Building a Great Society, conclusion
The story sounds apocryphal but is one hundred percent true: Great Society was nearly a porn site dedicated to anal gangbangs. Seriously.
Nacho’s porn fetish preferences change as often as fashion trends. A couple months ago, it was creampies. Lately it’s been black girls. Back in early 2001 though, it was anal gangbangs. Since the inception of the web, porn sites have consistently been its biggest moneymakers, and Nacho was considering getting in on some of the action. He explained it to me one night at my apartment. We were about to go to a party of some sort and were lubing the pipes with a couple pre-boogie beers. The conversation went something like this:
Nacho: So, I own the domain name, dirtyfreaks.com.
RC: Dirtyfreaks.com . . .
Nacho: I was going to start up a porn site.
RC: * spit take * I’m sorry. Come again?
Nacho: Pornography. You know, naked women. People fucking. Young girls getting fourteen-inch dildos rammed up their pussies by lipstick lesbians while three large Hispanic men lube up their cocks and forcibly–
RC: I got it. Why in the world would you want to start a porn site?
Nacho: Oh, don’t be such a prude, RC. Do you know how much money those sites make?
RC: Uh, a lot?
Nacho: 35% of all internet downloads are for porn. The average porn site gets 400,000 individual hits a week. (This was 2001 you’ll remember.) If only 50,000 of those 400,000 people pay fifty cents for a movie or picture of a teenage girl getting ass fucked, that’s still $25,000 a week before operational costs.
RC: Yeah, but is that how you want to make money? By peddling porn?
Nacho: Do you look at porn?
RC: Of course!
Nacho: And do you think there’s something wrong with it?
Nacho: So, what’s wrong with taking it a step further and helping to provide porn to the masses?
RC: It’s just not very classy.
Nacho: Oh, you and being classy. Anyway, forget it. I’ve decided to do something else.
RC: What? Sell heroin online?
Nacho: No. A buddy of mine is a webmaster and we had this idea to do a writing website with weird, funny articles about nonsense.
RC: Like The Onion?
Nacho: Sort of, but not as normal. With a name like dirtyfreaks.com, you have to have a lot of cum and blood. But maybe eventually we’ll do more than that too. We could do a writer’s diary, and reviews of books and movies. It could just be a place to write anything and have our writing read. I think it could be very cool.
RC: Certainly cooler than a porn site.
Nacho: Oh, there will be porn. Trust me.
We kept talking about it, throwing different ideas back and forth. It seemed like a good idea. Moreover, it seemed like a lot of fun. In fact, the more we talked about it, the better it looked to be. Nacho, Jezebel and I spent a fine dinner that evening coming up with ideas, drinking and laughing. Man, there was a lot of laughing. I don’t remember much of anything about the party we went to that night, but the fun we had brainstorming the original website beforehand is very vivid in my mind. We drank good beer and came up with insanity while Nacho wrote it all down in one of those notepads of his.
About a week later, Nacho sent me the notes he had taken. For the first time ever, we’re presenting those notes to you so you can see where things started. Five years later, I don’t remember what many of them were, but I’m pretty sure they were funny at the time:
Dirty Freaks – The Lineup
–The Science of Alcohol Reviews
–Drunken reviews of normal things
–The reverse caption contest
–Sexual positions with butterfly
–Message board (Made up people. Jake: “My pants are on fire.”) open only to the three of us, but we all assume the persona of 7 different people and constantly flame each other.
–Letter from investor w/ twisted digression
–Jezebel porn (Pixeled face – the “trashy positions” shtick)
–Demented Kid’s Section
–Sick Testimonials of Normal Products
–Things not to say to your significant other
–Colin Powell’s diary: Fred Williamson is his idol, wants to nail Laura Bush, hates “that Texas honky,” etc.
–Alternative children’s name catalog (Asshole, Mistake…)
–Remove the letter “c” from the English language, Christ starts with a “c”.
–RC is raped . . . and falls in love with his unknown assailant
–The NPO wood conspiracy
–Lori Major – everything is her fault! (including the holocaust)
–Woman marries man with last name “k” so she can be JFK only to get shot by a ghetto kid named Oswald
–yiddish = ebonics
–Writer’s Diary – just insane transgressions
Hey, they all seemed like good ideas at the time.
Dirtyfreaks.com kicked off on April 15, 2001 with the first article, a short rant by Nacho called The Internet Life going up four days later. It was a cynical mission statement of sorts that included the lines, “This is a great experiment. A voice for a country that never was the Great Society. A voice for the continuing Sick Society.” It ended with a semi-humorous proclamation that the people behind the site would strive to make it useless before heading off to complete absurdity with an ad for the “128 Ways To Pleasure a Woman” e-book.
Yet, there was always a greater idea for the website, one lain out in Nacho’s brilliant Port Baltimore Statement. At the time of its inception, Nacho knew more than I that we weren’t quite ready for it yet, that we had to learn how to walk before we could learn how to fly, that we had to be a tribe of dirty freaks before we could transform into a Great Society.
I encourage you to read the Port Baltimore Statement in it’s entirety, but I’ll quote from the end of it, which I have always regarded as the true mission statement for this website:
“So we come to this webpage. Ranting from the artistic community, voices from the new revolutionary front. We are rising up and calling the freaks back to arms. The Internet is the only chance for a unified voice in this divided generation.
“We say that information is free. We say that we will speak out against this dirty little world.”
Four years later, I look around at this band of dirty freaks, we beautiful, brave children of an ugly world that strive to speak and be heard through all the noise of the fearful and desperate. I see how we laugh and share and debate and try to make sense of that which is senseless. It’s because of one person that we’ve all come together. This Great Society that he created is a wonderful place, one of friendship and fellowship and hope.
And so Nacho . . . I thank you for all you’ve done to make this Great Society. I thank you for sticking with it. I thank you for pushing through the dark times and the frustration and the bullshit, and giving this place to us. For many of us living this internet life, it’s more than just a stop along the way. It’s home.
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