#027: Death of a Handle

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]

As every day passes, you call your favorite BBSs and begin reading the new posts left by other users, no doubt expecting familiar responses to posts and familiar attitudes from the users. Things change though, you call each day, and see more and more unfamiliar names in the ‘Last Caller’ list as you logon. Of course, you probably don’t give a shit about most since it seems 80% of the handles disappear so damn quickly. As each month passes, it seems that ‘Joe Public’ calls more and more of the local boards and begins the typical charade. If not ‘Joe Public’, then all of the new ‘Christmas Modemers’ call in and begin their typical tirade.

‘Joe Public’ is almost always spotted. Looking back through the last callers their is often a ‘John Barnes’ or ‘Jim Rogers’ mixed in with ‘Funkadelic R0d3nt’ and ‘Psycho Space M0nkey of Death!’. You will only see their names in the last caller logs because they never post a message, and they never play an online game. The only other place you see them is after the last caller box “‘Joe Public’ downloaded THISFILE.ZIP”.

The ‘Christmas Modemers’ are usually apparent as they are all too willing to interrupt your conversation on a message base with something like “HI!!!!!! I am the Cobra!!!!”. Nothing wrong with their handles really, but they are quite dull, and overused. Given, not everyone can think of a really cool handle but with some originality a semi-decent handle can be thought of. Typically the ‘Christmas Modemers’ last about three or four months, then fade out of the scene as something new is introduced to them by their friends. A small percentage go on to become long term BBSers and some actually contribute a lot to systems and sometimes go on to run boards of their own(that last more than one month).

Aside from that, you are left with the people that BBS for fun, enjoy many aspects of BBSs, such as posting, games, and file transfers. Among these people, in smaller areas more than larger cities I imagine, a handle builds an amazing personality in many cases. Around here (806 area code), there is a loyal base of message posters, that call many systems, and carry on good conversations. Unlike many areas, a majority of the regular posters know each other quite well, have met several times, and have become good friends through the boards. Even knowing the people I post with, totally different personalities and attitudes are represented by the individual, and the handle they use. It is almost like each BBSer in the area has two unique personas.

Throughout my period of BBSing, there have been so many handles that have floated in and out of the posting scene, it is hard to keep track of people. On top of that, you have people that change handles periodically, and people that use different handles on every board. I really can’t say much about changing handles as I have done it three times since I have started. I kept my first for a while, switched as a joke to a second, and ended up keeping it for a while. My third has last me since then and it is the closest thing to the real me you will find on the boards. The people that stick with one handle, and change it once, maybe twice are often times the ones that develop really cool personalities that are easily associated with their handles. With the change of one of these such handles, it is almost like losing a friend in some cases. After being so familiar with a person’s handle, and having them switch all of a sudden, it throws off posting in some cases. But things bounce right back as the new handle slowly builds up a new, and separate personality.

Once again, maybe this doesn’t happen anywhere else, but it does around here. My first handle, was pretty unique, but not totally original. I have been told that people could expect a superior attitude from it, smart ass remarks as well as some conversation and a willingness to add to a conversation if the chance arose. My second, people could always expect smart ass remarks, and the personality of an asshole. That was a stage where I was tired of the local posting scene, and the lack of understanding that was going on. My third, and current (yes, I use a different handle on public boards) doesn’t post near as much as I used to. The posting that I do do is minimal and never real friendly, but never real unfriendly. With the passing of my first handle, a few people actually missed it for various reasons. My second, people rejoiced. My third, that remains to be seen.

With some of my friends, they would change handles, leave the BBSing scene, or whatever, and people would miss them. To date, some handles are still brought up in conversation, almost a year after they have left. Others, are barely remembered and people have to think hard about what their handle was when they were on the boards.

In all cases, a person’s handle identified them, and established a part of their personality, some of their attitudes, and a few of their beliefs as well. Changing handles, kills one part of them, and from it, a new handle, and a new person is born.

I don’t know the point of all this, when I started I had one I am sure, fuck it. I guess the point is, know that your handle is much more than a clever nickname. It is used by others to associate a whole personality base with you, and when seen, is treated as a friend (or enemy as the case may be) and changing it in favor of a new handle changes a lot of views and dispels a lot of memories, as well as changing a part of you sometimes. Just make sure that the change is for the better if you can help it, and choose wisely.

#023: ———

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]

Recently, there has been a lot of news coverage on banning things, and censorship of others. Ranging from books, to gifs on the computers, to IRC on internet. The list of items that are wanted banned grows daily and never does it diminish. About once a month, I UL a file I get from somewhere that is a list of things that have been banned here or there. After I read them, I really have to question what the fuck is going on through people’s minds.

The one that got me the other day is this. Someone at a college in Iowa or something like that, wants all IRC use banned at that college. For those of you who don’t know what IRC is, it is ‘Internet Relay Chat’, although some people say it stands for something else. Either way, it is just that, chatting. Basically, there are anywhere from 1000 to 3000 people on at any given time. There are usually hundreds of channels you can join. All you do is ‘/JOIN #’ and that puts you on a semi-private channel depending. Channels can be 100% private, secret, invite only, open to everyone who is on IRC, etc. It all depends. Anyway, you get on a channel, or start one on your own. Other people may or may not be on the channel but usually there is. I frequent many channels and on the average there is about 8 or so people on. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Anyway, so you and the other people can chat. If you just type something, everyone sees it. You read what everyone else is saying also. You can also privately send a message to whoever you want so only you two read it. Either way, all you do is chat. The cool part is, on some channels I have been on, I simultaneously chat with someone from New York, Canada, Europe, Australia, and other countries. We don’t know each other of course but we all have common interests and can talk about them. There is basically a channel for any topic you could imagine, and if there isn’t, then you can make one. What harm is there chatting with people around the world? That is all it is, yet people at this one college want it banned. That is complete bullshit.

Next, we have books. It seems that at every library, there is always a book or two that has been banned for some reason. Most are banned because of offensive language. A bad word here, or a bad word there, and some bible thumpin’ bitch wants it banned. Who cares if the book tells about real life, moral situations, etc. Some are banned because of content. Maybe graphical sexual descriptions or something, I don’t know. One ‘ban’ recently caught my attention. You have seen the “where’s waldo” books and posters no doubt. Ok. In on book of those pictures, on one page, in the upper left hand corner, is a small female who is standing up after water is poured on her back. She is not wearing a bikini top and her breasts are showing. The thing is, the whole female shown like that, is no bigger than this character: O . And the book was banned by some uppity bitch because her son pointed it out. Excuse me, but isn’t that a little ridiculous?

People like that are a fucking menace to society. It is the close minded thinking like that that causes so many problems. If some kid grows up thinking it is bad to see a breast in a cartoon, what happens when they get their hands on some porn flick when they are 15 years old? They think that it is one of the coolest things that has ever been done, then they show it to their friends, and they make a bigger deal of it. These same kids grow up with a fundamental lacking of understanding ‘birds and bees’. From there, they know little about sex, and from there little about the problems that are associated with sex, such as AIDS, diseases, and pregnancy. It all leads to something else at one point or another.

They already censor television too much. It has been proven countless times that if kids are exposed to ‘obscene’ or ‘violent’ things in a semi-controlled environment, then they grow up with a better understanding of that subject, and less problems arise from it. If it is common day things, then kids don’t think anything of it.

Another thing that bothers the hell out of me, is BBSs around here, and other places. These files, the F.U.C.K. files, have been banned of a few local boards for various reasons. Usually the name alone does it. People don’t have the fucking insight to read what is uploaded to them. So they think it is some cheezy XXX text file. Either way, they are banned, therefore censoring what I and others say, even though these files will improve other people if they read them. Many BBSs will censor posts and messages by saying the board rules include no cussing. Other sysops, outright delete posts with an offensive word. Excuse me, but isn’t one of the ideas of a BBS to be able to express yourself, and share your ideas with others?

What is a word? Fuck. To me, is slang for having sex. It means nothing further. If someone says fuck you, it means exactly that. If someone says shit, then it is human feces. If someone says damn, then it means curse. Damn it, means curse it. Nothing more. So what makes these words offensive, and not the words, crap, curse, and fornication? They mean the same thing. The only difference, is the hype behind each word. Kids grow up these days learning that those words are bad, and mean vile things, and that corrupts their minds far more in the long run.

Although those are only two examples above, look at what it shows you is getting banned. If people can get away with banning shit like that, then what is next? Free speech is losing its meaning so fast and you really have to question whether it is too late to stop it. More and more items are banned for one reason or another, and nothing ever gets off the ban list it seems, and if it does, you don’t know about it and therefore don’t look for it.

All I can ask is this. If something in your area is about to be banned, then make a copy of it. Spread the news around, and let everyone, not just one misguided person decide if it should be banned or not. Don’t let a small group control part of your surroundings like that.

PS: I buy music for minors.

#022: The Dream

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]

It was a typical day the other day, like usual, I woke up sometime after noon and squinted as my eyes adjusted to the sun coming in through the window. Same room each day that I woke up to. It was quite spartan, just a chest of drawers, table, bookshelf, and footlocker. Two framed posters, a cork bulletin board, and a monthly ‘planit’ board behind my door. No use in decorating a room I only sleep in. With an audible sigh, I walked out into the hallway, into my bathroom and took a quick shower. Got out, dressed, put in my contacts, and headed for the kitchen. The rooms to either side of the kitchen were fairly dark with the shades closed, and the TV was off.

I noticed then, that my roommate wasn’t here. Opening the fridge, I grabbed some milk for cereal, and something to drink. A quick meal in the morning was rare, as I had forgone breakfast long ago. The cereal was ok, and it was filling enough, but lacking in overall enjoyment. ‘Oh well’ I thought, forget it. I would go out for lunch later that day. Moving into the front room I turned on the monitor to the computer, to check the board mail and see if anything needed to be done. Nope. The board was pretty self sufficient, and I barely needed to touch it these days. Reading messages would be done later that day.

Stale air in the house started overwhelming me. Opening the windows brought in fresh air, but it was hot. So, I decided to walk about in the back yard and get some air. Opening the curtains, I quickly realized something was up. I looked out into the backyard, and instead of seeing the typical single tree, dirt areas, and old patio, I saw something totally different. I opened the door quickly and found cool fresh air blowing in my face. Just what I was looking for. It was light out, but there was no visible sun that I could see. Before I could finish the thought, the sun appeared on the horizon. But everything else was black, with white lines forming a grid running everywhere. It reminded me of the holodeck on ST:TNG. Laughing at myself for being stupid, I blinked a few times and looked back in the house and nothing had changed. Quickly I glanced back outside and the black horizon, with the sun. Nothing else. Grass, rolling hills of grass, nice cool air, lots of trees. These thoughts swarmed through my mind and seconds later it was in front of me. I had just created everything I could see.

I took a tentative step out onto the grass where the patio had been and was amazed when I realized that it was real. Nice thick green grass under my feet. It took me at least 10 minutes to fully comprehend what was happening but I wasn’t complaining. Lesse. Birds, small animals, a small pond and hundreds of other things appeared as I thought about them. Hmm. I looked back to the house I lived in. Five minutes later I sat back on a chair, drinking a cold beer, admiring the repairs to the house. Nothing big, just a house in front of me that wouldn’t need cleaning, repairing, or any other maintenance for quite some time. Better carpet, food in the fridge, and other small things that made life easier. Hmm. Too good to be true. I knew there would be some limit to what I could do, but I would have to find that on my own.

I walked around the house to where the front yard used to be and looked around at where my neighbor’s houses used to be. Nothing. Just the rolling green hills I had thought of. Hmm. Ok. I walked across the road and up to the front door of my friend’s house. I knocked once, and he came to the door. “Hey, what’s up?”. “Oh, not much. Hmm. Look around ‘J’.” He stepped out into the front yard and looked around. Confusion hit him hard. “What the hell is going on?” I kinda snickered at that, and produced two chairs and a couple of beers for us, and explained everything. Hmm. “I could use bite to eat”. ‘J’ stopped me quickly and told me to hang a second, he wanted to try something. His face kinda got a look of hard thought and he blinked. In front of us was a table with a Chinese dinner. “Not bad”
was my only reply.

We both ate, and thought about things for a while. During the time we had both summoned up a computer to help us out. We wanted to know the extent of our world, and our power. Only took a couple of hours and we found out that we were the only ones around and we controlled the world. “Cool” I said, and looked over to ‘J’. An evil grin spread over his face and I knew what he was thinking. “Welp. Lets be careful what we put back. I don’t want to deal with any assholes. And if you put any more people back I am gonna kick yer ass boy.” I laughed at that, and he did too. Since both of us had jobs that required social interaction with people we didn’t care for, neither of us were eager to put people back right away.

Hmm. “Ya know, ‘J’, all those people that bitch about the cyber culture, and say it is bullshit, and will never be? Guess this is it. To some extent at least.” He thought for a minutes and nodded. “Sure is, I think I kinda like it. Thing is, if we put something back, will they be able to do anything like we can?” This made me think for a minute.

I opened my eyes, and in front of me was another person. It was a guy I knew that worked at the mall. “Hi Patrick. Howya doin?”. He was confused at first, but after looking around he replied “Heya. Pretty good. What the hell is going on?”. I quickly explained everything and told him to try and conjure something and told him how to do it. No luck. He couldn’t do it. I thought for a second and told him to try again. Next to him appeared this cute girl he worked with. He smiled. I thought about it. He and the girl quickly disappeared.

“Ya know ‘J’. I think I like this. We control who has the power.” The next few hours were filled with talk about what we would do, what we would restore, and what changes we would make. It only took a full day of thinking and all of Lubbock was back but it was much improved. Lots more trees, better roads, and no dust or cattle yard within 100 miles. “Welp, looks like our work is cut out if we want the rest of the world back.” He looked over and told me not really. “Just think vague thoughts, the lesser the detail, the faster it would appear, and for some reason it comes back the way it was.” He explained a little more.

We rested, drank a few more beers, and he drank a bottle or two of FireWater. Strange. We could drink all we wanted, and then get rid of the effects. A week passed and the world was back to a somewhat normal condition. Things were much better. There was still fighting and war and all that, but the little things that made life hard had been taken care of. Peace was cool and all but would never work. Wars had their part in the grand scheme of things.

‘J’ and I kept working on things, created elaborate computer networks that were much more efficient since that was our hobbies. We always had a place to go to talk about things, a nice rolling green meadow with trees, and a huge pond. We would kick back and talk about things. It was just one of those times, we started talking about the past. Something hit me then, and I quickly stood up. “Wait! Fuck this. Curiosity is killing me. What is the real story behind JFK? What is the N.S.A. hiding? Is there other life in the universe? I mean, with our power we can find out all that shit.” ‘J’ quickly agreed and we started to get to work.

It was two weeks after all this began that we were sitting there, and something started happening. We had found out everything we had ever wanted to know about the world, and what all had been kept from the people of the world. Sitting back contemplating things we both noticed it. Everything around us started growing a darker shade of grey. We both tried to stop it but couldn’t. We hadn’t lost our power, but we couldn’t control it for some reason. Things blacked out.

I woke up in my bed, and looked around. After a long sigh, I realized it had been a dream and that once again, utopia had slipped through my grasp. I close my eyes trying to recall details about everything we had discovered but it wasn’t coming back to me. I cursed for a second, knowing that some of the things I dreamt of had to be the truth. Oh well. Like usual I forgot what I dreamed.

“Shut the mains off.”
“Mains off. Neural scanner de-activated sir.”
“Damn. I thought he would remember everything.”
“Lessee what all happened, I am searching the program logs. Here.
They both dreamt that they had control of anything, and then rebuilt the world so it was a better place, and then decided they would find out about everything we strive to keep secret. They learned of everything this agency has ever been involved in… Amazing, that a dream can do all that. They discovered the truths through a fucking dream. I’m glad that dream retention isn’t as easy as people say.”
“Damn. You’re sure that they don’t remember a thing? If either of them retain 1% of what they learned, we could be ruined.”
“Your right. We have to make sure. Send a team out. Have them taken into custody, erase all memory of the past 24 hours, and put them back. Continue monitoring them, and if that doesn’t work…. then kill them.”
“Yes sir. Good thing we have these neural scanners. They have saved our asses more than once.”
“Amazing technology.”
“Yep. Sure is. Just remember, don’t question where we got it.”
“Yes sir.”
“Lets go to lunch.”

#021: General Info

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]

Ok. 20 F.U.C.K. files out there and there is a slight interest in them. As the header states, this series was started in Jan, earlier this year. Since then, it has been half a year (which it doesn’t seem like) and only 20 files. Some people may say that is lame, but the people who read them, will realize they are of a somewhat decent quality(I hope). Anyway, there are two active members right now. Two members are on extended vacation for the summer and a new member is working on his second. Currently I am writing a majority of them, but that doesn’t mean much.

Since these files are quite diverse, and fairly short, and are written with little or no guideline, anyone can write one. If you would like to write for F.U.C.K., then do. Just write the file or a good outline or even an idea, and upload it to one of the headquarters as FCKID###.TXT . The file will eventually get to one of the writers who release the files. Please don’t name it as FUCK####.TXT, and UL it to a board.

There has been a small interest from some sysops, to become an official F.U.C.K. distribution site. Until I was asked about it, there wasn’t any such thing really. With the growing interest though, and the desire for these files to get out and circulated, I think it is a pretty keen idea. So the World Headquarters(sounds impressive eh?) is now Immortal Hate. 806.745.8879. It is located in Lubbock, Texas and is not the only 806 board to carry them. We have a new Eastern Headquarters. Ionic Destruction can be reached at 215.722.0570. These are the only boards that are official sites right now, but the files can be found on many other boards. If you call either of these boards, it is not guaranteed you will get an account. I only say this because it is up to the sysop of each board, as to who gets validated.

If you run a board, and want to become a distro site, then here is what you do. Call somewhere and download all of the current files. Upload them to their own directory and beside each file, put the description as F.U.C.K. File ## – . Please do not UL them and fail to put a title. With so many diverse files, it is understandable if some of them are of no interest to some people. If you run a board, and want to carry the files, but don’t care to be an official distribution site, then do carry them please. The whole purpose of these files, are to make people aware of what is going on around them.

If you have any comments, questions, etc. about any of the files or any of the members or anything else, then feel free to mail me at the following places. WWIVnet #28@8607 or #2@8614. If you have internet access then you can reach me at z3mar@ttacs.ttu.edu. If you wish to chat with me, then look for me on IRC as Dam or look for MadMax. I am also on other nets, but I logon to a local WWIV board daily, and I am on internet all the time.</p> <p>Is there a future to F.U.C.K? I think so. Locally the files seem to be DLed quite a bit and talked about here and there. Since a good amount of the files are bitching about something or another, and I bitch a lot, there will no doubt be many files in the future. 🙂

Also out there, is a file called FUCK-FAQ.TXT . This file is just a frequently asked question file about the group. It is pretty short and just contains some common questions about the files. Please spread that around if you get the chance.

Another note. I have said it before, and I will say it again. These files are NOT meant to take away from other text files. There are a lot of other series out there, many much better than these no doubt. Read them also. They are what lead to these, and they deserve more support in many cases. I am still discovering many smaller series that turn out to be really good, if not better than the larger series.

Of note. CDC203.TXT “The Briefing“. It is number 203 in the Cult of the Dead Cow series. I read that the other day and wanted to say to the writer, it is fucking brilliant. Very impressive and I wish I had thought of it. heh. Also. TOX30.TXT “America: Land of the free. Home of the Brave“. This is number 30 in the Toxic Shock series. Well written and very much true.

I guess that will wrap it up. Take life easy, and think a little bit. That is all that is needed to make this place a little bit better.</p>