Posted on | May 14, 2012 | 47 Comments
Oh, you were one of the lucky ones who could afford a horse to pull your computer! When I was starting out, we had to pull our computer by hand — uphill! — to work every morning at dawn, then we’d blog all day in Fortran or Cobol, using an awl and a mallet on our punch-cards.
Weren’t none of this here fancy “electronics” back in the old days. We learned our craft on coal-fired computers. Only supervisors at the plant had the fancy high-tech kerosene-burning models.
Little boys and girls were hired to sweep up the chads from the punch-cards, and feed ’em into the stove what heated the Blog Factory . . .
Well, I remember it like it was yesterday, but it’s a sho-nuff wonder that was all the way back in aught-one.
Or was it aught-two? Anyhow, it was near the turn of the century, and folks would toil 12, 14, 16 hours a day, seven days a week. Didn’t have any fancy “PayPals” or “BlogAds” back then.
No sir, bloggers were paid in scrip, at piecework rates, and they’d trade ’em in down at the company store where Old Man Reynolds sold ’em some moldy bread and maggot-infested pork — and they were happy to get it, too! Times were hard back then, after the Dot-Com Bubble swole up and busted. Programmers were living in hobo camps down by the railyard, huddled around bonfires of burning copies of The Industry Standard every night. During the day, you’d see ’em on the street corners, peddling worthless stock options they’d taken in lieu of salary at startups that went bust in the Crash.
Then the War came, and every patriotic blogger enlisted in the Fighting Keyboardist Brigade. Boys came home from the blog-wars all gimped-up, and some of ’em were never quite the same. Reckon that’s what happened to Ol’ Crazy Charley . . .
What? . . . Oh, never mind, kid. You never heard of him, and it don’t hardly matter no how. You’d have to understand there used to be a guy name of Rather, back during the War Years. People got so confused they thought Howard Dean should be president one day, and then the next day you’d turn around and they was claimin’ John Kerry should be president! Anyway there used to be things called “GIF” files . . .
Never mind, son.
My point was, that war done things to people — messed up their minds — and so when you see Old Crazy Charley staggering around with his face all covered with Cheeto dust, ranting about “Belgian fascists” and “Greek Nazis” and so forth, try not to mock and point fingers and make jokes about him, like those mean kids do. The war messed up old Charley’s mind, and then he got obsessed with Pamela Geller, and next thing you know . . . Cheetos.
UPDATE: Welcome, Old Man Reynolds readers! It may be necessary to explain the referents: Old Ed Morrissey blogged about that spry young whippersnapper Jonah Goldberg, inspiring me to Crotchety Geezer mode, which offended somebody . . . . But danged near everything offends somebody nowadays, it seems. As to Crazy Charley, them there Daedalus fellers can explain it, if anybody can.
UPDATE II: “Gold! They’s GOLD in them thar blawgs!”
UPDATE III: “He’s done told it like it was, fer sure!” Back in the old days, when a man’s word was his bond, and a neighbor would always share a link or two with a feller.