best sci-fi films of all time.

April 21st-25th will feature new work from Rotting Corpse, Cassander, Jezebel and forum-devil Monkey. They’ll all be looking back over the history of the page.

We’ll end the month with some general nonsense, and then get right back to complaining about Silver Spring, debt, idiotic jobs, and sunspots.

Comments are closed.