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All Things Philosophical...

January talking meme, Jan 18. From rahirah: How did you come to start ATPOB?


I entered the world of online fandom in 1998 shortly after season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I was looking anxiously for spoilers after that season finale, and being new to online fandom, I naturally went to the official WB network BtVS site, buffy.com, and the Bronze Posting Board. I hung out at the Bronze during seasons 3 and 4 of BtVS, and was known for pointing out nods to various philosophical ideas that I found in different episodes. The first one I ever noticed was the contextuality of knowledge, which appeared in a debate between Giles and Jenny Calendar in I Robot, You Jane.

Some of my Bronzer friends encouraged me to create a webpage where I listed all the philosophical references I found. A web PAGE. I sort of suck at brevity. "All Things Philosophical on BtVS/AtS" was born on January 1st, 1999. Hard to believe that was 15(!) years ago. 15! The website soon became more than one page as Joss and company continued to produce deeply intelligent television. From '99 to '04, I lost entire weekends to my website analyses.

I occasionally got emails from visitors to the site. Some of those folks urged me to create a discussion board where they could discuss the show at deeper levels than other discussion boards they frequented. On June 14th, 2000, I set up one of those canned forums. The folks that came to hang out there did the rest.

The ATPo board included folks from all over the world, males and females, teenagers to 60-somethings. Posters wrote essays that brought in philosophy, psychology, politics, critical theory, literary analysis, you name it, somebody did it. The archives are a good read. Discussions were sometimes deep, sometimes shallow, sometimes serious, sometimes silly, sometimes paragraphs, sometimes essays (that were actually (Long) when warned to be so). The board's hey-day was from June of 2000 to Spring of 2004, but a lot of those folks are still my good friends. I was reminded of how important they are to me when we recently lost one of our own, atpolittlebit.

Whenever I stop to think I've accomplished nothing in my life except earning a PhD I've done very little with, someone tells me a story about how ATPo touched their lives. And I take heart in that.

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Comments

( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
ponygirl2000
Jan. 18th, 2014 07:39 pm (UTC)
ATPo was something that touched my life! It really opened up so many things for me in regards to criticism and pop culture and lifelong learning, at a time when I was really feeling stagnant. You enabled many thoughts!
masqthephlsphr
Jan. 18th, 2014 07:40 pm (UTC)
I don't know how much *I* enabled, so much as enabling the ones who enabled….
ponygirl2000
Jan. 18th, 2014 08:16 pm (UTC)
You hosted a salon! That is something with a long and proud tradition.
masqthephlsphr
Jan. 18th, 2014 08:22 pm (UTC)
Right-o. I'm right in there with the salon ladies of 18th century France.

You know, that is something I can honestly say I would never predict I'd do. Life is strange.
rahirah
Jan. 18th, 2014 10:22 pm (UTC)
Very cool. I was always sorry that I somehow didn't hear about your board until it was sort of too late. Fandom was so enormous in those days...
masqthephlsphr
Jan. 19th, 2014 04:29 pm (UTC)
I was ignorant of most of that. I had a small group at the Bronze, and then I had ATPo. The rest, I never really knew much about. Which was kinda by choice.
etrangere
Jan. 18th, 2014 11:19 pm (UTC)
etrangere
Jan. 19th, 2014 06:25 am (UTC)
thank you. :(
masqthephlsphr
Jan. 19th, 2014 04:41 pm (UTC)
It was a shock to all of us.
cornerofmadness
Jan. 19th, 2014 04:39 am (UTC)
While I knew many of the people at the board and popped in occasionally, the timing of it all was when I was picking up the pieces of my life and I never had the time to really get involved. That said, I know that it really meant a lot to a lot of people. You did something very good here.
masqthephlsphr
Jan. 19th, 2014 04:44 pm (UTC)
In some ways, it doesn't feel like the board ever went away. It's still there, with recent posts, and the friends I made there, most are still around here, or on FB. But during its "hey day" there were a LOT of people, and more posts than I could ever keep up with. I am sure there were plenty of folks who stopped in I never even knew about.

I don't recall meeting you until I found a corner of mad Connor fandom here on LJ.
cornerofmadness
Jan. 19th, 2014 06:51 pm (UTC)
there is that. It's more me drifting away from the fandom than the board going anywhere.

That's probably true. I was probably aware of you earlier since I knew people who loved the board.
masqthephlsphr
Jan. 19th, 2014 06:57 pm (UTC)
The board is the people, and the people are scattered.
cornerofmadness
Jan. 19th, 2014 07:09 pm (UTC)
true
ann1962
Jan. 19th, 2014 05:03 am (UTC)
It continues to be awesome in many lives, even if it different now. Big heart!
masqthephlsphr
Jan. 19th, 2014 04:44 pm (UTC)
It's my treasure.
atpo_onm
Jan. 19th, 2014 05:49 am (UTC)
Changed my life. I've said that before, and I'll say it again, gladly.
masqthephlsphr
Jan. 19th, 2014 04:44 pm (UTC)
That pleases me muchly.
midnightsjane
Jan. 20th, 2014 03:54 am (UTC)
If you had not created ATPo, I would not be here on LJ, and I would have missed so much. The friends I've made from the board and here have enriched my life, and it all came from your creation. So thank you, and I'm so happy to count you among the friends I treasure.
:)
masqthephlsphr
Jan. 20th, 2014 01:21 pm (UTC)
Ditto! In fact, I will be in your neck of the woods from June 28th to July 6th. I think we are doing Seattle and Vancouver Island first, and will spend the last 4-5 days in the Vancouver area.
midnightsjane
Jan. 22nd, 2014 06:03 am (UTC)
I'm looking forward to seeing you! I'm sure you'll be busy doing touristy stuff, but hopefully we can get together for dinner or something.
:)
masqthephlsphr
Jan. 22nd, 2014 04:13 pm (UTC)
I was kind of hoping for a day trip to the farm....
angels_nibblet
Jan. 20th, 2014 07:11 am (UTC)
Checking in....
Hi there! I know I've been AWOL for a long long time, but I was reminded of LJ today and thought I'd check back to see what was happening around here. Hopefully at least some of you remember me.

I started commenting on the ATPO board probably about 11 or so years ago when I was a wide-eyed teenager (I can't remember when exactly but I believe it was some time during season 6 of Buffy). It was the first real internet community I ever joined. And it also really opened my eyes to the fact that Proper Grown Ups watched Buffy/Angel, something I think my parents are still adjusting to!!

I've never made it to a gathering (mostly due to living on the other side of the world), but I remember so many of you fondly.

Thank you again masq :-)

BTW guess what I'm doing right at this moment. That's right, watching Angel! Boyfriend and I are in the middle of a mega-rewatch. Trust me, this stuff is as good as you remember.
masqthephlsphr
Jan. 20th, 2014 01:27 pm (UTC)
"Proper Grown Ups" LOL
Of course I remember you Nib. Glad you were part of the board, and glad you popped by today. I often find myself wondering, "What happened to so-and-so." Then I think, "Oh right, they are out having Lives!"

Hope yours is treating you well.
angels_nibblet
Jan. 21st, 2014 07:57 am (UTC)
Re: "Proper Grown Ups" LOL
Yeah life is mostly going pretty great for me. The great: I'm still with the same guy (five years last week!), still working in the same office but in a slightly higher position, done a fair bit of travel, several of my close friends have got married recently to great guys, and, best of all I now have my very own kitty cat! Well, the boy and I have a joint cat. Here he is, along with my twitter handle for those playing along (and I apologise but I have forgotten how to do html): https://twitter.com/laania/status/418928398698700800/photo/1

The not-so-good: more than a few people I know have had cancer scares (including my mother - clear for years and years now though), and a couple of neighbours in their 50s who I'd known since childhood sadly lost that battle. A girl I was close with at school who was the same age as me died suddenly and unexpectedly just before Xmas, which hit me harder than I expected as I hadn't spoken to her in years. I'm still processing that she's no longer around. I can't even imagine what her family is going through.

That's me in a nutshell for the last few years, sorry for the ramble! Overall I've been incredibly fortunate.
masqthephlsphr
Jan. 21st, 2014 01:49 pm (UTC)
Re: "Proper Grown Ups" LOL
Glad to hear it. :)
midnightsjane
Jan. 22nd, 2014 06:03 am (UTC)
Re: Checking in....
My goodness! Hi Nib! Glad life is treating you well.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )