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This video is a couple of years old and maybe some of you YouTube trolls have seen it, but you must watch this early ’90s report on the sensation of “Internet.” What ever happened to it? And focus on the part starting around 2:15, when our Internetter explains how polite everyone is on it: “There’s not screenfuls of, you know, ‘GO TO HELL,’ it’s surprising.” [Matt Yglesias]

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43 COMMENTS

  1. I blame the Windows GUI and the mouse for the decline of the intertubes. Back when everything was done at the command line ya had ta have teh literacy.

    Now I will mix up another geritol and cuervo.

  2. Brown suits, the “Man from Atlantis” hairstyle — holy crap. The next time I run into a burned-out raver or a furry I’m going to appreciate them. From a distance, mind you, but definitely appreciate.

  3. I didn’t know Brits had an affinity or fetish for Thai… but according to “The News Story” for “The Internet”, it’s true!

  4. CRT monitors… keyboards that actually clicked… 300 bps modems… waiting ten minutes for a picture of a boobie to render…

    God, those were the days…

  5. [re=334284]Fox n Fiends[/re]: HEY CUNT, U R WRONG YOU FAG!!!!

    It was nice of the Pentagon to conceive of a project to give us alienated Americans “the only way we can talk to somebody” in the future. And, thank you, my Wonkette, for meeting by “desire to be rooted.”

  6. I wonder if the lack of prestidigital diarrhea is a Canadian thing. I distinctly remember The Internet* being full of barely pubescent (at least mentally) boys who communicated only through online insults, spread the Anarchist Cookbook and ASCII porn, and repeatedly barraged me with derogatory comments about my sex**, interspersed with invitations to cyber.

    *This was before ironic misspelling.
    **My favorite was “Anyone with the handle*** Catwoman isn’t really a female because that’s too obvious.”
    ***As kids those days called screen names

  7. [re=334288]MARCdMan[/re]: HA! I was reminded of the same thing!

    “How about a nice game of chess?”
    “Fuck chess. Let’s play global thermonuclear war and blow the world to smithereens.”
    “Fine.”

    Yeah, the internet really did start off as a polite civil community of military scientists.

  8. Well, that went to shit quickly. All it took was main stream people to find it and next thing you know road rage on the world wide information highway.

  9. Check it 2:14 – “alt.fan.rush-limbaugh” “alt.rush-limbaugh” and “alt.politics.clinton”Good to see nothing has changed.

  10. “That’s great” has two meanings that can’t be deciphered. Man what a confusing disaster any humor-based sarcastic website would be.

  11. Can you imagine if it remained as relatively small as a 15 million user base? Like, if it never took off, but just sustained itself on old AD&D players and other such nerds.

  12. And, after this message from our sponsor, the guys with the Newthair helmet reports on an even newer electrioid thingie called a “Wonkiette” that sneaks into your house and shoves librul Obama needles into your brain so you go running down the street and now I’m going to take my cloths off and talk about the Raiders.

  13. “when our Internetter explains how polite everyone is on it: “There’s not screenfuls of, you know, ‘GO TO HELL,’ it’s surprising.””

    Of course not, this was all before AOL.

    I mean, look at the screenshots: it’s all UNIX prompts. The worst they probably got back then were vi versus emacs arguments.

    Now get to the more user-friendly private networks of the time… this commenter can remember trolling up and down Prodigy boards back in his lonely, virginal teenaged years.

  14. I’ve never heard the word “emoticon” pronounced with such gravitas. Somehow makes MySpace journal entries seem important.

  15. “…talk to the world about art, music, sex, guitar construction, conservative politics, grief.”

    One of these things is not like the others,
    One of these things is not the same…

  16. One night when I was fourteen and talking on a bbs, some guy kept asking me what my bra size was. so I told him to GO TO HELL.

  17. [re=334424]crapistani[/re]: C’mon, no way, hoser, like Peter Mansbridge has way more hair in this video.

    The CBC is just basic news and human-interest stories…us Yankees wouldn’t understand such a thing. We gotz channels and channels and more channels of 24/7 news and my fellow American co-workers are some of the dumbest people on Earth…and I am in a hi-tech field…

    Is PrOn still a money-maker with all the p2p/torrent sites?

  18. The telephone was invented in 1876. It was almost a full 60 years before someone compared the other person on the line to Hitler. Times have changed.

  19. [re=334424]crapistani[/re]: Well almost. Peter Mansbridge is still intoning the news, but the reporter, Bill Cameron is dead. There’s a laneway in Toronto named after him. Rumour has it he died after overdosing on internet pr0n.

    But does :-( really mean “I’m serious?” I thought it meant, “I haz a sad!”

  20. Oh, whoops. My second paragraph makes no sense because advanced Internet technologies of the future have transformed my attempt to reproduce a primitive “emoticon” into a realistic human face (and moved it to the left of the sentence).

  21. Wow, you can actually date the moment Internet became The Internet because it happens IN THE COURSE OF THIS VIDEO! Listen carefully, by the end the one with the hair is saying The Internet.

    Jim Walcott is the only Canadian journo I trust. Is he still in a coma?

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